Caring for wool garments with Tangent GC
Wool is often associated with the winter months, and for good reason. Wool fibres have a naturally rippled structure which keeps in body heat. However, this natural, renewable fibre insulates and regulates body temperature in all conditions, ideal for keeping us warm in the winter but also cool in the summer.
Wear me, love me, mend me, pass me on. This is our mantra and it’s all about supporting a longer life for your clothes, including taking good care of our knitwear garments to prolong their life.
How do we care for our favourite wool pieces? We asked garment care specialists, Tangent GC (known as TGC041) for some advice. Instead of emanating from the chemical industry or flung off conveyor belts, Tangent GC’s small-batch products will naturally and effectively give your garments a long life. We are really excited to have Tangent GC on board as part of our Thought Living collection.
CARING FOR WOOL WITH TANGENT GC
Woollen garments should always be treated in the same way regardless the type of wool they are made of. So we can sum up our guide in the following five crucial points which apply just as much to regular sheep’s wool as the finest vicuña:
* Wash wool by hand in tepid water, treat the fabric gently
* Use the right amount of TGC041 delicate detergent
* Rinse your wool in tepid water
* Lay flat on a towel to dry
* Do not hang up woollen garments
How often should we wash wool?
* Washing your garments wears them out, so you shouldn’t wash them too often. A rule of thumb for woollen sweaters is that you can wear them up to five times between each wash.
* Keep your garments fresh by airing them after you have worn them. Be sure to avoid direct sunlight and do not hang them up for too long: woollen garments, even when dry, stretch and lose their shape when hung up.
Washing wool by hand
* Wool is adversely affected by mechanical motion. We therefore recommend that you wash your woollens by hand. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before washing.
* Wash your garments gently in tepid water, 30°C. First, pour in the right amount of TGC041 delicate detergent, and then add the garments.
* Treat the garments gently by stirring and turning lightly. Do not squeeze, do not twist, and do not rub.
* Rinse twice in tepid water, 30°C. Never use cold water to rinse. Alternating between warm and cold water increases the risk of both felting and shrinkage.
* If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you can benefit from having our TGC042 fabric softener in the first rinse. This eliminates detergent residue, dirt and lime deposits. Be sure not to use conventional softeners; they will ruin your woollens. Use the right amount of detergent. Too much detergent will make rinsing difficult; too little will impair the washing result.
Machine washing wool
* When it comes to woollens, the washing machine must be regarded as a second best alternative to hand washing. Of course, the machine does save time and work. Just make sure it has a suitable programme (hand wash, wool).
* Use a mesh washing bag; it reduces the risk of felting.
* Set the appropriate programme (hand wash, wool) and use the right amount of TGC041 delicate detergent.
* Never spin woollen garments. If you are unsure about your machine, test it first with a woollen garment that is not so important to you.
* Never tumble dry wool.
* Gently squeeze most of the water out of the rinsed garment. Be sure not to twist it.
* Place the garment onto a towel laid flat, position the sleeves along the sides, then adjust the front and back so that the garment regains its original shape and size.
* Roll the towel from the top down, not from side to side. Even though it may be tempting to squeeze the towel, don’t! Let the dry towel do the work and absorb any remaining water.
* Finally, when the garment is nearly dry, unroll it and place it on a new dry towel. Adjust the garment again and leave it to dry completely.
* We do not recommend that you iron wool. Wrinkles and creases disappear by themselves when the garment is worn.
* Stubborn wrinkles can be removed with steam. Hang the garment in your bathroom and turn the hot water full on; the steam will get rid of the creases.
* If you must iron, be sure to use the correct setting. Iron your garment by pressing the iron lightly on the reverse side. Do not move the iron back and forth.
* Place a piece of cotton cloth between the iron and the wool to prevent any shiny spots from appearing.
Stains on wool
* Wool absorbs liquids slowly; in any case, try to remove stains as quickly as possible.
* Wash the garment as soon as possible if the stain cannot be completely wiped off.
* Use our TGC043 stain remover. It is specially designed for delicate fabrics and is good at removing stains from wool. Do not use conventional stain removers as they will ruin your woollens.
* Do not hang your woollen garments on clothes hangers – this applies to both wet and dry garments. They will stretch and lose their shape.
* Do not leave woollens lying in direct sunlight as direct sunlight can make the colours fade.
* Keep your woollens in a drawer or wardrobe. You can fold them as you do other garments.
* If you are worried about moths or carpet beetles, we recommend that you treat your storage space with natural repellents such as lavender oil, patchouli oil and cedar wood.
* Do not store your woollen garments in tightly sealed plastic containers. Any residual moisture can ruin the wool. Use natural agents against pests. They work well, give off a pleasant fragrance and are neither toxic nor carcinogenic.
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Read more about the natural yarns and fibres we use in our clothing and our mantra, Wear me, love me, mend me, pass me on.