|A glimpse into my wool stash|
Earlier this year I posted about washing silk fabric and received such a wonderful response from everyone that I thought I would share about another fabric (fiber) that I love working with. Wool. This is a wonderful fiber and for so many reasons. Some of my favorites include the fact that it instantly turns an ensemble from a casual look to a classy and sophisticated look. (Made a lovely cotton shift dress lately? Try making it up in a light weight wool suiting and you've got a perfect dress for the office or an evening out). Secondly, I love the warmth that wool provides. Despite the unusually warm weather we are currently experiencing this winter, a wool dress or skirt is still the perfect choice when getting dressed on a winter morning.
We've all heard that wool can shrink quite a bit when washed, and that it is best to always dry clean it. This can scare many of us away from using wool for our sewing projects. Boy do I have a secret for you . . . okay, it's not really a secret just something I know that you might not. You can pre wash your wool fabric at home instead of bringing it to the dry cleaners!
I have been using wool since I first started sewing, and I have used this method of pre washing every time. Even though I consider this a tried-and-true method, I still do a test swatch EVERY SINGLE TIME, and I recommend you do the same :)
|A snapshot of my test square and a pattern I'm considering using with it|
The first step is to do a zig-zag stitch over the raw edges of your fabric to prevent any unnecessary unraveling.
Next, run some hot water over two towels, I use two towels for 3-4 yards of wool fabric. (Think your thick bath towels). I like to really ring them out so they are not dripping as I transfer them to my dryer. If you see water droplets while transporting the towels, just ring them out a bit more.
Place the wet towels in your dryer with your wool fabric. Set the dryer on high and tumble dry for 30 - 40 minutes.
|I like to run my test square with a bit of clean laundry, since they need to be dried anyway. |
(Don't look too closely for any unmentionables, I tried to hide them with t-shirts anyhow).
|Here is my lovely wool with a yellow and purple bath towel just before turning on the dryer.|
|I like to let my fabric cool while laying across my bed (we don't have that much floor space).|
How easy was that? Believe me, you saved a lot of money over taking your fabric to the dry cleaners! Again, please do a swatch test before you wash your entire yardage of wool.
A fantastic thing about wool is that it is antimicrobial. Which according to Wikipedia, means that it kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi or protozoans. So your wool garments do not need to be washed as often as your other clothing. In fact, wool is less likely to retain odors and can be freshened up just by airing out. For a slew of other great and fascinating facts about wool, check out this website.
What do you think? Are you less afraid to work with wool now? Do you have any other tips to share on working with wool?
Live in this moment and love life!