A knitted woolen sweater will keep you warm thanks to its natural thermal insulation properties, its felt treatment on coats even has a waterproof function, and if you choose special fine types of wool like mohair or cashmere, you won’t want to take it off. But it shouldn’t end with the purchase. Winter is slowly asserting itself, so woolen sweaters are returning to the wardrobe and store offers in abundance. And not only you. But as Metropole Zličín stylist Barbora Havlíková points out, it doesn’t end with shopping. Proper care is also a very important stage, so that the woolen pieces last as long as possible and the wardrobe is truly sustainable. If you don’t know how to care for woolen pieces, don’t worry. We have some basic tips and tricks for you on how to do it.
Wool sweater, Tatuum, 1499 CZK, Source: with permission: Metropole Zličín
How to bite
If you feel like you can’t wear woolen sweaters because they bite you, try a little trick. Wool always reacts to the temperature, so when you put on the sweater, wait at least 10 minutes. Its fibers will warm to your body temperature and the biting should stop. If wool alone is still uncomfortable for you, try, for example, its mixture with cotton. Such a combination still has great warmth, but a finer structure, thanks to which it does not “bite”. When washing, always do it cold. Wool is a natural material that is naturally self-cleaning and odor resistant. Pieces made of this material therefore do not need to be washed after each wear, as you may be used to with synthetic substitutes such as acrylic. For a wool sweater or jacket, it is enough to hang it in the window for a while after wearing it and let its fibers air out. Any unpleasant odors will be released from them, the wool will fluff up into its typical cotton structure, and you can put your favorite piece in the closet without any worries.
However, when it comes time to wash, it is important to proceed really carefully. For the vast majority of wool items, the manufacturer recommends hand washing, however, if you have a newer washing machine that can handle a delicate wool program, you can use this as well. Whether you choose one or the other method, the most important thing is the temperature of the water. Not even 30°, not lukewarm, but completely cold water. Choose liquid detergents, ideally. What should definitely not be used is fabric softener. The wool fiber is hollow and structured, which is why it has such excellent thermal insulation properties, and it is fabric softener that seals this structure, thereby losing its warming function and ability to remove moisture.
Source: with the permission of Metropole Zličín
Never, ever put woolen clothes in the dryer. If it could survive the warmer water in the washing machine, it would certainly not be able to handle the high temperatures in the dryer. In short, and without exception, wool does not belong in the dryer. The best way to dry is lying down. Spread a towel on a classic drying rack and place the washed sweater on it so that its original shape is preserved. Place the dryer near a heat source, but be sure not to rush your work by putting the towel and sweater directly on a hot heater, this could end up the same as the sweater in the dryer. It is ideal to carefully fold the woolen piece and put it lying down in a shelf or drawer. Don’t worry about chimneys, they don’t mind. But what would not benefit wool is hanging on hangers. It is a relatively heavy material that tends to hang out. The shoulders of the sweater will sag on the hanger and lose its original shape.
How about lint?
Piling is a natural process of wool fibers that occurs where they are under more stress. But these are fine lint that can be easily removed with an electric “lint remover” or a special comb with which you “shave” the sweater. On a woolen sweater, you will not get hard piles like on acrylic or polyester, which are more difficult to get rid of and in which the structure of the material cannot be restored. Jackets and coats It’s not just about sweaters, you can also buy a woolen coat or jacket for your wardrobe. These pieces are mostly mixtures where wool is combined with other materials. Of course, the higher the percentage of wool and other natural materials, the better the quality. As with sweaters, the wool performs a self-cleaning function and there is no need to wash such pieces continuously, ventilation will do you a much greater service. For more thorough care, take them to the dry cleaner once in a while, washing these pieces is not appropriate. The outer fabric could shrink slightly, it would not match the lining and the overall shape of the garment would be disturbed.
Woolen coat, TATUUM 6199 CZK/ Woolen jacket, GANT, 12599 CZK
Cashmere and merino
You must have heard of these materials before, because they are still very popular. In both cases, it is a specific type of wave. Merino comes from specially bred sheep from New Zealand and Australia, its fibers are much finer than traditional ones, and the resulting product is therefore silky soft. Thanks to the climate where the sheep live, it also has a higher insulation capacity and the clothing is thus more breathable. Cashmere comes from Kashmiri goats native to Asia. Their fur is extremely fine and soft, which is why their wool is often compared to silk in terms of its properties. It is from it that you will most often find sweaters or scarves in the offer.
Pure cashmere sweater, Marks&Spencer, 3299 CZK/Knitted merino dress, Lindex, 1999 CZK
Wool as a sign of sustainability
Are you surprised by the maintenance requirements of woolen clothing? Know that, perhaps a little more demanding, but for the very occasional washing, wool will compensate you thanks to its positive properties. In addition, with proper care, the given piece will last in your wardrobe for decades, even if the initial purchase price may be higher, the resulting cost of each wear is absolutely minimal. And precisely this approach is one of the main pillars of sustainability in fashion. When investing in your first wool sweater or coat, choose a classic, timeless cut and a neutral color that will go with most items in your wardrobe. This way, you will achieve that the new piece really pays off and the higher investment will pay off.
Camila Luna is a writer at Gossipify, where she covers the latest movies and television series. With a passion for all things entertainment, Camila brings her unique perspective to her writing and offers readers an inside look at the industry. Camila is a graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in English and is also a avid movie watcher.