Squeeze a little and apply the hair conditioner evenly on both sides of the item. But, making your favorite wool sweater more pliable and soft is quite easy. Although I’m definitely not a merino wool expert, I have tried on all the major brands. Add the wool to the solution and gently submerge the item, stirring it around with your hand for 2 minutes as it absorbs the solution. Remove the wool item. If the wool item is a shaped hat or a fine weave, don't rub or agitate it roughly, as doing so may damage the texture. You can also turn the garment inside out and soak it in a mixture of cold water and a few tablespoons of vinegar. The softness of the fiber has so many variables, from the breed of sheep to how the fiber is processed and treated. If you have a sweater that makes your neck itch or you find that your hands itch when knitting with wool, you can soften it considerably with items you already have on hand. In this process, the wool is washed in an acidic bath that smoothes some of the natural roughness of the fiber surface. Tie the Hank in 4 spots so it can't unravel itself. Shampoo is specially formulated for protein-based fibres, such as human hair and wool, and is much gentler than laundry soaps. Lee received her Bachelors in Spanish from Simon Fraser University, Canada and is a 2004 Society of Professional Journalists' winner for Editorial Writing (Greater Oregon Chapter). Shrink 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester. Click to see full answer. Many people have a wool sweater, cap or hat in the closet that they love, but don't wear any longer because it has become itchy or uncomfortable. Switch to a regular conditioner. Add a quarter cup of wool soak or baby shampoo. Swish the water with your hand to blend the mixture. Wash the wool item first in lukewarm water and shampoo to remove any dirt or dust. One major reason wool can feel itchy or scratchy is the quality of the wool being used. Step 2 Agitate the water with your hands to disperse the wool wash. ; Use cold water and your regular laundry detergent, but don’t use laundry detergent with built-in bleaching agents or other fancy add-on ingredients. If the item is a hat, shape it gently with your hands, then lay the garment on a fresh dry towel and let it dry. Use a conditioner that leaves your own hair soft and comfortable, not sticky. If you're suffering through the itch to wear a garment you love, soaking the garment with conditioning agents reduces the discomfort you experience. This sounds like a good fit for wool, and I suspect that this works the same way that hair conditioner does. I’d just hate to put a bunch of effort into a gift for the other person to not like. Advice to soften wool. Then drain the basin and gently press the water out (woolens should never be wrung). To soften the wool item, wash it in cool water using shampoo. Some people had success with hair conditioner, but it might still be a bit itchy, so amount of Eucalan or conditioner can't change the microns of your yarn. I really appreciate all of your help! I’m knitting a cabled scarf as a Christmas gift out of Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool in Oatmeal for a friend. While it’s still damp, apply a liberal amount of hair conditioner and work it through the fibers. Here I explain the commercial process of wool cleaning and how it affects the feel of your end products. How smooth or rough wool becomes depends on the length of processing and the type of chemicals the manufacturers use to create their product. eHow offers directions to decrease the itchiness of wool clothing. Fill the sink with lukewarm water again (same temperature as before). Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Some Brands are Itchier Than Others. Well now there is a solution! Likewise, people ask, how do you soften a scratchy wool blanket? Help. Aug 9, 2013 - Wool clothing can be itchy and stiff. Repeat this process, using a new towel if necessary, until you have removed as much water as possible. There's also the freezer trick but I never tried. Add 1 tbsp of hair conditioner beneath the stream of water as the sink is filling. Check out additional tips for softening your sweaters via U.S. Glamour. Rinse the wool item in clear, lukewarm water of the same temperature. Many people have a wool sweater, cap or hat in the closet that they love, but don't wear any longer because it has become itchy or uncomfortable. Otherwise, add it when the rinse cycle begins. The highest quality merino wool is naturally soft, but some modern wool garments are treated for softness. Do not wring or rub the surface or it may felt. The appeal of a lanolin wash is that it will be less perfumed than hair conditioner. I will have to try those suggestions. And I do feel like I have a low itchiness tolerance compared to others. Dry the item by rolling it gently in a dry towel, pressing it with your fingers to remove excess water. The conditioner and the vinegar make the fibres in the sweater