Often when you buy a new wool jumper, you are faced with an unpleasant itching while trying it on. This is especially true of items made of 100% sheep wool.
It is important to know that the item “bites” you because of its structure. Like human hair, wool tends to split, forming small split ends on the edges of the thread, which irritate the skin.
Scientists claim that the “biting” garment is good for your health, but not everyone is willing to experience discomfort for therapeutic purposes. Therefore, a lot of fashionistas and dandies try any means available to soften the itchy woolen warm purchase. There are several ways to make clothes softer.
Special Detergent For Wool
You can soften woolen cloth using special detergent and fabric softener. The most popular softening products are “Laska” and “Lenor”. It is better to buy a liquid version of the product; it works better on the fabric and leaves no stains.
You can use special softeners for washing machines and hand washing both, you need to select the washing mode according to the recommendations on the fabric care label. During hand washing, the fabric is less damaged, and the risk of deformation reduces.
Fabric softener and detergent soften the fabric and make loose lint tight to the thread. The effect of the product is not long-lasting, but can accumulate. After every washing the garment will become a little softer.
Shampoo and hair conditioner
You don’t have to purchase special products for wool to make clothes softer. You can use shampoo or hair conditioner (better both) that you use to wash your hair. It’s best if they are made for dry hair and split ends, that way the effect will be better. Also, softening shampoo for long-haired animals works really well.
Shampoo and hair conditioner, and maybe 2 in 1, can be used as a laundry detergent. They can soften the hair, making it solid again, and thanks to the scenting additions, your clothes will not only be comfortable to the skin, but will also smell delicious.
To soften the wool item, wash it in cool water using shampoo. Squeeze a little and apply the hair conditioner evenly on both sides of the item. Leave the item for 5 minutes, then rinse the conditioner out and let the clothes dry.
To prevent wool items from changing their shape and stretching, you should lay them down to dry.
Another way to make “prickly” wool softer is to steam it. For this, you will need an iron or garment steamer, a piece of cloth (the size should be bigger than the garment processed) and citric acid. Lemon tends to soften the fabric, and the steam only enhances the effect.
Making wool garments not itchy:
- Place the item on the ironing board.
- Set the iron on the “wool” mode, if there is one, or just set it at a high temperature, but not the maximum one.
- Prepare lemon solution (1 pinch per 1 liter of water).
- Immerse the cloth into the solution.
- Put the wet cloth on the wool piece.
Now everything is ready, you can start the steaming process. Carefully, avoiding pressing too hard, iron the entire fabric surface. If you press hard the woolen item could stretch, so you need to iron it gently and lightly. When finished on one side, moisten the cloth again and begin to process the other side of the item. When using a garment steamer, the process of preparing clothes for steaming does not change.
This method, which makes things less itchy, was used by our grandmothers long before the invention of special detergents. Mustard softens the fibers, and the material becomes noticeably softer and more pleasant to touch.
It is simple to use mustard powder to soften woolen clothes. Put 2 tablespoons of mustard into a basin of warm water and place the wool product there. Leave it in the solution for an hour, then rinse well. Pour the mustard water out and rinse the clothes well. Gently squeeze and dry.
Vinegar and salt solution
Vinegar softens woolen fabric perfectly, making it gentle and pleasant to the touch. To prepare a solution based on vinegar, you need to mix the main ingredient with salt in equal proportions. 5 liters of cool water is enough for 1 teaspoon of vinegar and salt each. If there is no vinegar in the house, it can be replaced with citric acid.
For a better result, the item should not only be rinsed in the solution but also left to soak for 30 minutes. Since vinegar has a strong smell, even though it is just a bit of it, rinse the clothes very well after “bathing” them, maybe even a few times. After washing the fabric under running water and getting rid of the smell, the product can be hung to dry.
The effect of using glycerin to soften a woolen item is very similar to the previous method. It is used as well as vinegar solution, the only difference is that it does not smell as much. The solution is made in the following proportions: 1 teaspoon per 1 liter of water. Glycerin can be purchased at the pharmacy.
Baking soda and ammonia
To soften the woolen cloth, you can use baking soda with ammonia. For the solution, you will need 10 l. of water, 1 teaspoon of soda and 5 drops of ammonia. Mix all the components.
To achieve the desired effect, you should put the woolen clothes into the solution and leave for a while, about 30-40 minutes depending on its size. When the time is up, take the item out and rinse it in cool water.
Exposure to cold temperatures
Perhaps, the most unorthodox way to soften wool and make it not itchy is to expose it to cold temperature, in other words, to freeze it. While using this method, the split ends on the thread are frozen and fall away, so the clothes become softer.
Since you can’t hang the clothes out the window in city apartments, but only on the open balcony, and winter is also not eternal, that means usually people use the freezer for this method. In addition to the freezer, we need a plastic bag.
Put wet woolen items in the bag and place it in the freezer for a day. Take out the item, let it unfreeze, then rinse in cool water. It is better to rinse it adding special products mentioned above to soften the fabric.
Unfortunately, all methods above are suitable only for slightly itchy wool. If the material is very itchy, then there is nothing to be done, so you can only wear it while putting on some soft underwear.fabric underneath Therefore, if you want to buy something made of wool, carefully look at the fabric components and manufacturer, and do not forget to touch it (better touch it to your face).
Remember that the itchiest wool is sheep wool. As a rule, hand knitting is more rigid than the machine one. When shopping it is better to choose products that do not contain 100% wool, but some additional materials.