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Wool care

4 Beautiful Ways to Style Your Wool Throw

March 30, 2018 Tags: , , , , No Comments

A pure wool throw is one of those things that every household should have. Versatile, stylish, cosy and long-lasting, a wool throw is more than just a blanket.

It’s a comfort when you are ill and tucked up in bed. It’s something to snuggle up with your loved ones under on Film Night. It’s a fort. It’s a picnic blanket to lie back on in a summer’s field. It’s something to wrap yourself in around a campfire. It’s a way to freshen up a tired sofa or bedroom. We wouldn’t be without one. Or two.

Here’s four beautiful ways to style your wool throw:

1.Draped over a sofa

wool throw sofa style

Draping a wool throw over the back or seat of your sofa will brighten up the sofa and can unify the colour scheme of the room. If you have a minimalist, neutral room then a simple throw in mustard and grey can add a gentle wash of colour without dominating the room. If you love bold colours go for contrasting tones and patterns with a wool throw in multicolours. And it will be readily on hand if you need a bit of extra warmth in the evening while you read, talk or catch up on a box set. If you want extra textures add some pure wool sheepskins and linen cushions.

2.Out on a picnic

Wool is hardwearing, anti-bacterial and can be easily spot-cleaned, which makes a wool throw an ideal picnic blanket. Simply roll up, add some napkins, plate and cutlery, and you’ve got an Insta-worthy picnic right there. Choose an alpaca or merino wool blanket for extra comfort as you recline and watch the clouds scud across the sky, or share some fresh bread and cheese with friends. When you’re done, just give the throw a good shake and wipe off any spills, then store ready for your next outdoor adventure.

3.On your bed

wool throw linen throw

A lovely way to create a calm mood in a bedroom is to use similar colours in your bedlinen. Crisp whites or soft blues and greys will still the mind and help you feel rested. A throw in complementary tones will add to this harmonious feel. Here we’ve styled a bed in supersoft linen bedlinen and added a throw in a slightly darker colour to keep things simple but to add a layer of luxurious colour and texture.

4.Over a chair

Use a lovely wool throw to disguise an old upholstered chair if you want a change of scene but don’t want to go the whole hog and get it reupholstered. Easy to wash and care for, a wool throw will cover all manner of sins on a piece of pre-loved furniture. They also look welcoming and homely folded neatly over the arm of a chair or sofa, as if inviting guests and family alike to get comfy and make themselves at home.

How do you use your wool throws at home? Any fun or stylish uses we haven’t thought of?

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Tips on Taking Care of Cashmere

March 30, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Both durable and practical cashmere is one of the most luxurious cold weather materials. In order to keep it in excelent condition and enjoy its durability cashmere needs to be taken care of properly. We piled together a bunch of useful tips that will come in handy when properly cleaning and storing your cashmere garments.

Cashmere care - WoolMe

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Why Wool is Good for You

February 1, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Wool is definitely one of the most popular natural materials known but not many of us know the actual benefits of using wool products daily. If you have not known a lot about wool get ready for some knowledge – we are about to introduce you to wool, the durable natural material.

Wool

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How to Remove Stains From Wool

January 30, 2018 Tags: , , No Comments

Have you spilt something on a beloved wool garment? Need some help removing the stain from wool? We know how precious woollen clothes and throws are – they are investment pieces, designed to keep you warm and comfortable for many years. But they also require careful attention when cleaning in order to retain their shape and colour. So there’s nothing worse than discovering a nasty stain or mark on them, whether it’s a coffee spill on a wool throw or grease spots on a wool sweater.

Stain removal from wool items can be trickier than from other fabrics because stains set in quicker. You need to treat a stain as soon as you can and avoid heat of any kind until it has been removed as this can fix it into the wool, leaving a permanent mark.

Here’s how to remove the most common household stains from wool. Things like nail polish and paint will probably require specialist cleaning.

how to remove stains wool

1. Treat the stain

For alcohol, coffee, food, chocolate, urine or vomit stains

First blot up any excess liquid or debris using paper towels or a clean, dry cloth. Scrape off anything you can with a rounded edged knife or spoon. Soak a linen cloth (they don’t shed lint) in a solution of half white vinegar and half wool detergent mixed with cool water. Then use this cloth to dab at the stain, working inwards and on the reverse of the garment to stop the stain spreading.

