We all have the winter staple that we reach into the back of our wardrobes for when the temperature drops...A classic wool coat. Wool is renowned for being a natural fibre and incredibly insulating, so it would be a devastating moment to see you've ruined your winter coat by not properly caring for the fibre. So, grab your coat, dust it off and follow the below steps to learn exactly how to clean and take care of your wool coat.
Step 1 - Check the care label
First step to taking care of your wool coat is to check the care label. On here, you will find all the key information that will prevent you damaging your coat. For example, some garments are dry clean only so you will have to take it to a professional for a clean. Alternatively, you may find that your coat will need to be hand washed or machine washed on a low temperature. All garments are made with different yarns and fibres; therefore, it is important to check the instructions before you begin.
*As Hockerty produces made to measure garments, our coats do not include the care labels. The care instructions will be delivered on a separate sheet. In case of any questions, please, contact us.
|Checkered brown Peacoat with epaulettes||Camel Long Wool Trench Coat||Checked gray Long Chesterfield Coat|
Step 2 - Brush the coat
To take off any surface dirt and gust, grab a garment brush and gently stroke the coat ensuring you only go in one direction, from collar to hem. If you don’t have a garment brush, a damp cloth will suffice.
Step 3 - Spot clean the coat
Before you wash your coat, look carefully over the garment and find any marks, food stains or splashes that may have landed in the coat. Use a small amount of a mild detergent with your finger and rub the mark in circular motions to gently lift the dirt. It is recommended that even if there’s is no staining, you should spot clean collars, cuffs and any other areas that are easy to catch dirt and stains.
Step 3 - Decide if you should wash the coat by hand or in the washing machine
From step 1, you should have determined whether your coat is to be hand washed, machine washed or dry cleaned. For hand washing, go to step 4. For washing in a machine, go to step 5.
Step 4 - Hand washing your wool coat
To hand wash your coat, you will need to do this is in your bathtub or if you do not have one, the kitchen sink will be perfect. You need to fill the tub with lukewarm water. Ensure the water is not too hot as this can actually shrink the wool. Add around 29 ml of either a wool shampoo which is a liquid detergent (we recommend Woolite) or a baby shampoo if you are unable to find the above.
Immerse the coat into the tub and push it down until it stops floating. Leave the coat to soak in the detergent for 30 minutes and then with your hands, squeeze the water into the coat to ensure every fibre is getting cleaned.
Leave the coat once again for anywhere between 1 to 2 hours and then come back and rub away any dirt and soiled areas with your fingers. Although many people recommend using the wool itself to remove marks, this actually causes felting which cannot be reversed, so always use your hands.
Drain your bathtub and wipe any residue from the tub, then refill with fresh lukewarm water. Gently move the coat around in the water until there is no soap left in the coat.
Step 5 - Washing your wool coat in the washing machine
If the care label has given you the go ahead to wash your coat in the washing machine, do not just throw it straight in. Begin by soaking the coat in warm water and detergent for 30 minutes to prevent shrinkage and to loosen any dirt. Then, turn the coat inside and out and place it in a wash bag. This is to prevent the coat rubbing or getting snagged against the washer. If you do not have a wash bag feel free to use a pillowcase or a bed sheet and tie a loose knot around the top.
Set your machine to a lukewarm temperature either 30 or 40 degrees and ensure the setting is on delicate for around an hour.
Step 6 - Drying your coat
After you have either hand or machine washed the coat, gently squeeze out any excess water from the top to the bottom. Be sure not to wring the coat as this can stretch and distort the fibres and your coat will not fit as it originally did.
Grab a towel, roll the coat in it and very gently squeeze the towel to help it to absorb any excess water. Once this step is complete, unroll the coat and place it flat onto a dry towel. Do not hang the coat as this can cause it to become misshapen and putting it into a tumble dryer can potentially shrink the coat.
The drying process may take 2 to 3 days, so make sure that you flip the coat every day to ensure both sides are fully dried.
That's about it! It sounds like a lot of work however, wool is a very delicate fibre that is prone to stretching and snagging. With woollen coats such as a duffle and pea coats being somewhat of an investment piece, it is important that you spend the time caring for your coat to keep it as pristine as it once when you first bought it. So, the next time you're thinking about washing your wool coat remember the following key points from this post:
- Always check your care label
- Use lukewarm water to hand or machine wash
- Never use a tumble dryer
- Keep the coat flat for a couple days while its drying