Friday, November 18, 2011

How to Pre-Shrink Wool Material

Pre-Shrinking Wool Material

Like cotton, wool has the potential for a great deal of shrinkage. Wool is, however, different in that it does not possess cotton's easy care attributes. Wool does not respond well to being tossed in the washer and taking a trip through the dryer.
  1. A steam iron set on the wool setting, one of the iron's hottest, is the best way to prepare this strong but also vulnerable fabric. The combination of heat and the moisture from the steam work togerther to shrink the fibers with the stretching and potential breakage that can happen to wool in the laundry cycle.
  2. A steamer is a second option when prepping wool, as long as the piece is not too large or too heavy, because fabric needs to hang during steaming and the weight can damage the moistened wool fibers near the top.
  3. If you are uncomfortable trying to treat the wool on your own, after all, wool can be pretty expensive, take it to a dry cleaner and have it steamed professionally.
Final Tip: Before preshrinking, serge the raw edges of the material, or sew across the edges on a regular machine, using your preferred finishing stitch.

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