Nowadays, when I go to a shop for clothes, even the retail salesperson recommends synthetic fabrics in lieu of natural fabrics. This particular salesperson discouraged me from buying wool leggings, saying it is difficult to maintain- maybe she sensed that I am a lzy person. Wool fabric is considered one of the most human-skin-friendly fabrics of all – if all conditions are met. Ie, if it is cared for properly and you are not allergic to wool.
But today, no one has the time to maintain anything properly as they should be. And if they do, that is, if wool is cared for properly, nothing can beat wool – in comfort, insulation, and coziness.
Here are the symbols usually found on wool clothes and the meanings that they represent.
In this article I will cover:
Wool wash symbol
The best way to clean wool is to hand wash. Very delicate wool like cashmere will have this symbol.
Some fine wool cannot be washed – those will have this symbol. They should only be dry cleaned by professional dry cleaners.
You can wash such wool clothes by dipping them in a bucket full of cold water with the suitable detergent dissolved in them. A special detergent like Woolite is preferred for hand washing woolen clothes.
Some wool fabrics will have this symbol which says they can be machine washed.
But this symbol also says that that particular wool garment should only be washed in cold water. Hot water washing can lead to wool fibers felting. Some washing machines may have a wool setting which will have the optimal settings as specified by the fabric care label – minimum spin, cold water.
Drying symbol for wool
Wool should not be dried inside a dryer – the heat inside can felt the fabric.
‘Do not wring’ symbol is understandable – wool fibers can stretch out of shape if you wring to get water out after you have hand washed it. You can lay it flat on a rack to get the water out or if it is too precious, cover with toweling fabric to get the water out. You can roll the wool garment inside the towel to get the maximum water out of it and then lay flat to dry.
For drying it is better to lay it flat. If you dry wool clothing on a clothing line, it can stretch out of shape. Reshaping an already stretched woolen garment is an art and I generally do not recommend this kind of risque activities. Safest is to lay flat and dry.
Using bleach – symbol
Chlorine bleach should not be used on woolen clothes, so the label on most garments will have this symbol of ‘Do not bleach’.
Ironing symbols for wool
Wool should not be ironed directly. When you iron on the surface of the woolen fabric, the beautiful fibers will be crushed flat, so all the manufacturers recommend steaming with an iron.
You can use steam iron to iron out wrinkles on your woolen garment.