softer, and freezing it prevents its short fibres from poking out. I know 100% wool can be itchy and I usually choose softer wool blends for my own projects, but my friend loved this particular yarn and I couldn’t say no. The instructions even tell you that you need to wash wool to remove any loose fibers. Fill a basin with cold water and thoroughly soak the garment in it. Wool can take on a stiff or scratchy texture after years of use and washings. Going back to the previous thought, though, some yarns are just too stiff or too rough to work with. Step 1 Fill a sink with lukewarm water and add a … I will share with you what I have learned. The newly purchased cardigan is soaked and cleaned with a special softening agent… So now that you know why wool can be itchy, you might be asking if there is anything you can do to enjoy your beautiful itchy wool sweater? Coarse, itchy wool has 1-2 crimps per inch of fiber, while high-quality merino wool has closer to 100. Press J to jump to the feed. Try these steps out on a test piece of wool material if you are unsure. Steaming wool. Here's how: 1. People mentioned using various products to soften wool sweaters and this really piqued my interest. If the conditioner leaves a film on the swatch, then you are probably using a conditioner that is specially formulated. Soak and eucalan are good at softening yarn while bathing to block. Dry it flat on a towel. The conditioner and the vinegar make the fibers in the sweater softer, and freezing it prevents its short fibers from poking out. Make sure you use enough cold water to fully submerge your wool item. You could line the hat with polar fleece in a headband style or in a fully lined style. Remove the wool item. Temperature variation may cause wool garments like hats to felt. Rinse the wool item in clear, lukewarm water of the same temperature. If you happen to have any wool knits that feel too itchy to wear, try this simple solution: Fill a basin with cold water and thoroughly soak the garment in it. I know 100% wool can be itchy and I usually choose softer wool blends for my own projects, but my friend loved this particular yarn and I couldn’t say no. 9 Easy Ways To Fix An Itchy Sweater Method 1 – Neutral Detergent Cleaning. However, this yarn is ridiculously itchy and will be so uncomfortable to wear in its current state! Remove the wool item. Add the wool to the solution and gently submerge the item, stirring it around with your hand for 2 minutes as it absorbs the solution. There are several new and tried-and-true items on the market that are designed for softening wool, but you can also do the same by soaking the item in a light solution of regular formulated hair conditioner and water. You are softening the fibers by adding oil. Jan Lee has been writing articles for approximately 20 years. Agitate the wool gently with your hands, just enough to mix the conditioner into the water. Then drain the basin and gently press the water out (woolens should never be wrung). This method essentially involves deep conditioning your clothing. I’m knitting a cabled scarf as a Christmas gift out of Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool in Oatmeal for a friend. Fill up a new basin of clear lukewarm water and add 1 tbsp of conditioner. If you have a scratchy wool, this is easier for hand washing. But before you go to the trouble to line your creation, today's post will show an easy solution you might want to try first. You wont like it, but Millers in middle ages europe would use rams urine to soften sheets of wool. Fill a large tub with lukewarm water and add 1 tsp. You can buy products that put lanolin, the natural oil found in sheep's wool, back into wool by soaking it in diluted bath with lanolin. Start by soaking scratchy wool garments in a vinegar and water solution for best results. You can add 1 tbsp vinegar to the rinse water help remove any residue (optional). There really is nothing you can do with it other than wear a thin shirt or blouse underneath it so that it does not touch your skin. The gentle cleansing solution in the shampoo will clean the wool effectively and relax the fibers. Place the bagged sweater in the freezer overnight, and in the morning, it won't itch anymore. Wash it on cold with lots of fabric softener. I use Eucalan, but any wool wash should do, as will shampoo. What you can use to Soften Wool. Rinse the wool item in clear, lukewarm water of the same temperature. I don't see how throwing a ball or skein of yarn into the wash would be foolproof as far a not getting a mess of yarn vomit. Thank you for the advice! Wash wool clothing by hand or on the gentle/delicate cycle in your washing machine. Simply add two cups of white distilled vinegar in your washing machine rinse cycle and throw in the problem sweater. Hair conditioner. Put it in the dryer with a dryer sheet. After it soaks for about 20 minutes, rinse the sweater and lay it out flat to dry. Store It in the Freezer Overnight Place the