To keep your cashmere or merino wool sweater nice and soft you will first need a bit of patience.
It is sometimes difficult to wash them whilst not damaging the environment, but here are ten simple tips to help you find how to wash wool sweaters ecologically:
1. Soaps: use pure Marseille soap (just to rub it gently on the fibers of wool with warm water), or mild soap free of allergens to treat isolated patches.
2. Liquid detergents: you can buy biodegradable liquid detergents that are phosphate-free, some of which also contain lanolin to soften fabrics and eliminate static electricity. You can also buy soap nuts for laundry that come from the Sapindus Mukorossi plant, for many years they have been used in Nepal and India. The shells of nuts are sold in reusable bags that can be used up to three times (even in the washing machine). Walnuts release saponin in water and are hypoallergenic.
3. Soft and absorbent towels: you should not wring wool items as they are delicate and this would damage the fibers, it is preferable to dab the excess water with a towel, preferably neutral in color and with a good absorbency. Just lay the sweater on the towel, which must be rolled by pressing gently to remove water.
4. Drying: items should be laid on a horizontal plane using a drying rack to ensure full ventilation and quicker drying.
5. Steam: steam can remove wrinkles and odors from a sweater. Hang the clothes in the shower or over the bath and leave a bowl very hot water or heat a pot of boiling water and put it under the clothesline.
7. Measure: not to end up with a shirt two sizes too big it is a good idea to take the measurements before washing. In this way, just lay the garment after washing, making sure you stretch it to the correct size so it is its original size when dry.
8. Kit to make the felt with the needle: thanks to a kit, available in hobby shops and do it yourself shops, you can fill small holes or patch tears sweaters by sewing, tucking and pulling the needle through and so intersecting wool fibers. To make felt with needle you need: a special needle hooked, skeins of carded wool, a base on which to rest the work as sponge, polystyrene or a large brush.
9. Applications: As an alternative to the felt you can mend a tear in your clothes by covering it with a colored patch. You can find patches that can be sewed on and those that adhere to the clothes with the heat of an iron. If you can crochet a good idea is to create the colorful flowers that cheer your favorite sweater.
10. Lavender and Cedar: you can protect your clothes from moths avoiding the use of chemicals by simply using some small tricks like scented sachets of lavender and cedar wood cubes arranged in closets and drawers.
[Images via: Shutterstock]
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