How To Wash And Care For Your Merino Wool Cape

 Cape Istanbul

Cape Istanbul

 

Let’s face it - something as beautiful as a handwoven merino wool cape, deserves some love. Merino wool is a natural material that is highly breathable, anti-bacterial, lightweight and super soft. Something this luxurious would make you think it’s difficult or expensive to look after, but actually, its antibacterial properties mean it requires less washing. To ensure your cape looks as good as it did when you first bought it and lasts forever, I’ve put together a quick guide on how to wash and care for your merino wool cape.

How to wash your cape

Try to minimise unnecessary washing of the cape. So if you’ve only worn it a couple of times, it’s not necessary to wash it. Treat it like you would a coat and only wash it when you really need to. Keep it aired and away from strong smells and dust.

First things first - don’t use fabric softener as this coats the fibres and inhibits the wool’s natural ability to regulate your moisture and body temperature. Softeners can also encourage bobbling as the fibres move to the surface easily.

  • To wash the cape, fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add a tablespoon of mild baby shampoo or mild detergent. If you’re using a mild, bleach free powder detergent, ensure you dissolve the powder thoroughly to avoid large powder particles sticking to the fabric. Swish it around to dissolve the detergent and create a lather.

  • Immerse your cape into the water and swirl it around gently. Don’t soak it for more than a few minutes otherwise you risk shrinkage. (With dark colours, it’s absolutely normal for excess colour to run in the first few washes).

  • Replace the water with plain lukewarm water (same temperature as you first used), dip and swirl your cape and repeat until there is no more lather.

  • Lift the cape out of the water carefully letting as much of the water run out and place on a thick towel. Roll it between the towel to remove the excess water. Don’t wring as this will stretch the wool.

  • Get another large dry towel and lay the cape flat on top to dry out, of direct sunlight. Don’t line dry or use a hangar as the wool will be heavy when wet, causing the wool to stretch and lose its shape.

  • Iron on a cool or wool setting and preferably lay a think cotton sheet on top of the cape and iron over this.

Removing Stains

Depending on the extent of the stain there are two ways to get rid of a stain;

  • Wet the stained spot. With a tiny drop of baby shampoo and a soft toothbrush, gently brush away the stain in a circular motion. Rinse off the lather under a tap, place between a towel and dab till the excess water is gone. Lay flat to dry.

  • For light stains, use a soft damp cloth to dab the stained area until the stain is removed.

Pilling

This occurs when the wool rubs against something continuously. It’s perfectly normal as the fibres slough off during normal wear. You can just pick them off or invest in a handy sweater comb that will keep all your wool clothing looking brand new.

Fixing A Pulled Thread

Sorry to disappoint but this may happen. Usually it’s down to catching the cape on something like your bag, ring or bracelet. As a result a thread is pulled and looped followed by a disappointed sigh! Before you reach for the scissors, try to stretch or pull the fabric around the loop so that it sits back in place. You may need to do this a few times until the loop disappears or reduces. If it’s only a single pulled thread, you can safely cut it without damaging your piece. 

So there you have it. Your guide to caring for your beautiful merino wool cape. Any questions? Email me at hello@jewelledbuddha.com and i’ll be happy to help!

Storing Your Cape

When your not wearing your cape for a while, store it away folded in a dry environment.