Basic Care of Wool Garments and Blankets
Proper care will ensure years of wear for your Pendleton woolens. The elasticity in wool fiber makes it naturally wrinkle-resistant and prone to holding its shape. Minor wrinkles disappear when a garment is hung -- 24 hours usually restores a smooth appearance with no need for ironing. And there's no need to clean after each wearing! Wool's resilience, low static and hairy surface help to repel dirt. Just brush and air out between wearings. It is best to remove your Pendleton garment from the dry cleaners plastic bag.
Some of our Pendleton wools are even hand and/or machine washable. Hand Washable means to wash by hand rather than wash on Hand Washable or Delicate Cycle in the washing machine.
If the Label Says "Dry Clean," Please Do Not Wash
Please don't. As a general rule, the Pendleton blankets and wool shirts with a "dry clean" label have not been treated with a washable finish. Consequently, washing can result in noticeable shrinkage and a loss of fabric smoothness. Tailored wool garments (especially those with linings and shoulder pads) should never be washed!
Pendleton Washable Wool
So, you may ask, how are wools made washable? They are treated with a resin finish. A thin layer of resin coats and smoothes the wool fiber surface, preventing the fibers from becoming interlocked during the laundering process. Early resin finishes tended to leave wool fabrics with a rather harsh touch. However with improvements over time, washable wools now retain the soft hand of their untreated counterparts. For customers who are looking for washable wool shirts, many of our Washable Umatilla Wool shirts, including our Board Shirts, Lodge Shirts and Field Shirts, have been pre-washed and have a special finish to prevent shrinkage. Some of our classic bed blankets are also machine washable. Jacquard blankets are only dry clean!
Cleaning Your Pendleton Wool Blanket
Dry cleaning best maintains jacquard blanket size, hand and appearance. We have tested our wool blankets using different care methods. When washed, the blankets experienced significant shrinkage, even with the mildest care methods. With a gentle cold wash and dry flat care method, blankets lost 3"-6" in length after one washing. And the shrinkage could increase with successive launderings. Also, blankets may become stiff and dense, changing the soft hand and smooth appearance of the blanket. So unless a blanket specifically states "washable," please do not wash.
Protecting Wool from Moth Damage
Moth damage to wools mainly occurs during storage or when wool articles are not moved or worn on a regular basis. Clothes moths, which are small buff-colored moths, choose dark, quiet, undisturbed places to lay eggs. It's the moth larvae that feed on wool, not the adult moths. Here are several easy steps that will help prevent damage:
Brush the wool clothes in your active wardrobe on a regular basis - a lint brush or nylon bristled clothes brush works well for this.
Clean wool articles before placing in storage. Soiled wools (even those which have picked up invisible body oils) are more likely to attract moths. Both dry cleaning and laundering will remove any moth eggs or larvae. After cleaning, store wools in an airtight bag or container.
Moth Control Products. Commonly found moth control products on the market include mothballs, moth crystals, cedar (in various forms) and herbal sachets. Both mothballs and crystals are very effective when used as directed. However, the cedar and herbal products have only limited effectiveness, and only when the fragrance is quite strong.
Keeping Dark Woolens from Attracting Lint
For dark woolen fabric that do attract lint:
To avoid the lint issue, consider worsted wool garments. The worsteds, such as our Seasonless Wool and Ultraweave Stretch Wool, generally have smoother, more tightly woven surfaces and rarely attract lint (even in dark colors). Worsteds also tend to be lighter in weight, so are comfortable for year-round wear.
Preventing or Removing Pills
Garments with soft, fuzzy surfaces tend to be more susceptible to pilling. The fibers that create those beautiful surfaces become tangled during wear and cleaning to form pills or matted areas. Regular brushing often smoothes out surface tangles before they become severe and more difficult to remove. A lint brush or nylon bristled garment brush are effective on most fabrics. For more delicate fabrics, a natural sponge can be used.
There are a number of other pill removal products available. Sweater or garment combs grab pills and pull them off the fabric surface. Pumice-like bars work in much the same manner, but sometimes leave gritty "crumbs" on the fabric surface. For very stubborn pills, fabric shavers will usually do the job. It's important to remember to try these products first on an inconspicuous area of the garment; some fine fabrics can be damaged by the abrasion of pill removers.
Removing a Strong Odor From a Wool Garment or Blanket
Some staining substances can leave a strong residual odor that remains even after repeated cleanings. There is a treatment that may be effective when standard cleaning methods are not. It is called an ozone treatment and is particularly useful for organic based odors. Ozone treatments are occasionally available through dry cleaners. You can also look for an ozone treatment facility in the phone book; look under "ozone" or "fire restoration" (ozone treatments are often used for the removal of smoke odor) in the yellow pages.
Removing Bloodstains from Wools
Many dry cleaners can effectively remove blood and other protein-type stains from wools by the use of a digester. This is a wet treatment that uses an enzyme for stain removal, but does not require heat or agitation.
Caring for your Pendleton Wool Hat
With the decline of the haberdasher, hat care generally falls to the consumer today. Although dry cleaning is effective for removing soils from wools, the procedures will crush or distort hats. Here are steps that you can take to maintain your wool hat: