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WoolUp machine washable wool

Processing innovation

A shrink-proofing technique for making wool garments machine washable has been developed, which is less complex and costly than traditional shrink proofing processes whilst also reducing water, chemical and energy consumption.

The development nearly 50 years ago of machine washable wool, sometimes known as superwash wool, revolutionised the wool industry and it has been extensively adopted. It means that consumers are able to easily launder a wide range of wool garments in their domestic washing machine without fear of the product shrinking, losing its shape or felting.

However, as part of its commitment to minimise wool’s environmental footprint along the supply chain, The Woolmark Company has worked with Spanish-based machine manufacturer Jeanologia to commercialise a new, more eco-friendly process to make wool garments machine washable.

WoolUp uses significantly less chemicals, water and energy than the traditional method and its impact on the environment is very small. The treatment doesn’t compromise the laundering performance of the garment. The process is also much less complex and more accessible than the traditional process. It is suitable for use on an industrial scale.

It has been proven that significant savings can be made when dyeing after the WoolUp treatment with reactive dyes, particularly for mid-to-light shade depths. Treating of pre-dyed garments shows almost no noticeable colour change.