How to take care of your favourite woolen clothes
Some of the woolens you own could have been handed down through generations. For example, your grandmother’s favourite sweater could be a source of comfort and a strong reminder of her presence that you’d like to preserve for years to come. But this requires delicate care and a proper understanding of the fabric.
Logic dictates that if you find any odour or stain on your clothes, into the wash they go. Add a capful or spoonful of detergent and the washing machine begins doing its thing – cleaning your clothes, or so you would think. But here’s the problem – once your clothes come out, are you thrilled with the result? Probably not!
Remove your clothes from the machine and they often look more drab and dull than when they went in. Wasn’t the detergent supposed to make your clothes brighter? What went wrong? Well, here are some tips that will keep your woolen clothes looking as good as new:
1. Avoid strong detergents
Strong detergents do not mean better washing. On the other hand, the chemical strength and high concentration of the detergent can damage the texture of your clothes, often permanently. The colour may appear faded and the fabric stretched. To avoid early ageing of clothes, pick a gentle liquid detergent like Godrej Ezee, which keeps your clothes clean without loss of colour or damage to the fabric. Indeed, they come out looking almost as good as new with every wash.
2. Try this drying method
Never wring your woolens or hang them out to dry, as they will stretch and lose their shape due to water accumulation. If you need to hang them, fold into half, then fold the waist and sleeves over the hanger – now the garment will not stretch. To remove water from your woolens, instead of twisting them, spread them on a clean, dry towel and roll them up. Then pat them dry to maintain their shape. Using a dryer is not advisable, as they may shrink or stretch beyond recognition.
3. Avoid direct heat
Woolens are heat-sensitive. So a steam iron is something you must avoid at all costs. Moderate heat is all that is needed. Remember to use a cold water cycle for washing.
4. Store them carefully
Storing woolens involves special care. Moth larvae love wool, so given the slightest chance, they would happily feast on them. So ensure your woolens are clean or even dry-cleaned before you store them for long periods. Remember to air-dry them an hour before storage to remove body odours. Any stain, food particles etc. are an open invitation. Eventually, you may see holes all over. To avoid this, brush your woolen clothes vertically to remove any dirt, dust, or food particles. Fold and store them in zip-lock bags or sealed plastic bags.
5. Add a fragrance
Keep some lavender or cedar along with your woolens so that they smell fresh always. This will also help keep your clothes protected as moths hate these smells. Since these natural fresheners evaporate quickly, remember to replace them regularly for your clothes to smell good and stay hole-free, always.
6. Remove pills regularly
Nothing ruins the look of a woolen garment as much as unsightly ‘pills’. Hold the garment in one hand and run a razor over it with the other to get rid of them. If you’re not comfortable using a razor, using some broad tape will help remove any lint off your clothes. Now that you know these tips, get ready for a fun-filled winter to show off your bright and good-as-new woolens!