Winter is here and so are our woolens. Whether or not you love the season, you can’t deny that it feels great to show off our gorgeous coats and cashmere sweaters as the weather gets colder. Woolens, however, are much different than cotton, silk, or other fabrics that we use in summers and require extra care and handling.
If you take care of your wool garments properly, they’ll keep you warm for many winters to come. Read on to find out how to extend the life of your woolens with some simple tips.
1. Avoid Ironing
Ironing is great for cotton garments but should be avoided for woolen clothes. Wool is a delicate material and can get burnt if exposed to heat. Therefore, try and avoid using iron directly on your woolens. Many modern irons have a wool setting. If yours does, then use it for pressing woolens. If it doesn’t, place a thin cotton sheet between the woolen garment and the iron before ironing. This will help protect the woolen garment from damage and burns.
Another way to protect the fabric from direct heat during ironing is to keep your sweater inside-out and iron on the inside.
2. Brush After Use
The most common cause of dullness in woolens is dust. They easily attract dust and are vulnerable to moths. So, make it a habit to always brush your woolens lengthwise after every use with a garment brush. To further ensure their longevity, give them a good brush down before packing them away until the next season.
3. Spot Clean
If you stain your woolen garment accidentally (maybe while eating), don’t wait for washing it in the machine. Instead, blot that part with a paper towel. However, do remember not to rub the stain as that might cause it to penetrate deeper into the fabric. Once you’re done blotting, add 2-3 drops of mild detergent (specifically available for woolen fabrics) on the stained area and gently rinse with plain water. Leave it on a flat surface and allow it to dry at room temperature. If the stain still doesn’t go away, take the cloth to the dry cleaner as soon as possible!
4. Use Neem or Lavender Leaves
Mothballs are often placed in closets as they help keep moths away. However, they have a powerful stench and contain harmful chemicals. To ensure the safety of your woolens, you can try spreading dried neem leaves at the bottom of the cupboard or container where you keep them. Neem is a natural moth repellent and will help keep your woolen clothes insect-free. Dried lavender also works wonders for the same purpose as insects dislike the natural oils in lavender. Moreover, adding twigs of lavender throughout the shelves or drawers will make your woolens smell good.
If you can’t find get hold of dried neem or lavender leaves, buy their essential oils from the local market. A few drops of pure neem or lavender oil on cotton balls will be quite effective as well.
5. Always Wash Woolens before Storing
Always make it a point to clean or wash your woolen garments properly before you stash them away for the next season. Even if they are mildly soiled, mold and mildew might form on them over the year. Also, never pack your woolen clothes if they are not fully dry because wet spots are breeding grounds for pests and mold.
Ideally, it would be good if you can store the woolens in covered boxes or cases after washing them as it reduces their chances of being exposed to air.
Note: Hand-washing is ideally the best way to clean your woolen clothes unless the label clearly says “Dry Clean Only”. Watch this video to learn how to wash wool sweaters properly.
6. Keep an Eye on Them During Summer
Once the winter season ends and you’ve packed your woolens, don’t just forget about them completely. Keep an eye on them from time to time to make sure there aren’t any moths or insects, or fungus on them. Another thing you can do is to take your woolens out in the summer and lay them out in the shade for at least a day to air them before packing them away again.
Related: The Right Way to Fold a Sweater and Keep it Lasting Longer
All of these steps may seem like a lot of work but they are vital to take care of woolen clothes and ensure that they look great for years!
Share these tips with your loved ones!