The “perfect” sweater
The right products and methods
When we buy a wool sweater, we would like it to remain as good as new. Time and frequent washing, however, are likely to ruin it or make it unwearable. If you learn to wash wool at home with the right products and by applying the correct method, you can keep your sweaters in perfect condition right from day one. Here’s how!
Wool is one of the most valuable and popular fibres due to its characteristic warmth, softness and resistance to wear. Few garments inspire such feelings of love and protection as a warm sweater, and for this reason, a sweater is often a perfect gift for your loved ones.
Wool is an animal fibre, formed from thin layers of keratin compounds grouped in filaments, very similar to human hair.
Just like our hair, these fibres should be treated with care, so a mere “shampoo” is not sufficient, they need a complete beauty treatment with conditioner and a nourishing mask, which regenerates deep-down into the weave. To ensure that our sweaters remain in perfect condition, Nuncas provides products that nourish the fibres, keeping them hydrated, bright and lubricated so that they slip between one another without creating troublesome pilling or – even worse – dangerous felting. A few golden rules and a little love are all it takes to wash even your most precious wool garments at home, and often in the washing machine.
For the wash, choose only liquid detergents for wool with a neutral pH and enriched with plant proteins that keep the fibres hydrated and supple. Avoid generic detergents “for delicates” and go for a specific, excellent quality product, such as Nuncas Wool 1.
If there are any stains, let the garment soak for 10 minutes in cold water, gently rubbing and squeezing to facilitate the absorption of the detergent. Always avoid sudden temperature changes as they will stress the fibre and cause immediate felting. Rinse well to remove any detergent residues that may stiffen your sweater, and add a softener specifically for wool to the final rinse, such as Nuncas Wool 2, which will leave your woollen garments softer, protect them from the absorption of stains, and will help prevent felting and reduce the formation of pilling.
From time to time (once every 4 washes is plenty) treat your more precious laundry to a genuine beauty spa treatment with a soak in a restructuring lotion that smoothes and nourishes the fibres, eliminating signs of felting and allowing you to recover up to one size of shrinkage.
How you dry your woollen garments is critical. Resist the temptation to hang out wool sweaters when still wet, as they would stretch beyond repair. A much better option is to dab any excess water with a towel, then spread your garment on a bath towel on the drying rack to prevent the imprints of the wires from being transferred. Again, avoid temperature fluctuations, direct sources of heat or cold winter temperatures: this will cause your garments to felt, even after washing!
The right ironing method finishes of this perfect washing cycle. Select the wool setting on your iron and always use a little bit of steam, as that will relax the fibres more quickly. Place a cotton towel between the iron and your garment to avoid direct heat. Iron your sweaters on the reverse side to avoid any risk of “polishing” the fibre beyond repair.