Wool is a wonderful fabric.
Wool’s natural properties mean it’s ideal for temperature regulation (warm in the winter, cool in the summer), breathability (it naturally wicks and repel moisture), and it also doesn’t absorb odour! It’s an incredibly versatile fibre, and can be utilized in any type of garment, so designing with it is a breeze. Wool plays a starring role in winter wardrobes, but is also the ideal transition fabric from winter into spring when one day you’re enjoying a balmy 9 degrees, and the next it’s –5 and snowing again (hello, Toronto!).
Avalyn skirt – Made with a medium weight knit, this pencil skirt is an easy transition piece from winter months with thick stockings and booties, to spring with flats and a d’orsay pump or flats.
Rae Sweater – An off-the-shoulder sweater is still cozy, but gives you a bit more breathing room than a turtleneck!
Rebecca Dress – A knit dress is easy, slinky and stylish. Wear to work with a blazer on top, or step out this spring with bare legs and a chunky statement necklace.
The quality of a wool is based on a number of things, but both the weight and length of the fibres are leading indicators. Finer quality fibres are typically longer, and therefore will have lighter pilling.
Wool doesn’t require frequent cleaning, as the surface of the fibre repels dirt. However, to get the longest life out of your wool products, we recommend these tips:
- NEVER put wool in the washing machine. It will come out doll size! Think of the wool fibre (the tiny hairs) as microscopic velcro. Washing it agitates the fibre and they bind together, a process that is called felting. Felting is beautiful when intentional, but rather heartbreaking when it happens to your favourite sweater.
- Wash your woolen items by hand with delicate detergent, such as Woolite, Soak, or Forever New. Allow it to soak, and only if necessary, use VERY gentle agitation. Release water from your item out gently by squeezing the article with your hands (never wringing, as this can stretch the fibres out), and then rolling it in a clean dry towel to press all moisture out. Lay flat to dry.
- If cleaning your woolens by hand sounds too intimidating or you’re just too busy, rely on your dry cleaner.
- Pills are a pain! You will see pilling in all wool garments as they experience abrasion on the body, even your highest quality pieces. The best way to manage pills is with a fabric shaver. They’re inexpensive and can be found at major drug stores, and keep your favourite sweaters looking new! Plucking pills is a risky endeavour, as sometimes you can catch a yarn, and create a pull in the fabric!
- And speaking of pulls – if you get one, its not the end of the garment! Gently tug the garment with each hand an inch or two from the pull in every direction, until it has been re-absorbed as much as possible. Then, with a pin, bring the yarn through to the other side. If there is enough length to tie it, tie a small knot. If the length of the pull isn’t long enough for a knot, I will often tie a piece of thread around the loop, just so it doesn’t come undone.
- For small holes in your wool goods, visit a trusted dry cleaner. It may not be the end of your sweater! You’ll be amazed by what a quality seamstress can do.
- Avoiding moths is obvious tip, but you don’t have to rely on foul smelling mothballs to battle them. Moths hate the smell of cedar, so purchase cedar blocks or balls and store your wool items with them. A cedar chest is amazing for storage during the summer months.
These tips will help you extend the life of your favourite sweaters. Stop by the store for easy transition pieces as Toronto begins to thaw!