Wool Garments Washing Guide
How to wash your wool
We are often asked how to wash our Woolday products correctly and what to consider. Our answer is always the same: it is best not to wash wool at all or as rarely as possible. Wool takes care of itself best. If you aired out your clothes loosely and uncovered for at least 24 hours after wearing them, merino wool will do most of the maintenance itself. Too frequent washing wears out your garments and their colors faster.
If you need to wash your merino wool shirts – we launder them after wearing them three to five times – here are a few tips on how to do it properly. You can find all the care recommendations as symbols in your shirts and clothes or on our garment care page.
The Right Amount Of Laundry Is Important
Washing uses a lot of water and energy. The best way to protect the environment is to make the washing machine full (a little more than half the drum), but not too full - this might stress the fabric and wash it out faster. Don't worry if you don't have enough wool garments to wash them separately – except for us may be, most people don't. Just fill the washing machine with some other laundry. A gentle wash is suitable for every item of clothing.
Clothes Love It Cool
The right detergent, combined with a modern washing machine (younger than 20 years), makes it superfluous to wash garments at temperatures above 30 degrees (90°F). Merino wool is particularly sensitive to heat. If wool fabrics are washed too hot, the fibers swell and affect the garment's structure. We've accidentally laundered our shirts too hot without anything happening, but it's surely not good for the fabric. Preferably wash cold, or at a maximum of 30°C (90°F), then you are on the safe side. So far, every stain on our wool shirts went out.
How To Wash Properly
It's always best to follow the washing recommendations. You can find them inside your garments or in our garment washing instructions. We recommend using a wool or gentle program of your washing machine. Cotton, linen, hemp, and other natural fibers also get perfectly clean in the wool wash cycle. So you can always fill up with them. You shouldn't spin garments with more than 800 rounds per minute, to reduce friction on the material. Since merino wool dries faster than all other natural fibers, we always take a 600 rpm spinning cycle.
Try to avoid washing wool with zippered products. If you do, close the zipper entirely and turn the garment inside out. Or even better: Stash the zippered item in a wash bag, so your merino wool clothes stay safe during laundry.
How To Preserve Colors
Honestly, no shirt will forever be as white as it was initially and no color as intense. Merino wool is exceptionally colorfast, but as time goes also fades out. But with a few simple tricks, you can preserve the colors longer.
The most essential element is to wash white clothes, light shades, and dark colors separately. To protect the visible fabric side, wash your clothes inside out. If you wash pure white garments, put fewer clothes in the drum (less than half full), this way the water can rinse the dirt better. Avoid hanging wet laundry in direct sunlight, this could lead to discoloration or fading.
Only use ecological detergents. Chemical detergents sometimes contain substances that can affect the biochemical structure of merino wool garments and their colors. And most important: never wash or treat wool garments with bleach or detergents containing bleach. You wouldn't like the result.
Always Air Dry Wool
Do the earth and your clothes a favor, and don't use a clothes dryer. Our garments are not allowed in the dryer, and with a few exceptions, this applies to pretty much all textiles that you want to enjoy for a long time. Tumble dryers not only consume vast amounts of energy, but they also damage fibers and fabrics. And like many things in life, nature already provides the best solution. Nothing dries like fresh air.
Go For Organic Detergents
We are fans of organic cleansers and can only recommend them. Conventional detergents are harmful to the environment and pollute the water. You can use modern detergents sparingly, as more detergent does not make your laundry cleaner or more hygienical. Often you need significantly less than the manufacturer does recommend. When it comes to garment care, more is better never works.
Most of the time we don't use wool detergent with lanolin, but a vegetable product with olive oil from Sonett. You can use it for any other fibers or garments as well. Every few washes, we grant our merino wool garments a little refreshment treatment with a wool shampoo containing lanolin (wool fat). This way, the fabrics stay soft for a long time and retain its natural luster.
Try to avoid detergents containing optical brighteners, chlorine, synthetic perfumes and colors, parabens, phosphates, petrochemicals, and sulfates.
Transparency note: We do not receive any money from Sonett for the recommendation, but instead consider it the best product for our clothing. Coming with a truly inspiring business philosophy.
Dry Your Merino Garments Flat
After laundry, shake out your wool garments and pull it carefully back into shape – because, during washing, wool does contract a little. As wool can store enormous amounts of water, the shirts and clothing are quite heavy after washing. If you want to keep them from puckering, you should dry them lying flat on a towel.
When hanging, the fabrics could stretch and warp. It's a bit more critical for knitwear (wool sweaters, etc.). We do hang our wool jersey shirts on the clothesline or a hanger, and so far, they never lost shape noticeably. But staying on the safe side, drying flat is your first choice.
Never use the dryer; it will shrink woolen fabrics, and the fibers dry out. Nothing does the job better than fresh air, and as wool is the fastest drying natural fiber, you don't have to wait long.
Steaming & Ironing
Merino wool fabrics are almost wrinkle-free. It's because of the spring structure of a merino wool fiber that always pulls back into its original shape. This natural hack prevents wrinkles from lingering in most woolen clothing. But sometimes it is necessary to straighten a shirt for a special occasion and then you should consider two things. Use the steam function on your iron and the lowest-temperature setting (one dot). If you have a steamer, even better. While flattening, the damp relaxes and refreshes the wool. Your merino shirts will be happy.
Pilling is entirely typical for fabric made from pure natural materials and has nothing to do with quality, even if there are differences. Since the yarns are twisted from a large number of short fibers (each 4-6cm long), friction results in loosening smaller and shorter fibers. Those form little "pills" on the surface.
With our fabrics, this is already very reduced, as we use high-quality wool with a good and even fiber length. We have tested all fabrics and garments in the laboratory and daily use, and they show excellent pilling resistance.
But even the best and most durable material releases fibers, especially in the beginning, that is entirely normal. Friction on the surface of the material may increase this effect, for example, a backpack or a sport with a lot of body contact. If the fabric is damp or wet, this increases the effect. Unfortunately, if you heavily stress your garment right from the beginning, you can't prevent it. Pilling will decrease significantly over time and after a few washes when the smaller fibers have been rinsed out.
The pilling washes and wears off over time. If pills are visible due to heavy use, you can shave them off with an electric pilling shaver. Used right, it will not damage the fabric, and your garment will look like new.
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