Winter clothes need not only be about keeping warm. We have realized that with some planning, they can also be classy and elegant and make us look like a million bucks. But, wool is a fabric made up of natural protein, very similar to human hair, and therefore needs extra care.
This is why it is usually recommended to wash woollen clothes by hand as the fabric cannot be handled aggressively like our regular cotton and synthetic clothes. After trying different washing and storing techniques, we have finally figured out the simplest ways to ensure our winter clothes stay classy and new-like.
Here, we have curated a list of things to do to give a chic twist to your wardrobe and also keep your woollens clean and organised at all times!
How to Shop Smartly for a Classy Winter Wardrobe
We have dealt with instances when we ventured out for shopping and ended up with many clothes that were very similar to the ones we already had and some which we never even needed. This was when we realised the importance of doing an inventory of the clothes that we owned to avoid repeat buying the same styles, colours and accessories. For example, if we own a fleece jacket, we try a different kind like a bomber jacket or trench coat to add variety to our wardrobe.
Winters are also a great time to experiment with different kinds of fabrics. We love the cosy feel of fleece, the rugged look of leather, the luxury of velvet, the classic look of tweed and of course, the evergreen sturdiness of wool. We always check the labels of clothes we intend to purchase to know the exact composition of the fabrics used and the manufacturer's instructions on how to care for the garment correctly.
There are also some essentials that we all must have in our winter wardrobe. A classic wool coat can be paired with jeans, dresses, jumpsuits, etc. Sweaters in different styles like turtlenecks, V necks, and chunky knit sweaters are great for both indoors and outdoors. Winter boots, coloured scarves, beanies, ear muffs and gloves will add that much needed oomph to your outfit.
Whenever we are short on time, we opt for online shopping as it helps us buy our favourites within the comfort of our home and if lucky we also get some great deals.
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How to Clean Your Woollen Clothes the Right Way
To help make our woollen clothes last longer, especially our designer ones, we wash them only when necessary. We have noticed that unlike other fabrics, wool need not be laundered as often since it is naturally stain, crease and odour resistant. Hence, between the washes, we use a soft garment brush lengthwise on our coats and other woollens to eliminate any dirt and dust settled on the surface.
We typically only spot treat any stains on our woollens instead of giving them a complete wash. When we get down to washing our woollens, we check their care labels to know whether they must be dry cleaned or can be washed at home.
If there is no care label, we suggest doing a patch test on the garment by rubbing a wet cotton bud on the inside of the apparel and checking if any colour appears on the bud. The clothes should be sent for dry cleaning if any colour appears on the bud. This measure prevents any occurrence of colour bleeding.
We always wash our knits and woollens with zippers separately as we have seen some of our clothes getting ripped apart when they get entangled with each other.
We never knew that wool is a delicate fabric and requires to be cleaned and handled in a certain way. Our lack of awareness made us commit the blunder of washing our woollens with regular detergent. It was only when we saw some of our favourite sweaters and cardigans feel rough, change their fit and appear dull that we realized we were doing something wrong. After some research, we learnt that there are detergents especially formulated for woollen clothes that clean gently without damaging them.
Some of our friends and relatives who had faced similar situations highly recommended Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent. When we read the label on Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent, we were convinced that this would be the perfect detergent for our woollens. Its label stated that it was a fabric wash especially designed for woollens.
We had heard a lot about the importance of pH in fabric care products, and the fact that Love & Care Expert Care Wash has a pH balanced formula gave us the assurance that this detergent would be gentle on our delicate woollen clothes. Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent also has no enzymes which helps maintain the fibres and no bleach that helps maintain the colours of our clothes.
To wash, we first mixed one cap of Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent in half a bucket of water. We then soaked the clothes in this solution for about 5 minutes. After this, we rinsed our clothes gently until the rinse water was no longer soapy.
As Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent has an Easy Rinse Formula, we didn't have to rinse the clothes for long and keep our precious woollens protected from any undue friction. We never wring our woollens as it could spoil its shape. We instead roll the clothes in a clean towel to get rid of any excess water.
We have seen that wool as a fabric absorbs a lot of water, and when hung, the weight of the water could stretch the fabric. Hence, we dry our woollens by laying them out on a flat surface. After the wash, we saw that Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent had done its job well. Our clothes smelled terrific, and their colour, fit, form and texture remained intact.
How to Store Your Woollens Properly
Over time, we have realised that simply washing our woollens is not enough, especially before storing them. We have figured out one simple step that helps protect our woollens and keep them looking like new even after repeated washes. That is using a fabric conditioner after detergent wash. We use Comfort Fabric Conditioner to protect our woollen clothes from wear and tear. It also infuses our clothes with a fresh, long-lasting fragrance that we can get a whiff of each time we open the cupboard.
Before packing away our woollens, we also clean our wardrobes and closets thoroughly. We vacuum them and then air them well by keeping the doors open. Our suitcases, metal bins, plastic storage containers in which we store our woollens are also wiped down and left in the sun for a while to remove any trace of moisture that in turn can cause mould formation on our winter clothes.
We have found vacuum packing or storing our woollen clothes in airtight bags to be particularly beneficial. It protects clothes from moths, insects, mould, and dust and creates more space in the wardrobe. Cloth bags made of breathable fabric like wool and cotton are great for storing delicate clothing while allowing air circulation.
Our silk scarves and shawls are wrapped in muslin to protect them from yellowing or snagging on zippers and other clothes during storage. We always store our woollen folded and not hung to prevent stretching of the fabric.
These steps will help you be a winter fashionista and also help keep your woollens in excellent condition.