Care of Wool Sweaters

 

Return to About Irish Arans

Sweater Care and Cleaning

The better you care for your sweater, the longer it will last. We recommend that you avoid excessively cleaning your sweater, since that might lead to misshapenness and the breaking down of some materials. If given proper care, your wool sweater can last many years.

Follow the care instructions found on the tag attached to your sweater.

Certain wools can be placed in the machine with a mild detergent on the gentlest cycle. After washing, reshape your sweater and lay it flat to dry. In the case of staining, rinse the stain immediately with cold water (since warm or hot water might set the stain). Ask your dry cleaner to treat the stain with special care.

Once dry, fold your sweater and store it flat. Avoid hanging your sweater on a hanger as this may stretch the garment.

Long-Term Storage

So that the natural fibers can breathe, store your garment in a cardboard box, muslin or canvas bag, or acid-free tissue paper. This will help extend its life. We recommend that you clean your sweaters before storing them, since this will prevent moths from being attracted to them.

Since mothballs release toxic chemicals and can smell unpleasant, we recommend using the new anti-moth sprays. Cloves, lavender, rosemary, thyme, dried orange peel, and cedar chips also repel moths. Tie any of these items in a cloth sachet or handkerchief and place it near, although not directly on, the garment.

Caring Instructions

Introduction
Wool is a marvel of nature. It has properties which still cannot be beaten by man-made products. If it is cared for in the correct way, your IrishAran can last a lifetime. However, this wonderful natural and renewable fibre can be ruined unnecessarily by incorrect aftercare.

At IrishArans, we realise busy modern lives makes hand washing an inconvenience you can do without. So, unlike so many other brands, all our new products are given the most modern treatments to ensure they can be washed conveniently in your machine. Whilst our care instructions may seem like a lengthy guide, wool is no more complex to care for than synthetic fibres.


There are, however, some golden rules:

Detergents
Check your washing detergent or powder is wool friendly by reading the small print.

Modern biological detergents, or ones containing bleaching agents, can be catastrophic to any animal-based fabric.

These detergents, as well as the non-biological detergents which contain bleach, will cause the garment to become corroded and thinned. They should not be used to wash your IrishArans' fine British knitwear. Your new wool sweater or jersey could loose its shape, and the finer wools will go into holes very quickly.

There are some excellent detergents which will condition and protect your new wool jersey. Look out for the wool mark symbol on the packaging.


Spin Speeds
Most woollen jerseys are best washed and spun in your washing machine at around 600 revs per minute. Higher spin speeds could cause a heavily water laden jersey to grow. You will find wool releases moisture much more easily than cotton, and does not need such a fast spin.

Check your machine before using the wool programme. When selecting the wool programme, some machines automatically switch to the correct spin speed setting for wool, whilst others will require the spin speed to be set independently from the wool programme.


Temperatures
Check your machine is set to no more than 40 degrees when washing wool sweaters or jerseys, to help prevent shrinking. Again, your machine should pre-set the wool setting temperature. However some machines have a separate temperature setting.

If a disaster occurs, and you pull a shrunken jersey out of the washing machine which has been run on the correct setting, we advise you to have the thermostat checked by a competent engineer. This may indicate a failure in the your machine's temperature control. IrishArans' garments are not individually treated to enable them to be washed in the machine. It is the yarn which receives the Hercoset manufacturing process, before the garments are knitted. Therefore, it is not possible for one garment to shrink, because all IrishArans' fine British knitwear would be affected too.


Drying
To keep your woollen sweaters and jerseys in shape, and ensure no shrinkage occurs, high temperatures should not be used when drying.

Once the garment has been gently spun, pull it into shape and allow it to dry whilst supported, allowing a natural airflow.

A banister rail is excellent for this process and you will be amazed at how quickly wool dries!

Cotton Knits

Unlike woollen sweaters and jerseys, IrishArans' jerseys and cardigans in the Cotton Knits collection, can safety be dried in the tumble dryer.


Pilling
With the manufacturing processes we have in place at IrishArans, we have ensured our yarns, and knitting tensions minimise pilling (or bobbling). However, all wool will pill to a certain degree. This is more common in softer yarns and can occur in contact areas e.g. where your arm rubs against your body during wear. When pills appear, the garment can soon look a little untidy, but this is only a temporary condition.

The pilling balls can be removed easily by plucking or carefully shaving the fabric. Once the jersey has finished releasing these shorter fibres, the longer, higher twisted fibres will remain, and the pilling will cease. A similar process occurs during the first few weeks of walking on a new wool carpet. Washing your jumper in a washing machine speeds up the process of releasing the shorter fibres and the bobbles.

Moth
The moth caterpillar can inhabit any home, and is not a sign of poor domestic hygiene! The egg-laying adult moth, attracted by a light source, can enter homes via an open window. Once the eggs are laid and larvae newly hatched, they feed on the wool fibres. Jerseys and sweaters, unworn during summer, subsequently develop holes making them un-wearable.

Mothballs are available as a pungent deterrent, and can now be bought in an odourless format. One form of defence is to keep wool sweaters and jerseys in polythene bags when they are not in use. Plastic is an item not on the moths' menu. Another good preventative is lavender, which has a more pleasant perfume and loads of other benefits too.

Loose Pulls
Due to the fact that all knitwear items are made of individually woven strands of wool, they can sometimes be damaged if one of those strands is caught and pulled out of the garment. The IrishAran manufacturing process guards against this by using tightly knitted lambs wool on all of the IrishAran jerseys.

Wool Sweater Care and Cleaning

Continue