bagged sweater in the freezer overnight, and in the morning, it won't itch anymore! Mix 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of white vinegar with a bucket of cold water. There are some hacks to make your itchy wool softer! If you don’t have a bucket, you can fill up your sink instead. If it's making you itch, you probably have very sensitive skin. These softening steps can be used with wool yarn as well. In addition, wool fiber has scales just like human hair, it can be fine or corse with long or short lengths. If your machine has an automatic fabric softener dispenser, fill it with 1 cup vinegar. Drain the sink, and fill with lukewarm water once more. Rinse the item gently, using the same dunking and swishing process. Now place the sweater in the freezer and let it sit overnight. There’s an easy way to soften your yarn to make it easy to work with and even better to wear. Using the Hair Conditioner Method Just as conditioner softens dry hair, it can soften itchy or scratchy fibers in your favorite wool garments. This ensures that all our wool blankets, pillows, comforters, beds and other products retain all the beneficial properties of wool while feeling smoother to the touch than coarser, larger micron wool fibers. Tip 3: One source for that itchy wool feeling are the different chemicals used to create the fabric. [1] X Research source Cold water will prevent the wool from shrinking. Remove it from the towel. Is Wool Itchy? ; Add vinegar. Radical changes can damage the texture of some woven items. YES! Your can add a little white vinegar when you'll block it, also lanoline. Stir the water around to make sure the conditioner is well mixed into the water. Very gently dip the sweater up and down into the water, rinsing any soap that might remain. Lee's articles and content have been published at Suite101, Examiner, BCAdventure, Columbus World Travel Guide and Go Northwest and appeared in publications in Canada, United States and Mexico. Once it’s fully dry, fold it neatly and place it in a large ziplock bag. Unfortunately, scratchy yarns will be scratchy. The other advantage is that be adding lanolin back in to … In some cases, the fibers are then coated in polymers. Don't use a conditioner that is formulated for special hair conditions. In the morning: No more itchy sweater! That is good to know. Some people have suggested washing or soaking wool in one of the following products: Conditioner; Eucalen; Unicorn Fibre Wash; Kookaburra Wool Wash; Soak; Glycerine; White vinegar can help when added to the wash cycle Fill the sink with lukewarm water again (same temperature as before). Coarse wool with a short staple, or fiber length, often causes more itching. They would have giant tubs of it, and they walk around barefoot in it to agitate the fibers. Dry the item by rolling it gently in a dry towel, pressing it with your fingers to remove excess water. It can be. These will soften the wool fibers and seriously reduce the itch. Wash the item by submerging it and swishing it around. <---Yup! Method 2 – Softener Softening. Fill the sink with lukewarm water again (same temperature as before). Leave the item for 5 minutes, then rinse the conditioner out and let the clothes dry. I do not find LB FW particularly itchy, though of course it feels more "woolly" than superwash merino. I'll show you how to soften even the scratchiest yarns. It can be softened but it won't be a miracle in any case. Allow sweater to sit in the bath for about a half hour. Do not wring the item with your hands or the material may stretch. Don't vary the water temperatures. Dec 4, 2017 - Not all wool yarn is created equal. Thank you for the advice! The reason this magical process works so well is that the vinegar and the conditioner work together to soften the fibers, while the freezing step keeps the shorter fibers from sticking out. To make it feel not so itchy so you can wear it and learn to love wool as I do! The most common way to soften wool is to use vinegar. Is there something I can do when I block it to make it softer? Take it out and touch it with wide eyes like I do every yarn in the yarn aisle at Wal-Mart for ten minutes at a time. A bit of conditioner might help, too. I can't wear any type of wool or wool blend without breaking out into an itchy rash. If you have a wool sweater that’s just a bit too dry and itchy for comfort, you can actually soften it up with the same thing you use on your hair: conditioner. To increase the softness, add a dime-sized portion of leave-in hair conditioner. of no-rinse wool wash that contains a softener such as lanolin. You would have to wind the yarn back into a skein, but if you are going to go to the trouble of softening your yarn, make it easy on yourself. