The Wonders of Wool (part 3)

I wanted to touch on “felting” and shrinking of your wool. Now, we know from last time that we do not machine wash wool, unless your toddler’s Baby Alive doll is an especially heavy wetter and needs some backup, because that is about the size you will get.

I get the question “should I felt my new soaker?”. Felting refers to the process in which wool rubs on itself, the fibers “fuzz” and become denser, making the wool weave tighter and shrinking it down. Disana and most other wool soakers come a bit larger than their size range, because over time some felting will occur. Do I recommend it? Not really, it happens over time, and the soaker will work as it comes.

If you have the right amount of absorbency under it, wool in its natural state will work well. If you have a particularly heavy wetting situation and have lots of layers underneath (email me if you need help with this), what you can do to felt it, dampen the wool with warm water, and put it in low heat in the dryer for about 3 minutes. Let it finish air drying, and then see how it works. You can’t go back and undo this process, so if you overshrink, you are probably stuck with a small soaker. THe only thing you can try if you overshrink, immediately get a basin with warm water, and dump gobs of hair conditioner in it (doesn’t matter the brand, I have used cheap Suave before to do this), and soak the soaker in it. Then, very carefully stretch out the wool and let air dry. You may recover up to an inch of the soaker this way, but be careful when pulling on it to stretch it out.

Another popular question is ” can I just get a wool wash with lots of lanolin and skip that step?”. There are brands out there I have used and did not like that advertised this. The problem is, if the wool wash has enough lanolin to really do the job, it didn’t get my wool clean. It was so tacky the odors stayed put, so I do recommend a separate system for the two step process. Now, our brand we carry has some in it, for lighter wetters this will do the job, but it isn’t a full “dose” for a heavy wetter. Another option is a Lanolin Spray for touch ups in the crotch area in between washings, and this can be handy as well if you need it.

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June 3, 2010. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, Q & A, Wool.

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