For oily stains

Again, scrape off any excess residue from the spillage. Use a cloth dipped in white spirit to gently blot the stain off, taking care not to rub and working inwards to contain the stain.

2. Soak the wool

Once you have treated the specific stain spot, soak the garment in a sink or large tub in cool water with some wool detergent. Very gently rub the stain, and then rinse until all the soap residue has washed away.

stain removal wool

3. Rinse

Rinse the item in water mixed with a splash of white vinegar. Once this has run through, keep rinsing until all the vinegar solution has run off.

4. Dry

Smaller items like sweaters or scarves can be wrapped in a towel (linen is perfect thanks to its high absorbency) and gently twisted to remove excess water. The towel should absorb most of the moisture and will protect the wool fibres. If the item is large, like a wool throw or coat, lay in between two towels and press to soak up the water. Leave the item to air dry, making sure it is flat and out of direct sunlight.

5. Seek professional help if needed

Some stains are simply too stubborn, or too old, to be removed this way. A dry cleaner will be able to advise you on whether or not they can get the stain out, and there are stain removal products available to buy if necessary (just check these are suitable for use with wool).

remove wool stain

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Do You Recycle Your Wool Textiles?

December 8, 2017 Tags: , , , , , 2 Comments

If you are doing a pre-Christmas clear out to make room for new lovely gifts, stop for a moment before you throw anything away. It might be that that ancient jersey with a hole in the sleeve, the much-loved wool throw that has become a bit threadbare or those cashmere socks that have shrunk in the wash, could have a whole new life. Here are some thoughts on how and why we should recycle our old wool textiles.

It has been estimated that around 3.3million tonnes of textile waste goes into landfill every year in the USA alone. Whilst wool makes up only a small percentage of this, reusing and recycling 2million tonnes per year of unwanted textiles could reduce carbon emissions by the same amount as taking 1million cars off the road. Pretty mind-blowing, no? Wool is a natural fibre and is the most easily reused of all textile fibres. In fact we have been recycling wool for hundreds of years.

So if you want to know what to do with your old woollies, this is the lowdown.

recycle wool textiles

Upcycling wool

If you are crafty, or have clever friends, give your old woollen textiles to them. Wool can be felted and made into all sorts of things, or unravelled and re-knitted into something new. Pinterest and Etsy are brilliant for inspiration for up cycling projects – if you’re quick you might even have time to make some decorations or Christmas gifts!

upcycling wool christmas - recycle wool

Donating wool

Giving woollen textiles to charity shops and goodwill centres can prolong the item’s life by several years, and avoids filling up landfill. Because of its natural durability wool lasts longer than other fibres, meaning your unwanted things can have long, happy lives elsewhere. You can often donate by filling charity bags for collection.

Recycling wool

Wool is perfect for recycling and new technologies have made this process even more efficient. Valuable or top quality woollens are closed-loop recycled, which means they are deconstructed and the fibre is reused as yarn in new items. Poor quality items are open-loop recycled, where they are taken apart and the wool is used in completely different products. Examples of these wool bi-products are fire retardant mattress padding, blankets and car sound insulation. These new uses can increase the lifespan of the wool fibres by up to 10 more years, which is pretty neat.

how to recycle wool

Discarding wool

As a last resort, wool can be discarded into landfill. Thankfully, as all its carbon comes from the plants eaten by sheep it is biodegradable and will fairly quickly decompose. In fact wool actually adds its nutrients back into the soil, making this far less damaging for the environment than throwing out other synthetic materials.

And once you’ve sustainably disposed of your old items and invested in some beautiful new textiles, you can prevent further waste by only washing them when absolutely necessary, buying good quality products that will have a longer lifespan, and then reusing or recycling these at the end of their time with you.

