At one time, woolen blankets were found in every home, but today, the majority of our blankets are woven of cottons or acrylic fibers which are fairly easy care. But don't let that deter you from owning or inheriting pure wool blankets - they're not that hard to care for and they'll keep you very warm on a cold night. Just a few tips on caring and storing is all you need and you can start to enjoy these warm covers.
Garment Fabric Care Labels
Clothing and blankets usually have an attached fabric care label which will denote the type of fabrics present in the garment and how to care for them. For best results, always follow the manufacturer's recommended care instructions. Dry clean garments should only be laundered by professional dry cleaners. In the absence of washing instructions, follow these general guidelines for washing wool items.
Washing Woolen Blankets
The rule of thumb for all pure wool clothing and blankets is to wash in cold water and gently wring or use the delicate cycle and low spin on your washer. It's no longer necessary to handwash woolen items, as most washers now have a delicate agitation cycle and low spin feature. Heat can and usually does shrink woolens, reducing them in size and ruining their appearance. Cold water and gentle washing will help keep your woolens in good condition.
Special Care Laundry Detergents
Although you can use regular laundry detergents for your woolen washing, specially formulated detergents like Zero® by Woolite® Fabric Wash
will further protect and keep your delicates and woolen blankets looking terrific. I've used Zero for years and highly recommend it for all your woolens and delicate fabrics.
I prefer to hang wool blankets outside in summer and let them air dry, but if that's not possible, you could hang a slightly damp blanket over a door or lay it across a few chair backs and it will dry overnight. A non-rusting shower or towel bar is also a good option. Woolen clothing such as sweaters should be laid flat to dry on a towel or drying rack to retain their shape. Short items could be hung.
Storing Wool Blankets
Since woolen blankets are usually stored when not required, it's important to protect them in storage from pests and dampness. Years ago, moth balls were used to keep insects from destroying the wool fibers, but this method left a lasting, hard-to-get-rid-of unpleasant scent that permeated the whole room.
Today, you can easily store these blankets in a tightly-sealed bin or heavy plastic bag. If pests are a real concern in your area, you can add a few cedar chips which are available from most general merchandise outlets. Cedar wood is a natural flying insect repellent and is a good alternative to moth balls.
Sensitive Skin Alert
Persons who have allergies or sensitive skin may find pure wool blankets or fabrics irritating on their skin.
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