We receive email a couple of times a week with questions about wool.
How to felt it, how to dye it and how to lanolize it.
We hope that this page is helpful to those of you with questions! :)
* Wash no more than 8 yards at a time. Five is a good amount.
* Warm wash, cold rinse and dry on second hottest setting.
You can wash with a regular mild laundry detergent but will get better results from a wash formulated specifically for wool.
You can expect a 25-35% shrinkage. For one yard expect to lose 6-8 inches.
Once your wool is felted, you can cut and sew. Wash on cold and air dry to prevent further shrinkage.
This process applies to both 100% wool and to wool blend. Though the wool blend should be able to be washed gently after felting.
New instructions. I first prepare the dye bath. I like to use the wash machine, so I run nearby water to get it hot, then fill the washer to the desired level with super hot water. A lot of times I will turn up my hot water tank so that the dye will set well. Ok, now that the washer is filling with hot, I get my powdered acid dye and add 1/2 teaspoon dry powder to the water. Let the machine finish filling and then agitate it for about 2 minutes. This distributes the dye, and makes sure all the clumps of dye are broken up.
I add the fabric to the machine while it is agitating and let it agitate about 5 minutes. At that point I check the wash to be sure everything looks ok. I then add 1 cup of vinegar, and reset the timer to run another 12 minutes or so. I let it agitate 10 minutes, and then reset and let it agitate some more. After the time has elapsed, I spin the water out and put it right into the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. This helps set the dye, and finishes felting the wool.
I DO NOT wash or felt the wool prior to dying. I also DO NOT use any soap in the dye bath. I was doing this before and I got a lot more streaking than I do by omitting this step.
Wool Cover Care
These beautiful wool covers require very little special care. If your cover is soiled rinse in cool water then soak in a wool wash or baby shampoo for at least 15 minutes. Roll the cover in a towel to remove excess water and hang to dry. For difficult stains you can lay the diaper in the sun to dry for the afternoon, and that should remove the stain.
If your cover needs to be lanolized (it will begin to feel wet) you can do so by dissolving 1 tablespoon of lanolin in 1 cup of hot water, cap the jar, and shake vigorously to emulsify. Let the mixture cool slightly. Pour it over the inside of the cover in your sink or basin, aiming at the area that gets the wettest. Squeeze the items a few times to distribute the lanolin mixture. Soak for 15 minutes or so, and then dry as directed above. When using liquid lanolin, you may use warm water to emulsify.
You can also try the dry lanolizing method, which is terrific for conditioning your hands as well! Simply place a dollop of lanolin and rub it all over your clean hands as if you were putting on hand cream. Work the lanolin into your hands for a minute or two, then wipe off the excess onto the inside of your diaper cover, rubbing it in well. Be gentle!