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петък, 15 февруари 2013 г.



As an artist in the field of textile art, creating works, clothes and accessories using felt technique and teaching my skills to many people, I often have to explain in detail how to care for, clean and maintain the natural, beautiful and expensive materials such as wool, silk, linen, cotton. This motivated me to write finally detailed instructions that I’m posting in my blog, thus can be used by anyone who is interested.

This is the first topic to describe.

I know, you do not like to read long descriptions, but sometimes it is necessaryJ!

And you'll find, and that it is worth!

Cleaning and washing wool textiles

Some years ago this knowledge is naturally passed from mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter, and some of the clothes and accessories remained as valuable relics, carried on from generation to generation. In recent decades, in the world powered by petroleum products and substitutes, it was almost forgotten.

Currently, more and more people choose natural materials that do not cause allergies, static electricity, do not brew and smell. And are just beautiful, comfortable and even easier to maintain, even the ingrained exact opposite idea.

The wool and its unique properties

If you have clothes or accessories made of pure wool, it is very easy to maintain, because there is no need of frequent washing or cleaning. Natural wool, when was not a subjected of aggressive processing in the textile factories, and retained its structure and composition, has a self-cleaning ability.

Articles of 100% pure wool, without additives, even after many days wearing, is very difficult to accept bodily odors, and if it happens it is only partially. That is why they are preferred by professional mountaineers, climbers and athletes associated with longer stay in extreme conditions.

For those who have a genuine wool socks in cold weather or in mountains, probably no secret to their comfort and warmth. No matter how wet are your feet will not be cold.
But socks, though wet, have no smell! And there is no need of their daily shift.
If it still took some odors, you can leave wool products to ventilate fresh air and it will have a fresh scent after a few hours.
In quest for cleanliness and perfect hygiene, we often wash our clothes or cleaned them much more frequently and longer than necessary. But for wool products, including Felt, especially for coats of special and expensive fabrics, this is not only an excess, but can quickly destroy them!

Washing woolen products
Even with very rare exceptions, felt and knitted or crocheted fabrics of wool ARE WASHABLE ONLY BY HAND! Do not make experiments with laundry in the washing machine! The results are usually very disappointing. Even if you have a label on your factory produced clothing containing wool, indicating that it can be washed in the washing machine, it is preferable to wash it by hand.

When needed, especially in purely physical pollution can carefully wash in cold or lukewarm water up to 30 degrees Celsius only with water.

You may do this with a mild detergent suitable for washing of wool and silk. Currently on the market there is huge variety of these, especially liquid detergents. When you lack such, you can use hair shampoo for this purpose.

Dissolve the required amount of washing detergent into the appropriate amount of lukewarm (30 degrees Celsius) water as directed on the label of bottle. This is usually 1 cap on 4-5 liters of water (quantity fits in one washbowl or a basin).
Soak garment briefly in the soap solution.
Wash by gently squeezing the fabric with your hands.
Do not wring! Do not rub!

Small accessories such as brooches, necklaces and even small scarves can even wash under running sink of cold or lukewarm water with liquid soap or shampoo.


Alkaline washing detergents composition is a big enemy of protein fibers such as wool and silk, and disintegrating them by longer contact. So after washing rinse thoroughly with water until it becomes clear, i.e. soap is completely washed.
It is very important not to change the temperature of the water when rinsing!
Finally, you should rinse with water in which you add about 50-100 grams of vinegar to 4-5 liters of water to neutralize any remaining soap residue in the fibers, especially when the items are denser and thicker. If after this procedure the smell of vinegar is too strong, you can remove it by another rinse in clean cold water.

Squeezing and drying garments and wool fabrics

Then gently squeeze the water with your hands, without twisting or bending.
Gently absorb the remaining moisture in the wool product with a cotton cloth, wrap it in it and just swab.
Please DO NOT taking your woolen laundry in washing machine and do not dry in a dryer unless you want to felt it uncontrolled, to reduce the size of your product and reach unbelievable density and thickness!

Wool was not bleached with bleach! Never use bleach to clean stains on woolen clothes or total bleaching, because it will decompose wool fibers.


When wetting the wool becomes fragile and easily deforms. It is particularly susceptible to stretching. So it is better wool textiles to dry flat on a towel or horizontally on a drier. This is especially true for large wall hangings, carpets, shawls and sweaters.

Avoid drying in direct sunlight, especially the painted fabric to prevent fading colors. This is especially true for hand dyed yarn and fabric.

Definitely forget drying woolens in direct heat! This can damage them, especially this may result in shrinkage! This advice also applies to electrical appliances, radiators, heating radiators, even if they are strong. 

Ironing felt and woolen clothes

If you want, you can steam iron some kinds of wool felt fabrics, knits and woolen garments, but on medium low temperature of the iron - of degrees for silk or wool (1-2 points). You can iron and through damp cotton cloth.
It is good by ironing the wool to be itself slightly damp, otherwise the effect of ironing will be invisible.
Do not iron over 150 degrees by Celsius! You risk damaging the fibers and deform products and size.

Dry cleaning

Dry cleaning is possible, but it is preferable hand washing, especially when the product is handmade and dyed. Dry cleaning is much more aggressive to clothes, especially to natural fibers, and definitely smell that remains after it is not particularly pleasant.


All said and described above applies almost without exception for the articles of silk.

Take good care of your woolen and silk clothes and accessories and they will take care of you and will serve you for long.
And if you bored, you can always recycle them, turning them into something else, or combining them with other materials in a brand new product.


                                                                                     Svetlana Kostova - LAnAArt

P.S. This article is the first of a cycle dedicated to the preservation, maintenance and cleaning products of felted wool, woolen fabrics and knitwear.

This article I wrote personally. It is a fruit of many years of my personal and professional experience, so citing this source is at least a manifestation of respect for my time and labor, applied to write it.
Thank you in advance!

Svetlana Kostova. How to wash our clothes and accessories from wool and wool felt? http://svetlanaarts.blogspot.com/2013/02/blog-post_14.html


2 коментара:

  1. Thank you so much for giving such an in detail explanation about the care for woolen items. I think this will be very informative for a lot of people.

  2. Thank you, Lizet! You are great master and colleague and I am very happy of your comment!
    I am happy to be useful and explain to many people how easy is to care about wool and silk products, and how beautiful they are! We have to turn people to natural materials, to their quality and grace! Kind regards from me and Bulgaria!