There’s nothing quite like dressing your little ones up in beautifully knitted baby clothes, but it’s important that you know how best to go about looking after the natural fibres of the wool to ensure that your garments stand the test of time.
Putting them in the washing machine and tumble dryer could cause them to shrink, so handwashing is always advisable when it comes to wool. Turn your garment inside out before you wash it and fill a bowl of cool water, along with some wool-specific detergent.
Submerge your item into the bowl and use your hands to agitate the water and get the air bubbles out of the garment. Leave to soak for half an hour or so – and don’t panic if you see the water change colour. This is totally normal!
Rinse the garment properly in cool running water until all the soapy water has been washed out of the material and your water runs clear. Never wring your knitted items out as this can damage the fibres, so just press the water out and then gently pull the garments back into their original shape. Place them on a clean towel so they dry out naturally.
You may be able to use a tumble dryer to dry your items if your appliance has the right kind of setting, but always check the instructions first and, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and leave them out to air dry.
To store your knitted garments and make sure they last for as long as possible, fold them up carefully and store them in a drawer. It’s best not to use hangers for items like cardigans, jumpers and so on, as they can crease and change their shape.
What’s great about wool is that it’s actually self-cleaning, so your garments shouldn’t require as much upkeep as other fabrics you dress your child in. Airing your items out overnight can help bring them back to life and be as good as new once again.
To get rid of any stains and marks, blot any excess liquid up using a clean, dry cloth and then soak a piece of linen in some wool detergent, white vinegar and cool water, and dab the stain working from the outside in. Make sure you do the reverse of the garment as well so you can prevent the stain from spreading.
Once you’ve done this, you can then soak it in some cool water with more wool detergent and rub the stain gently before rinsing to wash the soap away and leaving the item to dry as before.
Wool is a wonderful material for baby clothes and, depending on the type used, it won’t irritate their skin and with just a little bit of TLC, your wool items will continue to serve you well over the first few months of your baby’s life.