Wool, Cashmere & Alpaca Cleaning & Care
Soft, cozy, and breathable, natural fleece fibers such as wool, cashmere, and alpaca are nature's greatest insulators. Highly popular for tailoring fine garments, these beautiful fabrics—which you can learn more about in our helpful glossary—are naturally resistant to wear and tear.
When cared for properly, a quality wool, cashmere, or alpaca garment or product can be a luxurious, lifelong investment. Follow the simple cleaning and care rules detailed below to enjoy years of comfort and style.
Wool Care Instructions for:
the care instructions on the label inside each garment
with enough room for creases to "hang out"
with high heat sources, such as blow dryers and radiators
surface stains with cold water to avoid shrinkage
Caring for Fine Woolen Sweaters & Knit Accessories
Overland's selection of fine wool sweaters and jackets, lightweight cashmere and alpaca capes, and natural fleece fiber vests, wraps, scarves, and gloves offer warmth, durability, and style throughout the seasons. Follow these tips to maximize the lifespan of your premium wool, cashmere, and alpaca knits and accessories.
For short-term storage, gently fold wool sweaters and lightweight wool capes and wraps (heavier-duty wool capes may be hung) and stack in a drawer or closet. Fold your knit accessories, or lay them flat if space allows, and store in a drawer or closet.
For longer-term seasonal storage, fold knits and store in an airtight container with mothballs or fresh cedar blocks, which tend to have a more pleasant odor.
Most wool sweaters and natural fleece fiber items can be washed by hand, but make sure to follow the care instructions on the tag, as some may suggest dry cleaning.
If the item gets stained, treat immediately for best results by rinsing the affected area with cold water and/or seltzer, or pre-soaking it if you can wash it shortly after.
To hand wash your garment or accessory, first add a mild detergent made for washing wool (we recommend Eucalan™) to lukewarm water, around 100 degrees. Do not use Woolite™, laundry detergents such as Tide™, soap containing enzymes or bleach, soap containing hand sanitizer, or products that are alkaline. Do not use fabric softeners.
Turn your woolen item inside out and submerge it in the water. Soak for at least half an hour—longer is fine—then rinse well in water of the same lukewarm temperature until the water runs clear and is no longer soapy. Gently press the water out of the item; do not wring.
*Please note: It's normal to see color in the water when you wash wool, cashmere, or alpaca; the yarn dyes are simply releasing color. This does not indicate any actual color loss in the garment or accessory. Be mindful to wash with like colors only; do not mix colors when hand-washing.
To dry your wool sweater, cape, or accessory after washing or if it happens to get very wet from rain or snow, lay it flat on top of a clean towel and roll up the towel from the bottom, gently pressing as you roll to remove excess water. (You can repeat this as needed.) Then lay the item flat on a drying rack or a dry towel to finish drying it.
Never dry knit woolen items on a hanger, as it can easily stretch out the fabric.
Although most woolen knits can be hand washed at home, if your garment says "dry clean only," or if you prefer to dry clean your sweaters and woolen accessories, you can do so. Speak to your cleaner about using the most gentle cleaning method possible.
Caring for Wool Blankets
Cozy-warm and timelessly handsome, wool blankets can last for decades with proper care. Here are some tips for keeping your blankets in tip-top shape.
For long-term storage, dry clean your wool blankets before storing in order to remove bodily oils and keep moths at bay. Then fold blankets (never hang knits!) and store with mothballs or fresh cedar blocks, which tend to have a more pleasant odor.
Dry cleaning is the best way to clean a wool blanket. You don't need to do it often—two or three times a year will suffice—but it always results in a fresh and soft blanket. In between cleanings, you can just brush the blanket off or give it a good shake to get rid of surface dust and dirt.
Wool blankets do not like to be machine washed, especially in hot water, as it causes shrinkage. Should your blanket shrink due to being washed in hot water, you won't be able to re-stretch it without ruining the blanket.
An alternative to dry cleaning is to hand wash your blanket in cold water, using a special wool cleaner such as Eucalan™. After soaking for at least half an hour—longer is fine—rinse well until the water runs clear and is no longer soapy. Gently press the water out of the blanket; do not wring. Then lay your blanket flat to air dry.
Over time, areas of the blanket will start to show signs of wear. Little bobbles of wool will form around the wearing areas; this is known as pilling. In order to prevent the fabric from becoming rougher than normal and losing its insulation qualities, you can remove the bobbles by applying a soft brush to the affected area.
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