Forget about your grandmother’s wool, these days merino wool is fine, soft, and much easier to care for. Long gone are the days of machine-felted woolen jerseys that have been relegated to the doll dress up bin. These days wool is often machine washable and easy to care for, so you don’t have spend excess money on dry cleaning or time on hand washing.
That said… despite being strong, durable, and versatile, merino gear still needs to be treated with care and respect to keep it looking its best.
Here are some easy to follow maintenance rules to keep your Antipodes Merino wool gear in the optimum condition:
Machine was on a gentle cycle in luke warm or cold water (less than 30C) with a gentle detergent (preferably wool-safe). It’s ok to use a normal detergent, however over time these detergents can weaken the wool fibres making your merino gear less stretchy. Do not use bleach or fabric softener under any circumstances as they also weaken the wool impacting its longevity.
Wool is a protein-based fibre, and as a result, it is naturally odour-repelling and stain resistant. Unlike other fibres, if you ‘air’ your merino between uses you can go for days without washing it. To ‘air’ an item, hang it up in an area with good airflow, and that’s it. Hanging it up in the bathroom is even better as the moisture in the air helps to expel dirt and odours.
Ideal drying for maintaining the product’s shape is to spread out the item on a flat surface out of direct sunlight. However, in those cases when you need to dry your merino gear in a hurry, you can also tumble dry it on low.
Stains on wool are inevitable, especially with babies and repeated use. Often regular machine washing or airing suffices, however for stubborn stains additional treatment is needed. Firstly, treat a stain as soon as possible with a suitable detergent and / or stain remover which is safe for wool (as normal stain removers may weaken the wool fibres).
As an initial step to remove stains you can wet the fabric with luke warm water and apply a little mild wool wash to spot clean the affected area. Do not rub harshly as it may cause pilling, weakening of the fibres, and discolouration of the fabric. For grease stains, sprinkle some baking soda or powder on the stain, wait 10-15 min, shake out excess powder and repeat if necessary. A small amount of dishwashing liquid can also work on grease stains. For blood/ink/nappy stains treat the stain with white vinegar or milk, leave for a few minutes, wash out, and repeat.
Some other natural stain removers that work for wool include the Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, Aleva Naturals Stain & Laundry Bar, and Buncha Farmers Stain Stick.
Pilling is a natural process for most natural fibres, including merino. Pilling happens because the shorter wool fibres work their way to the surface of the fabric. It is not a reflection of the quality of the material. The best way to avoid pilling is to wash your merino gear within the first 3 wears. However, if you see any pilling, we suggest you wash the item with a coarser fabric such as denim jeans as it helps to gently remove the pilling.
We hope that little snapshot of tips for caring for your merino wool helps you get the most out of your merino gear. If you take a few extra steps to really take care of it, it should last for multiple children. We promise!
And as always, let us know if you ever have any questions about your merino, and we will do our best to help you out!