Wool is a versatile fabric that can, if farmed correctly, on farms with high welfare standards (that don't use the practice of mulesing), be highly sustainable.
Try not to be put off by the wash care labels that come with your clothing, especially when it comes to winter jumpers. Here's a handy guide on how to wash wool, cashmere or alpaca garments to keep them looking beautiful!
Never use a washing machine
Wool, cashmere and alpaca are all great materials for jumpers due to their moisture wicking and heat insulating properties. They also only need washing once or twice a season as they are not generally worn against the skin. You should never put wool in a washing machine, even on a wool cycle, because the spin cycle causes wool fibres to wind further, and combined with heat this sets them into a felt-like material. (We've all done this at some point I'm sure!)
Hand wash your wool
Washing your jumpers by hand is easier than it sounds. Alll you need is a mild hand washing product, (wool wash if possible). Some detergents don't even require you to rinse, so all you need is a sink (or bucket), a towel and a drying rack that will allow you to dry your jumper flat.
- Fill your bucket or sink with lukewarm water and add a small dash of detergent. Submerge the jumper and leave it to soak for 20-25 minutes.
- Drain and squeeze until the jumper is wet but not dripping. Don't wring it dry, as this can harm the knit.
- Next lay a towel down and place the jumper flat onto it, folding the sides of the towel in, and then roll the towel to squeeze the moisture out. Leave the jumper wrapped in the towel for 5 minutes and then unfurl.
- Lay your jumper (still on the towel) flat on your drying rack and leave to dry, turning the jumper over once it’s dry on one side.
- And voila! One clean woollen jumper that will last a lifetime!
Mitigate the moth risk
It's good practice at the end of each season to wash your jumpers and store them in a sealed bag to ensure the pesky moths can't get to them over the summer months.