Normally, wool is a delicate and valuable fabric, it should be maintained with care and the washing instructions on the labels should be followed to the letter. In fact, there are several types of wool and each of them must be washed differently depending on its origin and percentage. Here is an overview of the main types of wool and the ways to keep them maintained!
Merino wool care
Merino wool comes straight from Spain and is highly valued for how soft and light weight it is. Merino wool consists of very fine mesh, it’s fragile but very durable and must be treated with great care in order to preserve all of its properties. The first thing to consider is to minimize the washing frequency to preserve the softness of the wool.
We recommend hand washing, but machine washing may also be an option if the temperature does not exceed 30 degrees and if you select the delicate cycle on the machine. For hand cleaning, submerge the garment in warm, soapy water (use a wool detergent), soak for about 3 to 5 minutes and then gently massage the fabric. Then rinse 3 or 4 times and squeeze out the water without wringing the fabric before spreading your garment on a flat surface away from any source of heat.
Alpaca wool care
From farms in North America, Europe and Australia, alpacas are mammals that only produce between 2 and 3 kilos of wool per year. Alpaca wool is therefore known to be a very precious fiber, softer, more durable and lighter than sheep’s wool.
When washing alpaca wool, cleaning can be done by hand, but also by machine depending on the percentage of wool in the garment. For 50% to 100% alpaca wool sweaters, washing must be done by hand and in cold water. For sweaters that are made up of less than 50% alpaca wool, you can wash your sweater in a washing machine, but in cold water and on a delicate cycle and, ideally, in a washing bag. Be careful, if your garment is made with mixed natural fibres, consider them as if they were alpaca fibres (for example: 40% alpaca, 40% wool, 20% silk = 100% natural fibres).
Unlike merino, cashmere needs regular washing for it to be as soft as possible. This is due to the fact that when cashmere is new, the excess material used during its manufacture should be removed. If you do not wash cashmere regularly, this unwanted material will build up and form pilling.
Fun fact that will make your life easier: the ideal way to wash cashmere is to use a washing machine.
This can be done by using a cold wool cycle with a dose of wool detergent and sliding the garment into a washing bag to protect it. Spin slowly to avoid damaging the fibres (500 rpm maximum). Then dry flat on a towel, away from light and heat.
Be careful, do not use fabric softener with cashmere, this will have the opposite effect. This product may make the fibres stiff like cardboard and thus remove all its softness.
When in doubt, do not take the risk of shrinking your most beautiful merino or alpaca wool sweaters and consult a professional cleaner who will take care of your clothes and preserve all their softness.
Daoust Ecoefficient Cleaners offers specialized care for your delicate fabrics. Come and meet us in the nearest branch!