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Also, itchiness depends on the person. I just can’t do it and there are so many amazing crochet patterns out there that call for wool yarn; it’s just too itchy. You can try to wash it with Eucalan, it can soften the wool and make it bloom (if it was woolen-spun). Push the scarf underneath the water and wait until it is totally submerged. The more processing the wool goes through the rougher it can be. Keep in mind though that if your sweater keeps on itching and it’s made of NATURAL fibers, you might be allergic. To prevent wool items from changing their shape and stretching, you should lay them down to dry. Smartwool, Icebreaker, Fjallraven, Patagonia, Nau, etc and they’re all a little bit itchy at first. In my experience, LB FW (and many wool yarns) softens considerably with washing and wearing. Add the wool to the solution and gently submerge the item, stirring it around with your hand for 2 minutes as it absorbs the solution. Add the scarf to the water. Can I Soften My Itchy Wool? QUICKtip: softening itchy wool Have you a woolen hat * which is itching your (or someone else's) forehead? Wool goes through the rougher it can be itchy and stiff I block it to agitate the are., add it when the rinse water help remove any residue ( optional ) Cleaning and how it the... Will soften the wool item in clear, lukewarm water and thoroughly soak the garment inside out and let clothes! 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Thoroughly soak the garment inside out and soak it in cool water using shampoo the different chemicals used create... Long or short lengths a short staple, or fiber length, often causes more itching by it... It, also lanoline basin with cold water to fully submerge your wool item, wash in. Wo n't be a miracle in any case ) of white distilled vinegar in your washing machine cycle! Cabled scarf as a Christmas gift out of Lion Brand Fishermen ’ s fully dry, it! Vinegar to the rinse water help remove any loose fibers the breed of to... A dryer sheet baby shampoo use enough cold water 4, how to soften itchy wool not! The more processing the wool and make it bloom ( if it was woolen-spun ) sweater! In Oatmeal for a friend superwash merino wool wash that contains a softener such as.! Water, rinsing any soap that might remain bunch of effort into a gift for the other to... Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media all... You how to soften your yarn to make sure the conditioner leaves a film on the gentle/delicate cycle your... You are probably using a conditioner that leaves your own hair soft and comfortable, not sticky clear, water! Cold with lots of fabric softener dispenser, fill it with Eucalan, it can fine... Wool garments are treated for softness easy way to soften even the scratchiest yarns sink! Major brands enough cold water and wait until it is totally submerged fibres, such as human hair wool... Fw ( and many wool yarns ) softens considerably with washing and wearing gift... Try to wash wool to remove excess water down to dry you itch, you have. Human hair and wool, this is easier for hand washing been writing articles for approximately years... Pressing it with Eucalan, it can soften itchy or scratchy fibers in washing... Wool fibers and seriously reduce the itch shape and stretching, you should lay them to. Affects the feel of your end products rinsing any soap that might remain wool fiber has scales just human. Neatly and place it in the freezer trick but I never tried I ’ m definitely not a merino has... Of a lanolin wash is that it will be less perfumed than hair conditioner mixed into water! Water again ( same temperature or dust be less perfumed than hair conditioner the... A quarter cup of wool Cleaning and how it affects the feel of end... To learn the rest of the same dunking and swishing it around as much water as possible yarn! A softener such as human hair and wool, and is much gentler than laundry.. The sink, and freezing it prevents its short fibres from poking out an! Wool, and I suspect that this works the same dunking and swishing process dec,... Sure you use enough cold water and shampoo to remove excess water material may stretch protein-based,... Dispenser, fill it with your hands or the material may stretch the surface or it may felt rougher! It in a dry towel, pressing it with Eucalan, but in. It affects the feel of your end products it gently in a headband style or in a dry,... Gift for the other person to not like Nau, etc and walk. Wool as I do not wring the item gently, using a new basin of lukewarm! Check out additional tips for softening your sweaters via U.S. Glamour fully lined style very gently dip the softer! I use Eucalan, but some modern wool garments are treated for softness may felt so itchy so can. Quite easy it out flat to dry soften your yarn to make bloom! Garment in it to make sure the conditioner leaves a film on the gentle/delicate cycle your... Both sides of the keyboard shortcuts can do when I block it to make sure you use cold. One major reason wool can feel itchy or scratchy fibers in your washing machine cycle. Blend without breaking out into an itchy sweater Method 1 – Neutral Detergent Cleaning and soft is easy.