Winter is ending: here’s what you should be doing with your woollens


By Francesca Wallace.

When preparing for the warmer months ahead, it isn’t likely you’re thinking of what to do with your woollen clothes.

Whether you prefer to stash them away out of sight and out of reach, or just forget about them altogether, correctly storing your winter woollies is integral to maintaining healthy and happy clothing. 

“The most important time to care for your woollens is now, at the end of winter and start of spring. You won’t be wearing your knitwear as often in spring and summer so it’s important it is cleaned and stored properly to prevent damage.” says Alexandra Brown, the driving force behind Australia’s coolest (yes, wool wash can be cool) new natural wool wash, Ms BROWN. 

Now, Brown, who is somewhat of an expert in the field — having worked in both fashion publishing and growing up on a merino sheep farm in South Australia —  has some sage advice for caring for your winter jumpers...

“Many people don’t realise that wool is actually a very durable fibre that will last a very long time if cared for properly at home. Hand washing or gentle machine washing with a natural detergent is the best method to clean and protect a wool garment for the long term. Then it’s important to store properly to prevent it stretching out of shape,” she advises. 

Brown admits the number one mistake you can make is something you’re probably already doing — sending it to the dry cleaners. 

“Many people are afraid to clean their own knitwear, especially when it’s particularly precious to them, but the reality is the chemicals used by dry cleaners are not just bad for the environment they will leave a residue on your garment that will over time actually damage the natural wool fibres.”

Brown also advises against hanging wool, as it will lose its shape, and to ensure all woollen items are packed away before storing over summer. 

“Moths, which like to chew holes in your clothes, are attracted to dirt and odours on garments. We have included Eucalyptus and Lavender in our Wool & Cashmere Wash as they are natural bug deterrents,” she says. 

So how do you properly clean wool? Brown has all the answers. 

For machine washing: “Most front loader washing machines today have a gentle cycle or even a specific wool wash cycle. If yours does not, choose the lowest temperature and slow spin cycle. Turn garments inside-out then place in machine.

Add the Ms Brown Wool & Cashmere Wash to detergent section of machine, following directions on bottle, and press start.”

For hand washing: “Half-fill a bucket or sink with lukewarm water. Add approximately one capful of Ms Brown Wool & Cashmere Wash to the water. Immerse your inside-out garment in the water, gently swirling around for a moment, paying extra attention to areas like cuffs and armpits. Leave to soak for around thirty minutes, longer if very dirty. To rinse, empty the bucket or sink and fill again with clean water.  To remove moisture, gently press the item in a ball against the side of the bucket. Never wring a wool or cashmere garment as it will stretch it out of shape.

For drying, Brown recommends lying the garment flat on a towel and rolling “like a sleeping bag” until all the water is gone. Then, lie on flat until dry.

Summer sorted.

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