Winter Cycling - Smartwool sweater- do I really have to dry clean it?
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02-18-08, 08:47 AM
I bought a Smartwool sweater recently and luckily I read the tag before putting it in the washer on cold water gentle cycle, because it reads; "Dry Clean Only".
I would not have bought the sweater if I had known it was a dry clean fabric.
So my question is... does anyone have a Smartwool sweater that they handwash without any ill effects like color loss or shrinking?
thanks in advance,
02-18-08, 09:49 AM
nevermind, I found an archived thread on this subject with this reply in it:
...When I got my first merino wool sweater, I was paranoid about washing it and drying it ... then a friend told me to just toss it into the washer and dryer. He said that's what he did with his. I did ... frequently ... and that sweater looks and fits as good as the day I got it. I've done that with all my merino wool since then. However, it's a good idea to keep the dryer temperature low.
I guess I'll try washing it.
02-18-08, 11:57 AM
I had a Smartwool sweater that I put through the cold wash. It is now half the size it originally was and is now at the thrift store. That is why I plan on buying only merino wool sweaters that are washable like Ibex etc.
02-18-08, 12:03 PM
^^ oh crap. It's going to piss me off to have to dry clean this thing.
You will probably be Ok to wash it in the washer on cold, on a gentle cycle. Use the most gentle cycle on your machine. Its better to use one of the wool specific detergents, like Nikwax (http://www.nikwax.com/en-gb/products/productdetail.php?productid=470&activityid=-1&itemid=1&fabricid=-1) or, Kookaburra (http://www.kookaburraco.com/) wool wash. These are very kind to the wool fabric and, have a touch of lanolin added to enhance the natural wicking and "shape" retaining properties. After the spin cycle, remove the articles and lay out on a towel or, the bed to finish drying. Works great and holds it's shape.
Having said that, I always hand wash my wool in the sink with the soap mentioned above. I fill the basin with warm water and soap (it takes very little), put the garments in and let soak for about 10 or so minutes, then squeeze and swish around a few times. Drain the sink and refill for rinsing. Rinse twice. Then put in the washing machine on the spin cycle only. Remove and lay out on bed or towel to finish drying. Works equally as great.
I wash all my wool items in the washer, which is a front load style so the items cant get wrapped around the ringer like top load, then let them air dry. Have not had any problems in years.
02-19-08, 07:16 AM
email reply from Customer Service at SmartWool:
Thank you for your email.
SmartWool only makes a limited number of sweaters that are dry clean only. The Hahn’s Peak is Boiled Wool and needs to be Dry Cleaned. I don’t recommend washing it in cold water and hand drying!
Pro Purchase/Consumer Relations
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
02-19-08, 11:54 AM
I don't really trust wool sweaters anymore. I got this great "washable wool" sweater made by Sierra Designs. It fit great, my wife thought I looked sexy in it, and it was warm. After a while, it began to get funky, and not in a good way. I washed it per the tag, and it shrank to the point that it almost came down to my navel. Disturbingly, the arms remained the same length, as did the overall fit. It went to Goodwill.
02-19-08, 02:37 PM
I recommend hanging it (or laying flat) to dry to cut down on wear.
02-25-08, 09:54 AM
If it's boiled wool (felted) then yes, it will need dry cleaning. Almost anything else is usually washable, with care. (Sheep don't need dry cleaning after all...)
I wash woolens in lukewarm water with either a wool-wash product or (don't laugh) the same 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo I use on my own hair. It works a treat and has even saved a few itchy items. Then the key is to roll the wet stuff up in a towel to blot most of the water out, and lay it out on a flat rack to dry. Never put them in the dryer, no matter how gentle the dry cycle is.
I'm a knitter and I laughed myself silly when SmartWool hit the technical clothing scene. I've been knitting with superwash-treated merino for over a decade (all of the German sock yarns are the equivalent of SmartWool). I used to get snobby comments in the hiking stores about how "nobody wears WOOL now that we have these wonderful synthetics!" and then a year later they were drooling over the "new miracle fiber" :rolleyes: (Merino wool has been bred for 600 years... )
One of these days I will get ambitious and knit a jersey out of this: http://www.nbyarn.com/shop/product_info.php/cPath/21_141/products_id/1313
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