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Article: Love Your Wool!

Isobaa Merino Tees hanging on a clothes line on a sunny day

Love Your Wool!

For this Valentine’s Day we’re celebrating all things Merino wool and what better way to show our love than sharing our top tips for caring for your wool items, helping them wash better, last longer and perform their best!

So if you’ve ever had questions like, “Can I wash Merino wool?”, “Can I tumble dry Merino Wool?” or even “Can I unshrink Merino Wool?” Then you’re in the right place. Scroll on to find out the best way to take care of your Merino wool clothing and accessories.

What’s the best way to wash Merino wool?

First up, washing. It can be scary washing your new wool item for the first time. We’ve all heard or experienced the horror stories, shrinkage, pilling or bobbling! The fear of what awaits once the timer goes off can be intimidating. We’re here to reassure you, it’s easier than you think to wash your woolly wardrobe. There are some simple rules to follow when washing wool, whether it's 100% Merino or a blend.

Hand or machine wash at 30° or less on a gentle cycle.
Cool temperatures and wool are a match made in heaven! Always check individual care instructions, but in general it's safe to say that wool washes best on a cold gentle cycle.

Use a non-bio detergent.
Wool is a natural material and as a result, strong bio detergents can cause damage to the fine fibres and even holes. Use a non-bio gentle detergent. You can get specific wool wash but a normal non-bio works just fine.

Do not use fabric softener!
Fabric softener, although sweet smelling, can coat the wool fibres during the wash and limit its natural thermoregulating properties. I can also encourage individual fibres to the surface resulting in bobbling or small holes.

Do not bleach, do not dry clean and do not tumble dry.
Wool and harsh chemicals clash, there’s no need for strong bleaches or stain removers. Merino wool especially is resistant to stains and naturally antimicrobial. It doesn’t get smelly easily and stains can be washed out gently. Dry cleaning often uses harsh chemicals that are too strong for the fine wool fibres, it’s best to wash as the care instructions say. Some specialist items like our Merino Insulated Jacket are dry clean only due to the Merino used in the garment being reclaimed merino fibres rather than a woven fabric.

How do you dry Merino wool?

In general, it’s always safe to dry your wool garments flat. You’ll often see care instructions ask you to reshape while wet and lay flat to dry. This allows your item to dry naturally without creasing or becoming misshapen. Very occasionally you might come across a Merino item that says it's okay to tumble dry, make sure that your dryer is on a low gentle setting if so and check the garment after 10 minutes or so to make sure it’s not experiencing any shrinkage. Each dryer is different and the elements that cause wool to shrink are heat and movement. The friction caused by spinning actions in the tumble dryer and washing machine result in felting, when the wool fibres tangle together and make a denser smaller fabric. In our view, it’s better safe than sorry! The natural properties of wool mean that items don’t have to be washed nearly as much as synthetic fabrics, so it’s easier to let them dry naturally in the event they do require freshening up.

Isobaa Merino Tees hanging on a clothes line on a summer day

Did you know…

Merino wool is naturally thermoregulating, meaning that it efficiently absorbs and releases moisture, keeping you dry and warm and letting your skin breathe if things heat up.

Wool garments can easily be worn again and again before needing to be washed, don’t believe us? Just check out the Isobaa 30 Day Challenge!

Merino is great for adventures! If you’re out on a backpacking trip or bike-packing somewhere remote, Merino is a great way to stay fresh on the road. Hanging garments in the sun or in the breeze can easily refresh them and if things get a little sweaty, you can spot wash with just water and dry overnight.

If you’ve got any fantastic facts about wool, or top tips for caring for it, why not pop us a message over to We’d love to hear from our flock.

How can you not love wool? We could talk about baa-arilliant properties of Merino until the sheep come home. But if you’d rather try it for yourself why not sign up to our newsletter for 20% off your first order!

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