Winters have arrived, and we can’t help but get excited about flaunting our woollen sweaters, caps, scarves, coats and jackets. But, sometimes when we take our woollens out for the season, we notice that a few of them have shrunk, lost their shape and/or faded. They may even have a strange damp smell emanating from them.
Over time we realized that the reason for all this to happen was the way we were handling our woollens. To retain the natural qualities of wool fabric, proper care and maintenance is required. After some trial and error, we were able to identify our mistakes and rectify them. Check out the 5 common mistakes to avoid when taking care of your woollens.
1. Washing Woollen Garments Frequently
One of the core mistakes was washing our woollens frequently, just like our other garments. This regular washing only damaged the fabric by causing excessive wear and tear of the delicate natural wool fibres and shortening its life. It also led to some disfiguring, which was quite heartbreaking. However, with time, we realized that wool garments, as opposed to synthetics and cotton, could remain fresh even if we didn’t wash them too frequently.
An excellent way to extend the life cycle of woollen clothes is to air the garments and allow them to rest between wears. We also keep a soft garment brush handy to brush the garments lengthwise after wearing. This brushing helps remove any dust or dirt that could become stains later on and dull the appearance of the fabric.
2. Not Using The Right Washing Technique!
Our experience has taught us that hot water and harsh detergents can weaken the fiber and cause woollens to shrink and lose their shape. Hence, if you choose to hand wash your woollens, we have noticed that it’s best to use lukewarm water and a gentle detergent suitable for woollens.
If washing woollens in the machine, we either turn our woollen garments inside out or place them in a mesh bag to protect the fibres. Select the wool program or the gentlest cycle that is available on your machine. Again do not make the mistake of using too much detergent as we did, thinking the wash would be more effective. This only resulted in our woollens losing their shine and new-like appearance.
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We now make sure that we use only the required amount mentioned on the detergent’s packaging according to the load size.
3. Not Using a Fabric Conditioner after Washing Woollens
Initially, we were using only detergent to wash our woollens. After a couple of washes, we noticed that our woollens had lost their shine, and colour and felt extremely rough against the skin. When placed in the cupboard, they often even developed a musty odour. After some research, we understood that regular detergent use tends to entangle the wool fibres, which was resulting in the above mentioned problems. We learn that the solution to our problems lies in a fabric conditioner.
A fabric conditioner protects the fibre of the woollen clothes and gives them a new-like feel and appearance. When we came across Comfort After Wash Fabric Conditioner in the supermarket, we grabbed it instantly as its label mentioned that it would add the much-needed freshness back to our woollens.
After using Comfort After Wash Fabric Conditioner, we found that our woollens had become extremely soft to touch. The conditioner was helpful in retaining the lustre of our woollens and kept the brightness of the colours intact. This was because the Comfort After Wash Fabric Conditioner was able to effectively nourish the fibres of our woollens damaged by frequent detergent use. We were amazed that our clothes smelt fresh and pleasant even after 14 days of washing them with Comfort After Wash Fabric Conditioner.
4. Hanging Our Woollens out to Dry
Drying woollens out on a line by hanging them was another mistake we were making. We didn’t realize that woollens tend to absorb more water, and when hung, they become even heavier, causing them to stretch and lose their shape. However, we now follow a simple and effective process of drying whenever we wash our woollens.
After hand washing, we never wring out the excess water from our woollens as it could cause creases. Instead, to remove the excess water, we roll the garment in a towel to squeeze out the water. After that, we flat dry it in the shade by placing it on a white towel.
Once laid flat, the garments tend to get back to their original shape and size. Also, placing woollens under direct sunlight can cause their colour to fade. We followed the same drying process even after machine washing our woollens.
5. Not Checking the Care Label of Our Woollen Clothes
Machine washing woollens that need to be dry cleaned can permanently damage some of our favourite woollen clothes. It didn’t take us long to learn that checking the garment care label is a great way to understand how to care for our woollens and the type of cleaning method that must be adopted.
The garment care label mentions the temperature of water that the garment can withstand and the type of washing method that needs to be used- hand wash , machine wash or dry cleaning. This measure ensures that the garments are cleaned according to how the manufacturer intended them to be cleaned.
By avoiding these 5 common mistakes you will definitely be able to take proper care of your woollens this winter.
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