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How to Prevent Pilling, Shrinking and Moth Damage in Your Woollens

October 13, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

We all love our woollens, from sweaters to socks, blankets to beanies. So what do we do when they start to look worn, or get damaged? Here are some tips on how to avoid pilling, shrinking and moths eating your beloved wool textiles. It’s important to note that high quality, natural woollens will last longer and look better than cheaper acrylics or synthetic fibres, due to the inherent durability and longer fibres in pure wool. So first things first: invest in decent woollens in the beginning and you’ll get far more use for your money. But if things go wrong, here’s how to solve some of the major problems with wool.

Woollens - WoolMe

Your wool throw has gone rough and stiff

Imagine this: you bought a beautiful new throw in softest wool and have used it as many times as you can without washing. When you realise it needs a refresh you put it in the washing machine on a low temperature and hope for the best. But it comes out feeling rough or stiff, all the snuggliness has gone. What happened? Well, maybe you shouldn’t have washed it in the machine. Unless otherwise marked on your garment’s care instructions it’s best to wash woollens by hand, in cool water. The other cause could be your detergent. Normal laundry liquids are too harsh for wool, so make sure you use a specially-formulated  detergent, like The Laundress Wool and Cashmere, or Ecover Delicate. These contain natural enzymes and no chemicals, and are as good for the planet as they are for your woollies. Make sure you choose a detergent that carries the Woolmark logo, so you know it’s suitable.

If you have already got a less-than soft woolly, try hand washing in cool water with a wool detergent and using a wool fabric softener. Rinse thoroughly and dry outside, away from the sun, and flat. This should revive the fibres and increase the softness, though it may never be quite the same. The key here is prevention.

wool-blanket-throw - WoolMe

Your woollen sweater has pilling

Pilling (those annoying little bobbles that appear on woollen items) is caused by the friction of two surfaces rubbing together. It often occurs in areas like armpits or the sides of a sweater where a bag might hang against it. If you see pilling on a woollen garment you can use a lint roller or special pill shaver to remove them. Longer pills can even be carefully snipped off with scissors or a razor. Avoid a recurrence by washing the item inside out and only use a liquid detergent that is specifically for wool. Dry the item naturally. Natural, top grade pure wool will pill less as the fibres are longer and therefore are not as easily forced to the surface when rubbed.

Your woolly socks have shrunk

Oh the horror of removing your much-loved cosy alpaca wool socks from the machine, only to discover they would only just about fit a Barbie doll! Wool doesn’t actually shrink. In fact, wool is a protein, which means when it’s washed too vigorously or in too high temperatures the fibres in the wool stick together, giving the appearance of shrinkage. If the damage has been done you can stretch the garment while still damp, but sadly there is no way to fully reverse this. Make sure it doesn’t happen by following the manufacturer’s care instructions to the letter. Wash only with appropriate detergent, use cool water and the delicate cycle if you are machine washing, and don’t tumble dry.

Moths are eating your woollens

An infestation of moths can be disastrous. They can chomp through woollen clothes and textiles, but also lots of other things too, ruining much-loved belongings. To prevent getting moths in the first place make sure you only store woollens when they are clean. Use zipped bags if you are storing things over the summer months. Make insect-repellant bags filled with dried lavender and cedar wood, then place these in every drawer or hang in your wardrobe. If you have an infestation already, throw out anything that is beyond repair, keeping the rubbish bag tightly sealed and discard immediately. Place the remaining items in sealed plastic bags and put in the freezer to kill any eggs or larvae. Give your wardrobe and drawers a thorough clean out and wash everything else in there. You can get chemical moth repellant products to treat the problem, or call out a pest controller to deal with a really major infestation.

preventing-moths-wool

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Cashmere: A story of luxury

June 7, 2017 Tags: , , , , 5 Comments

For many of us cashmere wool has become synonymous with status and luxury. From classic wardrobe staples like a cashmere cardigan to wackier incarnations like Narciso Rodriguez’s 1990’s cashmere-covered Birkenstocks and Toast’s cashmere espadrilles, this versatile wool has kept us in style, and cosy, for years. In this post we unpick the story of this fabulous fibre.

