How to care for wool sweaters to make them last for years

Wool sweaters made from high-quality wool fibers are not only pleasing to the eye but also timeless. They also have unique properties – they provide pleasant warmth, allow the skin to breathe, are durable, and above all, incredibly comfortable. To enjoy them for many years, it’s worth taking care of them properly. Below are some practical tips on what to do to maintain your favorite wool sweater’s initial properties, aesthetics, and enjoy it for as long as possible.

Starting with wool itself – the properties of wool that affect its care.

Wool is a fiber of animal origin – mainly obtained from the fur of sheep, llamas, camels, goats, rabbits, or alpacas. These animals have had to adapt to difficult climatic conditions in which they live, such as extremely low temperatures in winter (-60°C) and extremely high temperatures in summer (+50°C). As a result, their wool is characterized primarily by excellent thermal insulation properties, so a sweater made of wool guarantees a feeling of warmth. Another benefit of using wool in clothing production is its ability to absorb moisture – in other words, wool absorbs large amounts of moisture, isolating it from our body. As a result, it facilitates the removal of sweat to the outside, allowing our skin to breathe. Additionally, wool fibers have scales – thanks to this structure, they do not absorb unpleasant odors and pollutants. They are also highly elastic – they quickly return to their original shape.

Self-cleaning sweater – instead of washing, air it out!

Self-cleaning sweater

Yes, we’re serious – avoid frequent washing of wool. If possible, do it only once a season. Wool sweaters are really difficult to soil, and if they do, dirt doesn’t penetrate deeply. Refreshing wool daily simply involves airing it out – after wearing the sweater, just hang it on the balcony for a while (especially when it’s slightly humid). You can also try “steaming refreshment” by hanging the garment in the bathroom during a bath. The elasticity of wool fibers means that under the influence of steam, they quickly return to their original shape, and any creases and deformations disappear. It’s a simple way to keep your wool sweater in excellent condition while minimizing the need for frequent washing – what a time and water saver, right?! Just remember to let the sweater dry well before putting it back on the shelf in the closet.

Let’s move on to washing. First, hand washing…

Of course, it’s impossible to avoid washing a wool sweater. Sooner or later (although the latter is better), you’ll have to do it. However, before you start, read the label carefully – the manufacturer usually provides precise care instructions for the product. Follow these instructions carefully – washing in water at the wrong temperature or using inappropriate detergents will cause your favorite wool sweater to shrink and lose its shape. If the label states that your sweater does not require dry cleaning, you’re good to go. First, choose a detergent – a liquid dedicated to washing wool will be best – these types of products are readily available in drugstores. Skip the fabric softener; wool itself is soft enough. Wool should be washed in lukewarm water – it’s crucial that it’s not too hot (the same goes for rinsing – wool doesn’t like temperature changes, so try to make the washing and rinsing water similar in temperature). Fill a sink, large basin, or bowl with lukewarm water and wool detergent, immerse the garment, and gently turn it to ensure the detergent covers the fabric evenly. Do not rub vigorously, and certainly do not scrub to avoid damaging the wool fibers. After a few minutes, rinse the sweater thoroughly – rinse until the water is clean, without any trace of detergent. Under no circumstances wring or squeeze the garment to remove water. The most sensible thing is to spread the sweater on a towel and roll up the whole thing to allow the water to be absorbed by the towel.

You don’t have to fear the washing machine.

If your washing machine has a program dedicated to washing wool – you don’t have to worry about anything, the appliance will select the correct temperature and number of spins. If not, follow a few tips below:

  • It’s safest to use the “hand wash” program, set the washing and rinsing temperature to no more than 30°C, and the lowest spin speed.
  • Under no circumstances spin wool sweaters.
  • As during hand washing, we recommend using wool detergent or its natural counterparts.
  • Do not wash wool sweaters with other fabrics, especially those that could damage them (e.g., those with zippers or other snagging elements).

Drying and ironing wool sweaters.

If wet, hang woolen sweaters flat as you would other clothes on a dryer or hanger; hanging them will surely stretch them under the weight of water, and they will lose their shape forever. Therefore, always dry woolen garments flat, in a lying position, making sure nothing hangs off. Keep them away from radiators (the fibers could shrink due to high temperatures) and direct sunlight. Occasionally, you can turn the sweater over to speed up drying. Of course, you can also dry woolen sweaters in a tumble dryer if it has a special wool drying program – with a lower drying temperature. Wool sweaters generally do not need ironing. However, if the situation calls for it, it’s safest to use a gentle steamer or an iron with a wool setting.

How to store woolen sweaters?

How to store woolen sweaters

The safest place for woolen sweaters is a drawer or shelf in the closet. Wool likes a lot of space; when compressed, it loses its fluffiness, becomes flat, and felts faster. Lay sweaters flat, with a maximum of three in a row (and if you stack them on other clothes, it’s best for the wool to be on top, so nothing presses on it). Hanging especially large, heavy sweaters on hangers exposes them to the force of gravity – and thus to stretching and distortion.


You now know how to take care of your favorite wool sweater. However, it’s worth emphasizing that while wool requires some attention, the results are priceless. The noble fabric rewards proper care with a beautiful appearance and durability, making the wool sweater a favorite wardrobe item for many years.

washing wool


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