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Topic: washing merino wool-HELP!  (Read 496 times)
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« on: March 01, 2007 12:05:48 PM »

i recently knit my first pair of socks!  i used knitpicks memories, which is 100% merino wool.  i have been wearing them often, so now they are a bit dirty.  problem is, i have no idea how to wash them!  i understand i can "handwash," but i need more specifics than that.  ((do i use soap?  what kind?  what water temperature?  etc.))


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Kat Tancock
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2007 02:33:56 PM »

Soak in a mixture of cold water and a gentle soap - something like woolite, or I use a (Canadian) brand called Nature Clean, or a wool soap you can get from a wool shop.

Let soak for a while, then gently agitate in the water and rinse. The best way to dry woolen items is to roll in a towel before laying flat to dry.

The key here is you're trying *not* to felt/shrink, which is why you have to be gentle and use only cold water.

Some wools can take a bit more agitation than others, and the older they are, the more they can take. I've never used Memories so I can't give you more details - maybe someone else can?

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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2007 08:13:22 PM »

It's the agitation that felts, as much or more so, than the warm/hot water, so you don't have to use cold. Most people say to use warm water, let them soak, then gently squeeze them out, rinse, squeeze.


« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2007 03:13:05 AM »

I'd recommend a mild shampoo over Woolite.  It's formula can be too harsh on wool (something about being reformulated years ago?).  A couple of my local knitting gurus recommend shampoo like Pantene Pro-V Smooth & Sleek.  (It's sheep "hair" after all.)


« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2007 11:01:45 AM »

Honestly, I wash my handknit wool socks in the machine, and they are NOT superwash. I just make sure to put them on gentle with cold water, and I don't put them in the dryer. They don't felt or change size/shape at all. I knit pretty dense, firm socks, so that might make a difference. Your mileage may vary, so I'm not recommending this, just saying it's what I do.
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