Contrary to popular belief, garments made from hand-dyed yarns don’t require any special treatment. They can can almost always be laundered the same way as hand-knitted garments from commercial yarns and commercial wool garments.
Most of our wool yarns labelled “superwash” are machine washable on a wool programme at 40°C. In fact, we recommend machine washing over hand washing (provided that your machine has a wool setting) because modern machines are more water and energy efficient than hand-washing. Do not be tempted to use anything other than a dedicated wool programme, which is designed to keep garments fully submerged during agitation in order to prevent damage.
- Silk blends – these can be machine washed on a wool programme at a temperature of 30°C with a spin speed of max 800RPM
- Neon colours – these require a cold wash away from other colours (see below for information about caring for neons)
If you are hand washing, take care to use tepid water. It should feel cooler than you would use if you were running a bath. Make sure garments are completely submerged while agitating. An 800RPM spin cycle is useful to remove the excess water from hand-washed garments before drying.
Detergent & fabric conditioner
It is important to use a special detergent for wool, silk and other protein fibres such as Ecover Delicate Laundry Liquid.
General purpose biological detergents should not be used as they contain enzymes designed to digest protein-based food stains and over time, these can damage protein fibres. We also advise against using general purpose non-biological detergents as these contain normally contain bleaching agents to replace the enzymes, which over time can fade colours. [That said, we have been using Ecover Non-Bio Laundry Liquid on our woollens for a number of years with no discernable fading.]
Use fabric conditioner as you like for your regular wash. Manufacturers claim that fabric conditioner can help wool maintain its natural elasticity, reducing wear and pilling (bobbling). We have no idea if that’s true but it certainly adds an extra softness, especially to garments made from our Bluefaced Leicester wool.
Care of neon colours
Neon dyes are less colour-fast than regular colours. To keep them looking their brightest and best, we recommend that you hand-wash in cool or cold water, even if the yarn itself is machine washable.
Never wring out a woollen garment, and never dry on a clothes hanger as this is likely to result in the garment becoming permanently misshapen.
We recommend natural air drying because it is the most gentle and energy-efficient way to dry your clothes. Our yarns have not been tested in a tumble dryer – tumble at your own risk!