September 20, 2013

To Pre-Shrink Wool

When working with wool it is very important to pre-shrink your fabric before you cut or sew. If you don't, you run the risk of unhappy shrinkage if you are caught in a rain shower. The option that you choose will be based on how you intend to wash your wool garment.

1. Dry-cleaning - If you generally take your clothes to the drycleaners it is best to call and ask them if they will clean your length of fabric. Usually they will and can give you a price over the phone. Simply drop it off when you drop off your clothes.

2. Rinse, Spin, Lay Flat To Dry - If you plan to hand wash your garment or just spot clean on occasion then you can use the rinse and spin method. Simply put your length of wool fabric in the washing machine, add cold water until the fabric is covered (most likely you will have to push it down because it will want to float) and turn the machine off. DO NOT Agitate!!! Allow the fabric to soak in the water for 15 minutes. Then turn your machine to the spin cycle until most of the water has been spun out of your wool. Lay the fabric on a flat surface, on top of a towel (or several) until it is dry. I also like to iron my pre-treated wool using a light starch once it is dry.

The things that you want to avoid in pre-shrinking your wool are any type of agitation or wringing of the fabric. This will cause your beautiful surface texture to become shaggy or fluffy looking.