If your washing machine has a “cool, wool wash” cycle then you can machine wash your rug using a wool detergent. Otherwise, gently handwash and lay out flat to dry. Please don’t fret if your rug comes out of the machine/bath tub looking a bit bedraggled, it will soon be restored to its former glory if you follow these tips:
Once your rug is dry, gently go through it with your fingers, teasing out any locks which have gone into hiding. This takes a little while but is quite meditative and really quite pleasant to do. Once the locks are all where they should be, if your rug has shorter locks and you prefer it fluffy, you can gently brush the locks out using a small carding brush. I use a small and easy to handle carder that is used for grooming dogs. For a short video on I how do this, please click here:
If you find a lock has come loose, this shouldn’t happen as the felting process fixes them tightly in place, but just in case, simply take a small needle felting tool, place a foam base underneath, and poke the lock back into place.
Did you know …
Wool should never be washed in regular laundry detergent? This is because it is too alkaline for wool and over time will cause fibres to break. Wool likes to be washed in a detergent with a low pH (on the acid side) which is why there are special detergents for wool.
Did you know that fabric conditioners are bad for wool? This is because fabric conditioners are designed to remove the static from synthetic fibres. Wool is a natural fibre and does not produce static, but more importantly, wool fibres will absorb fabric conditioner which will then make it hard for the fibres to “breathe”. For a simple wool rinse, pop a cup of vinegar in your final rinse water, (or in your machine detergent drawer), this will remove any soap residue and keep the wool fibres happy and bouncy.
And finally, did you know that moths hate lavender, tea tree and cedar wool oil? Pop a couple of drops of your preferred oil into your vinegar rinse and the moths will stay away.