How to take care of your wool blankets
Here at the British Blanket Company, we specialise in selling beautiful wool blankets, so we know a thing or two when it comes to keeping them fresh and looking great. To take care of your blanket all you need to do is wash it when needed, dry it with the correct technique, and de-bobble from time to time. In this blog, we’ll show you how easy it is to care for a wool blanket properly so it will look great for years to come.
How to wash wool blankets
Wool is naturally odour resistant, so if your blanket just needs a freshen up, sometimes airing outside in the fresh air is all that's needed.
If you’re going to wash your blanket, the first thing you need to do is establish what type of wool your blanket is made from. Is it pure wool or merino lambswool? Pure wool is suitable for machine washing, hand washing, and spot cleaning. Merino lambswool, which is a more delicate fibre, is suitable for dry cleaning only.
Spot cleaning a wool blanket step-by-step
If you've spilled something on your wool blanket the first thing to try is spot cleaning. This is suitable for isolated marks. What you're going to need for this is a bowl of cool water, a lint-free cloth and some laundry detergent suitable for wool.
- Add a couple of drops of the laundry detergent to the water and give it a stir
- Soak the section of the blanket which is stained in the water for a few minutes
- Use the lint-free cloth to dab and blot the stain until its gone (don’t scrub as it will felt the fabric)
- Repeat if necessary
Hand washing a wool blanket step-by-step
If you prefer to hand wash your wool blanket, this is how to do it.
- Fill the sink or a large bucket with cool water
- Add a small amount of detergent suitable for wool
- Submerge the blanket and scrunch for several minutes. Don't twist or stretch the wool fabric
- Repeat twice with clean water to rinse
Machine washing a wool blanket step-by-step
Pure wool blankets from The British Blanket Company are suitable for machine washing, but it's important that you use a cold wash. If you expose your blanket to warm water or heat it can make it shrink. Make sure you choose no spin, and once the machine is finished remove your blanket from the washing machine straight away. If the blanket is sat damp inside the machine, it can cause it to misshape.
- Check the pre-settings on your machine. If the pre-set wool cycle is cold, you can use this. If it's not, select a cold programme manually
- Select no spin
- Add mild detergent that is suitable for wool
- Remove the wool blanket promptly when the wash cycle finishes and reshape whilst damp
Should you use fabric softener when washing wool?
We prefer not to use a fabric softener when washing wool blankets. Fabric softeners and conditioners leave behind a residue which can exacerbate felting and bobbling on wool fabrics.
How to dry wool blankets (without them shrinking)
If you have a wool blanket that's just been washed and you wring it out it might make it fall out of shape. This is a quick tip to help you remove the excess water from your blanket.
- Take a clean dry towel and lay it out on a surface
- Place your wet blanket on top of the towel
- Get your blanket into its original shape
- Use your towel to roll the blanket up inside it (a bit like a Swiss roll)
- Gently squeeze
This will help to remove the excess water from the blanket without it twisting out of shape.
You can dry your blanket outside on a washing line or a clothes rack indoors. Make sure the weight of the wet blanket is evenly distributed over the line or airer as a wet wool blanket will be heavy and could stretch. One of the great properties of wool is it will naturally wick the moisture away, so you might find that some drips go on the floor. If drying your blanket inside use an old towel underneath your clothes rack to catch any of the water that drips off.
The most important thing to remember when drying your blanket is never tumble dry! The heat of the warm air will cause your blanket to shrink.
How to de-bobble wool blankets step-by step
If you've been using your wool blanket for a while you might notice it has small bobbles forming on the surface. Bobbling (also known as pilling) happens because of friction, so if your blanket is subject to friction from your body, for example on the seat of a chair, bobbles will form as the fibres felt together. Don’t worry, it's something that's completely normal and it happens with all fluffy wool fabrics. If you want to remove bobbles from wool it’s very simple. All you’re going to need is two things, a self-adhesive lint roller, and a de-pilling comb. You can buy a de-pilling comb online for just a fiver!
So, all you’re going to do is:
- Firstly, use the self-adhesive lint roller to remove any loose fibers
- Then use the de-pilling comb to lightly shave at the blankets surface
This will get rid of all the bobbles and have your blanket looking as good as new!
We created a three-part video series on YouTube explaining in greater detail how to wash, dry, and de-bobble your wool blankets! Head over to The British Blanket Company YouTube channel and check them out.
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