4 Tips: Caring for Wool Fabric

shutterstock 104360954 300x199 4 Tips: Caring for Wool FabricWinter weather is here to stay. At the Sew News offices today we’ve had the first major snow of the season. As the colder temperatures settle in, we’re preparing for winter with wool sewing projects. In the latest issue, Sew News Dec ’13/Jan ’14, Charise Randell created a fabulous boiled wool jacket. It comes with a free multi-sized pattern! If you’re planning to make this jacket, or if you just want to keep your current wool pieces looking brand new, use these 4 tips to care for your wool fabric.

Dust It Off: Most dirt can just be brushed off wool. Use a soft brush to dust off debris. This is always a good first step to use before trying to clean wool. Trying brushing off the dirt before proceeding to wash the item, it might save you a great deal of hassle.

Follow Instructions: Always read and follow the care instructions provided on the tag of the garment or bolt of fabric. If it reads “Dry Clean Only” then be sure to take it to a professional. If it can be ironed, only use an iron on the wool setting. Wool felts easily when exposed to heat and water. By avoiding these factors, you will be sure to keep your wool fabric in the size and shape you prefer.

Set it Aside: Wool garments regain their shape easily. Once you’ve worn something hang it up and leave it be for a day or more. The wrinkles will fall out and the garment will return to its natural shape. Always hang wool garments on shaped hangers, avoiding wire hangers as they can easily create holes.

The Moth Factor: More often than not, moths are attracted to wool that is dirty due to the oils and food residue left on the garment. Before putting fabric away for the summer, be sure the garment is clean. Next, place the garment in an airtight container such as a sealed plastic bag and toss in a few mothballs. Ideally, the moth balls will go into the container with the garment not on the garment. Should you discover moth damage, take it to a dry cleaner. The chemical used to clean clothes will destroy moth eggs left in the fabric. Plus, it will ease away any left over smell from the mothballs.

There you have it! Now get to sewing with wool to create garments that will last for years. Here are a few projects to get you started:

1401 jacket 200 4 Tips: Caring for Wool FabricDownload the free multi-sized pattern for the Casual Chic article in the latest Sew News.

Check out these easy felt projects and learn to felt a wool sweater.

Use this mitten pattern and instructions to make a pair of cozy hand coverings.

Use these resources to learn more:

Here’s a few tips from The Butler’s Closet on how to use a garment brush.

Check out Charise Randell’s blog to see what else her expert hands are up to these days!

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