Washing Wool?

Wool? Cotton? Crazy polymer hybrid?
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RMAR
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Washing Wool?

Post by RMAR »

Ok so I have been hoarding wool. I have found some really nice wool blankets, jackets, and shirts at thrift stores lately and cant help myself. I blame all of you.
Anyways, how does one go about cleaning wool? I have searched and came up with varied opinions of how to clean wool. Here is a list of some I can remember

- If it says dry clean then do that, but some claim the dry cleaning solution, perchloroethylene, stays in clothes and is carcinogenic. Also some solutions aren't changed often and leave odors.
- Hand washing with Woolite or something mild, no agitation, no wringing, air dry, but don't let it hang. (I would lean toward this method)
- Washing machine on gentle cycle and tumble dry. A variation of this would be to use a laundry bag to wash in so the agitator doesn't contact the wool.
- Shake the dust out and spot clean, no scrubbing.
- Do nothing, wool is self cleaning.

So what methods do the gurus use to get that scratchy fresh feeling from wool?
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saustin1967
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by saustin1967 »

The shirt that you have given me, I wash every once in a while in cold water and lay flat to dry.
Have not shrunk one yet.
My Merano base layers and socks I wash with normal clothes and dry

for the most part, unless I wear it everyday, like socks, it gets washed infrequently.

Have not washed the Orvis yet, it is hanging on the coat rack, still smells like smoke.
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RMAR
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by RMAR »

Yeah I didn't think about my wool socks. I wash those often and there is no problem. I think I will test one of my Pendletons in the wash and see what happens.
Worst case is I have lost $6 or less. Now my blankets are different. I am not willing to throw those in the washing machine just yet.

I would be scared to wash the Orvis just in case it did something stupid. I have seen some nice wool on the rack that was obviously washed incorrectly.
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Scratch4x4
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by Scratch4x4 »

I machine wash my 50/50 socks. For my Boreal shirt, homemade anorak, and Asbel pullover... i have always hung them over some smoking coals, cause im too afraid of messing em up to wash em.

Glad someone asked. Not that i mind my clothes reaking of burning mesquite wood, but id like to know how to really wash them once in a while.
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BigJesse
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by BigJesse »

Wait? You can wash wool?
I know it probably sounds gross, but I don't really wash my wool unless it's gotten VERY nasty or smelly. If it's 100% and wasn't beaten to death in a washer it should retain some of its lanolin, keeping it antimicrobial.
Now, I wouldn't recommend this for socks or any type of daily wear. But all of my wool is for out in the bush.
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RMAR
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by RMAR »

I buy my wool thinking "this will be nice for the woods". When I get the wool home I say "this is way too nice to mess up in the woods". I do have some items that will serve woods duty, but the nicer jackets and blankets will be used otherwise.

Jesse like I stated earlier, some people beleive wool is self cleaning. Just look at sheep. When do they wash?
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Re: Washing Wool?

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Depends on which end of that sheep your looking at.
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kaywoodie
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by kaywoodie »

Greetings Gents,

I own LOTS of wool. And I used dry cleaner a bunch. From my days doing WWII reenacting had lots of wool uniforms. Several nations. If you find and stick with a reputable dry cleaner you shouldn't have any issues. And I doubt you will take your wool to a cleaner as much as I did so I don't think I'd worry about cancer. If for any other reason just take em to a cleaners once to a good cleaning and do your woolite thing later. Won't hurt. Like Jesse mentioned you can really get a lot of wearing sessions out of wool before you need to do a massive clean up.
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by kaywoodie »

I will also add my greatest "coup" was finding a 4 pt. White , Multi-stripe Whitney blanket laying on the paved shoulder of US 290 at walnut creek bridge. No doubt it blew outta the back of a truck on the way to the dump at Giles road. It did not stink and wasn't all that dirty. But a trip to the dry cleaners made it like new!!!! I think young son has it now.
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Wildcat
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Re: Washing Wool?

Post by Wildcat »

I typically buy wool at the thrift stores one size too big. i wash it on cold in the gentle cycle, only if its pretty dirty. then lay it out on the bed or back of couch to dry. if it does shrink then it fits about right and shouldn't shrink anymore.


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