Merino wool is undoubtedly one of the best fabrics for outdoor use. Its warmth-to-weight ratio is unmatched. Merino’s ability to stay relatively odorless even when you sweat is also invaluable when you are days away from a washing machine. It wicks moisture more effectively than synthetics to boot. The one challenge in owning Merino wool clothing is the special care necessary to maximize its lifespan. If washed and treated properly, it can last many years. If not, you might find yourself questioning the high cost. Below are some general guidelines to follow, now that you are the proud owner of a Merino wool garment from Showers Pass.
Do’s and Don’ts:
DO read the label for the specifics on your garment. Some blends of Merino and synthetic fibers can handle a little more abuse than 100% Merino wool pieces, so it is important to note that not all Merino garments can or should be washed in the same manner.
DO wash the garment after a couple uses even if it does not stink or appear dirty. Keeping the fabric clean will decrease the chance of it pilling in the future.
DO turn clothes inside out when washing to prolong their lifespan.
DO wash below 85°F/30°C to avoid the garment shrinking or becoming misshapen.
DO lay flat to air dry and avoid direct heat.Merino garments can be heavy when wet, so drying on a line or hanger can stretch the fabric and cause it to lose its shape.
DON’T use fabric softeners. The chemicals in them can deteriorate wool fibers at an accelerated rate.
DON’T wring your clothes dry, as this can leave them misshapen.
DON’T let Merino garments sit in the washing machine for too long after the cycle is done. This can also leave them misshapen.
“Ok, so how do I wash this thing?”
Read the label! If the label suggests machine washing then go for it! Follow the care instructions and when in doubt, refer to the aforementioned suggestions.
If the label recommends hand washing, here are some best practices:
Do hand wash in a basin with warm water and soap. But to avoid shrinkage, do NOT allow to soak for too long.
Do use a soft cloth to dab (not rub!) soap on any stained areas. If the stain is stubborn, use a small amount of chlorine-free bleach. Be careful not to stretch the wool.
Do dry on a flat surface, preferably on a towel. Merino garments can be heavy when wet, so drying on a line or hanger can stretch the fabric and cause it to lose its shape.
Do reshape while still damp.
Don’t wring out the garment.
“OH NO, I MESSED UP! What can I do?”
If you don’t follow the instructions above, you might end up with a shrunken garment.
The shrinking that occurs with Merino wool is not technically shrinking at all. What happens is the fibers migrate closer together, causing the garment to look and fit smaller.
If you’ve already washed your woolen garment and it seems shrunken, don’t panic quite yet. There is a way to stretch it back out.
Follow these steps:
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us at 1-800-557-5780.