Making Natural Fibres Machine Washable

As with many items that we own, it is easy to take them at face value and enjoy the benefits they give us. For example, most of us will own clothing made from natural fibres such as wool. We appreciate the quality of the garment and that not only can it look good, but it will keep us warm too. Before you buy an item of clothing, you might spend time checking it for faults and seeing how well it is made. Do you, however, give much thought to the actual way that the fibre itself has been prepared before being made into a garment? Like most people, probably not.

Let’s take, for example, one of the most widely used natural fibres today, wool and see how for it can be made in a way that enables you to machine wash it. Wool grows on the bodies of sheep and these gentle creatures live in all sorts of climates, from hot arid countries to those that get quite cold and wet. The wool whilst on the sheep can help keep it both warm and cool, it is an amazing insulator. You would think that such a natural fibre as wool would be easy to care for. If it can stand being outside in very wet weather, surely it would be something that once spun into yarn and made into garments that washing the clothing would be no problem? Wrong! Wool has to undergo processes in order for it to become machine washable.

Making Natural Fibres Machine Washable

Natural Wool is Greasy

Natural wool whilst on the sheep is actually very greasy, which repels water on the sheep preventing it from getting cold. If the fleece was not protected this way a sheep would get very wet and stay wet for days which would be detrimental to the sheep. This wool grease has to be removed from the fleeces with detergent before the wool can be spun into yarn. This washing process releases lanolin, a product used in cosmetics, skin cream, rust preventative products and shoe polish amongst other things.

Once the wool has gone through the spinning process, it will need to be treated to make it machine washable. One process involves the use of chemicals to create the desired level of protection. This in effect gives a plastic coating so that the finished product can be machine washed without it shrinking or pilling (for technical details click here). At Penrose Products you will see that we avoid the use of harmful chemicals and use organic methods instead. Another method is to spin the yarn with a mixture of other man made fibres such as nylon, polyester and acrylics.

Caring for Natural Fibre Products

The best advice about caring for the natural fibre products that you buy, whether they are made from wool, alpaca, linen or cotton, is to read the label carefully. It is best to do this before you purchase so that you will know whether it can be washed by yourself or if it should be dry cleaned. There will also be other important information on the label about the wash temperature, ironing and tumble drying. There is a lot of work that goes into producing wool and other fibres before they end up as a garment in your wardrobe. It’s good to know about the goods that you have purchased and how to keep them in good condition.

Fibre Refresh

Bedding from Penrose Products is well made and designed to give you maximum value and longevity. In addition, we offer a service that will keep your pillows, duvets and mattress toppers in great shape, we call it Fibre Refresh. Fibre Refresh is a completely environmentally friendly, natural process, and we do not use any detergents or chemicals to clean your bedding. We have spent a great deal of time and resources in creating Fibre Refresh so that we can offer our customers a long term benefit from the bedding they purchase from us. This process guarantees that your Penrose Products bedding will be returned to you as good as the day you purchased it. Take a look at our Fibre Refresh section today to find out more.

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