History of cashmere

himalayas - history of Cashmere

Cashmere originated in the mountains of Inner Mongolia, China, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, where the Capra Hircus goats have roamed for centuries. As early as the 14th Century people were using the fleece of these goats to make warm blankets and garments to help them through the punishing Himalayan winters. In the 18th Century, with the growth of the British Empire and the expansion of world trade routes, cashmere was exported across Europe and the Americas. It became very popular with aristocratic women, who loved its softness and warmth and wore cashmere shoulder shawls as the height of fashion and good taste. The Industrial Revolution saw a great expansion in the production of cashmere, with centres of production growing in France, Italy and Scotland. Cashmere’s popularity then dipped until the 1980s when designers began using the wool in exclusive, luxury garments. It became a symbol of wealth and high fashion, but has now found its way onto the high street with stores mixing it with lower quality fibres to keep prices down. The proliferation of cheaper cashmere has meant more people have access to its super soft cosiness, but has also meant quality is not always maintained.

How is cashmere produced?

Domestic goats are shorn or combed to collect the fine fibres, but wild goats are also a valuable source of this wool, leaving clumps to be collected during the moulting season when they rub themselves on trees and rocks to shed their coats for summer. Once the wool has been gathered it is scoured or washed to remove any dirt, dried and then de-haired (separating the main coat from the cashmere hair). Usually only about 20% of what is gathered can be classed as true cashmere. This is then dyed, spun, knitted or woven.

CASHMERE goat

Why is cashmere so expensive?

It’s a simple matter of supply and demand: it can take up to four years for a goat to produce enough cashmere wool to make one sweater. The fact that it is so time-consuming to produce means its value is increased. But it’s not just this that makes cashmere such a pricey fabric. The fibres are longer, finer, stronger and more isothermal than sheep wool, making it an ideal choice for clothes and blankets. Its melting softness adds to its appeal, with people willing to pay more for a garment that will offer them greater comfort.

How to wash cashmere

Always follow the care instructions on your garment, but most good quality cashmere can be washed in cold water (below 30 degrees) on a delicate cycle or by hand. Use a mesh bag to protect the wool if washing in a machine. Lay the item flat on a towel to dry to keep its shape and prevent stretching. Never tumble dry (unless you want your precious cashmere sweater to end up as a tiny doll’s dress!).

Cashmere throw

With such a prestigious heritage, and being so hard-to-come-by it’s no wonder that cashmere remains a luxury fabric. Our cashmere throws will bring this simple opulence into your home in an understated way, keeping you and your loved ones warm and cosy as well as looking exquisite.

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Tips on Cleaning Wool Throws and Blankets

August 24, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Everyone might occasionally get the question – how do you clean wool throws and blankets? Do you wash them at all? Since wool is an incredibly resilient fibre not everyone understands that it requires the gentlest handling in water and is often best left alone. Today we present you the greatest tips on cleaning wool throws and blankets.

Cleaning Wool Throws

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Alpaca Throws for Gorgeous and Comfortable Home

April 18, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

As you all probably know alpaca throws are made out of alpaca animal (which are bread in the mountains of Peru) wool. Being soft and smooth as well as very warm, alpaca throws are appreciated addition to every home.

Items made from alpaca wool fibers can retain heat and regulate the body temperature and therefore they are perfect companions in chilly winter weather.

Alpaca thorws

Interesting fact is that the age of the animal does not determine the softness of the fur – both young and old animals provide alpaca wool that is suitable to make very soft products like alpaca throws, alpaca blankets, alpaca garment.

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Washing a Wool Throw in the Washing Machine

February 14, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Wool throws and blankets possess lots of attractive qualities, e.g. fire, water and wrinkle resistance, exceptional insulation and softness. Caring for a wool throw is quite an easy task and we always recommend follow to the instructions the product label dictates. Usually manufacturers insist on dry-cleaning wool products or recommends washing by hand, yet, often wool throws are fine to wash in the washing machine (provided they fit in it, in the first place!).

Wool blankets

To wash a wool blanket in a washing machine, follow these steps:

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