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Friday, January 4


There is a reason that wool is the chosen fabric for fishermen and sailors.  The unusual structure of the wool fibre allows a sweater to absorb 30% of its weight in moisture before feeling wet.  The epicuticle actually breaks the hydrogen and oxygen bond of water, creating heat.  What's more, the fuzzy surface repels water and the natural kinks create pockets of insulating air.  Fishermen in Ireland added to these protections by wearing sweaters made from unwashed wool, thus retaining the waterproof lanolin oil.  

To retain the beauty and longevity of your sweaters, here are a few cleaning tips.  Remember to always wash your sweaters using a soap instead of a detergent.  Wool is made from protein fibres which detergent is designed to break down.  If you don't have a product like Woolite on hand you can substitute by using shampoo (your hair is also a protein fibre).  Always use cold water and minimize wringing and agitation otherwise you'll begin to felt the fabric.  If you have a washing machine, you can hand wash and spin to dry on the slowest setting.  Always lay your sweaters flat when drying to avoid misshaping.  I like to roll a wet sweater in a towel, applying pressure to remove the water.

Pilling is a major sweater issue.  Nothing makes a cashmere sweater look more trashy than unsightly pills.  There are electric de-pillers available but I prefer a hand held comb.  Rest assured that most sweaters only have so many pills to aggravate you with and after several rounds with the comb you can lead a relatively pill free existence.

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