How To Pre-treat wool
7 years ago
Getting ready to order a wool/cashmere blend for my daughter’s winter coat and wondering what kind of care to take when it arrives? I’m reading on-line to have it dry cleaned first, but I’d rather not do this since it’s for the Niblet. I also read that water is to be avoided! Huh? Can I/should I hand wash this before beginning the project? And should I expect shrinkage from wool? I’m planning to lay out the pieces for size 2T on a yard of extra that I have at home, but wondering if I can really go by this if the wool will shrink?
Thanks for any help!7 years agoNicole @motherof5
Wool can have shrinkage , but has the advantage that you can stretch and re-shape GENTLY when damp. I was given a big piece of wool/cashmere when Son was little and I made grubbers ( rugby ) out of it and machine washed them over and over, reshaped when wet and then pressed with a steamy iron.
I am not an expert Mel, purely speaking from experience, if you want to be super safe , dryclean it!
To be really safe you could cut of a little snippet when it arrives and have a play with that?7 years ago
My understanding is that you should treat your yardage as you plan to treat the finished garment. I pre-washed the wool in my machine on gentle/wool cycle before I cut it for Clara’s coat. It did shrink a little but also fulled up beautifully. Since I plan to air dry the coat after washing, I did the same with the yardage. I laid it out flat on our bed and ran the ceiling fan to speed things up. Worked great.7 years ago
Oh – a really nice product for washing wool is Euclan. It cleans and adds lanolin back to the wool in one shot. That’s what I used on wool soakers and it worked great. The main thing to avoid is lots of agitation, because that will felt the wool and it will shrink horribly.7 years agoicicle @icicle
Both wool and cashmere are animal fibers so water won’t hurt them, but dry cleaning might, as it strips out lanolin. I use the wool/handwash cycle on my Asko front loader washer and I’ve never had a problem with either fiber — I make custom knitwear so I wash ALOT of wool and a fair amount of cashmere.
If you don’t have a wool/handwash cycle on your machine, you can wash the fabric in a tub or large basin. Use warm water and a mild shampoo (little or no bubbles if possible) or a no-rinse wool wash like Soak, Eucalan or Kookaburra. It’s the combination of heat AND agitation that felts wool –cashmere doesn’t felt as easily — so keep the water skin-comfortable and the splashing to a bare minimum and it’ll be fine.7 years ago
Thank you all! Clearly I am losing my senses from being up so much at night over the past week with the babe. We have Eucalan and we used it on the Niblet’s wool soakers! We always laid those out to air dry. Sheesh. Maybe the fatigue and anxiety over ruining the fabric has me near batty.7 years ago
icicle – I’ve found a kindred Asko owner! I love mine.7 years ago
he he he, maraya – I understand – I went about nutty when trying to decide what to do with the wool I bought. Seems silly to worry about now, but it seemed life or death at the time.7 years ago
haha, that’s exactly how I’ve felt, Sandi! I appreciate you all though!7 years agoicicle @icicle
sahmcolorado — yes! I love mine too. It’ll need to be pried from my cold, wet, wooly hands. 🙂7 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
I didn’t know about Euclan, thank you ladies!7 years ago
Sarvi, Eucalan is good stuff. You can get it in different scents too. I am partial to lavender.
Just ordered the eggplant wool/cashmere for the Niblet’s coat! Now, if we can get her (and now my husband – sheesh) well I can finish drafting and start my personal pep talks. I admit I feel very nervous about this one!7 years ago
Don’t feel nervous, maraya – it’s not as difficult as you think. It goes together so nicely – only takes a long time to cut out all the pieces but then it’s a breeze.7 years ago
Thanks Sandi! Nicole said the exact same thing! Thanks all for the confidence boost! If I can get the babe well – and some much needed rest – I’ll hopefully have it ready by Thanksgiving! -mel
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