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Caring for Merino Wool - It's Simple

Follow the care label for each product's specific instructions, but here are some general suggestions for caring for wool. The following are recommendations and suggestions gathered by Ibex.

What to do with your wool

Empty your pockets Or they could end up bulging or sagging.

Brush it Lightly Brush to remove surface soil that might become stains later on. Dust and dirt can dull the appearance of fine wool fabrics.

Check the label Our care varies depending on each product. Always read the washing instructions on the label inside the garment. You can find the care labels on the side seams or inside neck of the tops and on the inside back waist of the bottoms.

Treat stains immediately Rinse small stains with cold water, seltzer and blot dry with a clean cloth, never with paper towels.

Dry away from direct heat If your wool gets wet, dry it immediately away from direct heat never in front of a fire, on a radiator or in strong sunlight. Don't tumble dry it unless the label says you can.

Air it Lay knits flat on a bed for an hour or so to get rid of any odors, such as campfire smoke.

Rest it Wait 24 hours before the next wearing. Try to avoid wearing the same outfit for two consecutive days. This gives the natural resilience and spring in the wool fiber time to recover.

Lighter fabric care Our Lightweight fabrics also respond to the same treatment, though they may take a little longer to shed their creases. These can be removed by ironing with a damp cloth or steam iron on a warm iron/dot 2 setting.

Hang wovens Hang woven garments on good hangers in a cool, fresh place with enough breathing space to allow creases to drop out. They should shed their creases if hung in the steam of a bathroom for a short time or left over night.

Fold knits Never hang knits. Fold them and store with breathing space.

Insects/Moths

The same chemistry that makes wool fiber resilient and durable and lets it breathe and shed wrinkles also makes wool susceptible to moths and carpet beetles. These insects, if allowed to infest wool, feed in the larva stage on the keratin protein present only in animal fibers. Since the insect larvae are attracted to areas of the cloth that are soiled with food stains and body oil, clothing kept clean in storage is the most effective protection. Additional prevention can be achieved by taking the following precautions: CLEAN your woolens before packing them away. Cleaning will also kill larvae. Lightly brush clothing after each wearing. This will not only revive the nap but will help rid clothing of insect infestation. Keep closets, dresser drawers and trunks clean. Pack clothes in airtight containers, well-sealed garment bags or boxes and trunks with secure lids. Cold storage in temperatures of 40° (4° C) or lower further discourages infestation.

For more information about eco-conscious moth prevention, check out The Green Guide or Care 2 Make a Difference.

Removing Stains

Alcoholic Drinks Dab gently with an absorbent cloth to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Sponge the area sparingly with a mixture of warm water and surgical spirit in equal parts.

Black Coffee Mix alcohol and white vinegar in equal parts, soak a cloth in the solution and lightly dab the stained area before pressing gently with an absorbent cloth.

Blood Quickly dab a damp sponge on the mark to remove excess blood. Dab area very gently with undiluted vinegar followed by cold water.

Butter/Oil/Grease/Sauces If a greasy mark forms, first lightly scrape the surface of the stain with a spoon or knife to remove any excess oil. Then soak a cloth in proprietary dry cleaning fluid and gently dab the area.

Chocolate/White Coffee/Tea Dab gently around the edge of the stain with a cloth soaked in white spirit before following instructions for black coffee.

Egg/Milk Dab gently with a cloth soaked in white spirit. Repeat the action with a cloth soaked in diluted white vinegar.

Fruit/Red Wine/Fruit Juice Dab the stain quickly with a mixture of surgical spirit and water (3:1 ratio).

Grass Apply soap very carefully (using a mild tablet soap or flakes) or dab gently with a cloth soaked in surgical spirit.

Ink/Ballpoint Pen Dab gently with a cloth soaked in white spirit. Repeat with a cloth soaked in white vinegar or surgical spirit.

Lipstick/Make-up/Shoe Polish Rub gently with a cloth soaked in turpentine or spot cleaning spray or fluid. Rinse with mild soapy water.

Urine Act as quickly as possible. Lightly blot the area with a dry sponge to absorb as much excess liquid as possible before applying undiluted vinegar. Then treat as for blood.

Wax Carefully scrape off as much wax as possible from the garment with a spoon or blunt knife. Place blotting paper over the mark and iron gently on dot 2 setting.

Odor Removal Tips

Sunshine Take the article of wool outside and pin it up to a clothesline in direct sunlight. Mold spores thrive off dark wet environments, so make sure that the location that you have selected receives plenty of UV rays and is clear of any sources of moisture. If any odor exists after the first day, you may need to hang it within direct sunlight for second or third day until completely deodorized.

White Vinegar Fill your bathtub with six inches of water and proceed to pour a half gallon of vinegar within the tub. Submerge your woolen textile in the tub and work this household acid water into the fiber. Allow it to soak inside tub for an hour before removing the wool textile to naturally air dry outside.

Salt Salt is a natural substance that works well in killing mildew. Before applying the salt, spray lemon juice over the source of the odor until the wool fiber becomes sufficiently moist. Finish by sprinkling liberal amounts of salt on the affected area and rubbing it into the wool.

Tea Tree Oil Mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with 6 ounces of water and pour inside a spray bottle. Hang woolen item outside and spray it down until it becomes sufficiently moist. The smell of the tea tree oil can be quite strong, however it will go away as soon as the wool dries.

Borax & Baking Soda Mix Borax and baking soda in equal amounts. Sprinkle the mixture on the wool textiles and allow the deodorizing homemade compound sit over night. Finish by vacuuming the borax and baking soda particles out of the freshened fabric in the morning.