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Hand washing merino wool sweaters

Frankie

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Hi,

I have a medium gray merino wool sweater. But I plan on buying a black v-neck merino wool sweater and a charcoal gray crew neck merino wool.

Should I use Zero by Woolite dark wash on all of them including medium gray?

There's a black bottle and a navy bottle and both say "dark wash", is there a difference between the two?

Thank you
Frankie
 

emptym

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Once a year I hand wash sweaters using normal shampoo and conditioner. It works pretty well.
 

yfyf

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Originally Posted by emptym
Once a year I hand wash sweaters using normal shampoo and conditioner. It works pretty well.

Really? Sounds neat... No ill effects? Is the conditioner necessary? Does the sweater develop a resistance to the conditioner over time?
 

MrGimpy

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Years ago, I worked for a top knitwear manufacturer/retailer and have a bit of experience with this.

According to the head scientist at the company's lab, the detergent you use should be non-biological (ie. no enzymes), and obviously not contain any bleach. The Woolmark symbol is a good sign. You should also cut the recommended amount of soap in half, unless there's serious soiling.

Assuming you have good quality merino knitwear, washing it on the gentle cycle in cold water is good for it. All knitwear will pill eventually, but washing your sweaters regularly and inside out will help to untangle the fibres, slowing the pilling process dramatically.

Lay flat or hang dry, and Robert's your father's brother.
 

FIHTies

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Originally Posted by Frankie
Hi, I have a medium gray merino wool sweater. But I plan on buying a black v-neck merino wool sweater and a charcoal gray crew neck merino wool. Should I use Zero by Woolite dark wash on all of them including medium gray? There's a black bottle and a navy bottle and both say "dark wash", is there a difference between the two? Thank you Frankie
I wash the wool knits with shampoo. Pert plus in fact. Wool is hair after all.
 

citoyen

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i put them in the washing machine using wool washing powder and on wool programme. i do this also with cashemere sweaters. pilling i cut off with a razor. no need to handwash these. clothing is clothing after all. if it does not resist environmental erosives it is not worth it.
 

SirSuturesALot

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Originally Posted by MrGimpy
Years ago, I worked for a top knitwear manufacturer/retailer and have a bit of experience with this.

According to the head scientist at the company's lab, the detergent you use should be non-biological (ie. no enzymes), and obviously not contain any bleach. The Woolmark symbol is a good sign. You should also cut the recommended amount of soap in half, unless there's serious soiling.

Assuming you have good quality merino knitwear, washing it on the gentle cycle in cold water is good for it. All knitwear will pill eventually, but washing your sweaters regularly and inside out will help to untangle the fibres, slowing the pilling process dramatically.

Lay flat or hang dry, and Robert's your father's brother.


Do you recall what the head scientist thought of Woolite?
 

MrGimpy

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Originally Posted by SirSuturesALot
Do you recall what the head scientist thought of Woolite?

He was fine with Woolite and not picky about detergent brand at all, although he favoured liquids over powder. His main concern was that it not contain bleach or enzymes. He also suggested that detergent manufacturers based their recommended quantity on the amount needed to wash your clothes after a long day down the mines, and that this was unduly hard on clothing under normal circumstances.

As an aside, it was fascinating to see how seriously the R&D process was taken by a proper knitwear manufacturer.

When the design department comes up with a new colour, for example, the lab is involved from the beginning. They'll work with various combinations of dyes to come up with one that resembles the desired colour, and test the effects of the new dye on the fibre by dyeing the raw wool, spinning the yarn, knitting a test garment, then simulating wearing and laundering. This whole process is repeated over and over until the appropriate standards for texture, colour fastness, and durability are met.
 

gius

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MrGimpy, no enzymes and non-biological...
Do you mean manmade soaps? No "organic" soaps made of oil, etc.?

I used to study textiles and we used a soap called "orvus paste". It is called a neutral soap, with a balanced PH. It's great because a dab of it on the finger tip is enough to fill a sink with bubbles

Did you work for this knitwear company in Canada?
 

gamblor

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I use this, it has the most wonderful Cedar scent.

 

NaTionS

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Originally Posted by MrGimpy
Assuming you have good quality merino knitwear, washing it on the gentle cycle in cold water is good for it. All knitwear will pill eventually, but washing your sweaters regularly and inside out will help to untangle the fibres, slowing the pilling process dramatically.

How often is "regularly?" I usually only wash my sweaters once or twice a year. Once after a few wears and once before I put them in storage when it gets warm.
 

emptym

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Originally Posted by yfyf
Really? Sounds neat... No ill effects? Is the conditioner necessary? Does the sweater develop a resistance to the conditioner over time?

None that I've discovered! Conditioner seems to make it softer. For example, I just washed a 50 yr old wool shirt of my dad. It was scratchy, so he didn't wear it anymore. I'd read somewhere recently that white vinegar helps too, so I put some in the last rinse. Made it much softer than it was.
 

fcuknu

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I always thought you had to dryclean merino...
 

FIHTies

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Originally Posted by fcuknu
I always thought you had to dryclean merino...


Nah...Pert plus on mine.

I then wring them out (i know I will get in trouble from the board for this) and avoid the long process of drying them on a towel etc. and then steam the wrinkles out.

They look great.
 

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