Earlier this week we made a Wool Wash Bar and a Wool Conditioner so as to take better care of our wool items. Today I wanted to show you how to properly wash your wool items so as not to felt them (cause them to shrink), stretch or otherwise distort their shape.
To start, fill your sink with tepid water. We don’t want hot water but we do want it a little warm so we can make sure the garment or article gets clean. Take your wool wash bar and soap your water. You don’t want to add your wool item just yet! Once your water is slightly soapy, add your wool item.
Doing this helps make sure that the item is not agitated. Agitation will cause the wool to felt. You want to be super gentle with wool once it gets wet.
Once you have added your wool article to the sink of soapy water, you will want to gently press it under the surface of the water. (I am washing a vest today.) Continue to press the wool item under the water for a few minutes. When you are ready, drain the water.
Do not lift the wool item out of the sink. Now that the wool is wet, it is very easy to distort the garment. Fill the sink with fresh water. This is to rinse all of the soap off of the fibers. Again gently press the garment under the water. Drain.
Transfer the item to a different sink or a colander. Rinse the sink and fill with water again. Take about a lima bean sized amount of the wool conditioner and mix it into the water. I find rubbing the conditioner into my hands prior to adding to the water prevents large particles of conditioner from not mixing into the water.
Place the wool item into the water. Gently press under the water. Continue to press for a few minutes. You will be able to feel the texture change under your finger tips. It is similar to using conditioner in your own hair.
Drain the sink again without disturbing your wool article. Fill the sink again with tepid water. We want to rinse any excess conditioner from the fibers. Press the garment under the water to insure it is rinsed well. Drain the sink for the final time.
Gently fold up your item and transfer it to a bowl or colander. Lay a large bath towel out on the floor. Place your wool garment on it and lay it out. Starting from the bottom of the towel, roll upwards towards the top.
Once it is rolled up in the towel, press the water out of the wool garment. You can even kneel on the towel if you need to. Remember to just press. We are not wringing it out. Just pressing.
Unroll the towel. Gently transfer your wool garment to a flat surface where it can dry. Do not hang it or hold it up. This can stretch and distort the shape of the item. Allow the garment to dry. (I really like to lay my things out in an area that has a lot of air circulation. It makes it easier and speeds up the drying time.