How to dry a wool sweater

6 June 2016

Drying your Merino wool sweater is just as important as washing it. A certain level of care must be taken when drying wool clothes, to ensure they retain their as-new look and feel.

How to dry a wool sweater

After washing your wool sweater, it is recommended the sweater is carefully dried flat, unless your sweater’s care claim states it can be tumble dried.

To carefully flat dry wool clothing it is recommended it is placed on a pale coloured or white towel, and one which is free from lint.

Special garment drying mesh screens are also available, which are designed to fit over the bathtub. These tend to speed up the drying process. When placing the sweater on a towel to dry, gently knead it by hand into shape and size, and remove as many creases or folds as possible.

Allow the wool sweater to dry in the air naturally. Always flat dry wool sweaters or other knitwear if possible. Line drying or drying on hangers can cause knitted garments to stretch due to the weight of the moisture contained by the garment, with the result that the garment grows in length and loses its shape.

If pins are used to hold the garment in shape, ensure that they are totally rust proof.

Hanging the sweater on a hanger to dry not only invariably leads to the garment stretching in length, but can cause distortions to appear in the form of humps on the shoulders of the garment. Wire hangers are particularly bad for this.

When drying, avoid direct sunlight, magnified sunlight (close to an outside window) or direct heat. Avoid placing your wool sweater – or any wool garment - over a radiator to dry. The part of the garment that is folded over the top of the radiator tends to dry the quickest and can cause the garment colour to change or damage the garment in this area.

For out of shape portions of the sweater, such as shoulder humps due to drying or storing on a hanger, dip these areas in warm water (30°C to 40°C) and massage these areas gently by hand.

The sweater normally reverts to its normal shape after drying. The exception, where recovery is not possible, is in the event that a sweater is labelled either Dry Clean Only or Hand Wash has inadvertently been washed in a washing machine, and has severely felted.

The Woolmark Company has released a Wool Care Guide app, placing information on apparel care at the tip of your fingers. Available for all Apple and android devices, the Wool Care Guide app can be downloaded free-of-charge via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.