There is simply no season like winter – it makes even the most hardened lazy men and women get out and keep doing something, just to keep themselves warm. It brings with it bonfires, endless cups of coffee or tea and beautiful sweaters. Sweaters are not just a way to beat winter; they are a symbol of love, especially for those in India, when we think of how our mothers knitted sweaters for us when we were young. Those sweaters were often passed on lovingly, as no one had the heart to give them away or destroy them. Some sweaters, however, need much more loving care than the normal care that we do for our woolen clothes or knitwear. One such variety is the Angora sweater, made from wool derived from the Angora rabbit. It is fluffy, soft and demands maintainance. Here’s how to wash an Angora sweater.
Washing Angora Sweater
Not Too Much
Never over clean an Angora sweater because this may cause your sweater to lose strands or shed. Many people have the misconception that Angora sweaters need to be washed before and after storage; one needs to wash them only when they are dirty.
Trick Of The Hand
The best way to wash an Angora sweater is by hand, not in the machine. One should always soak it in cool or lukewarm water. Since Angora wool is a protein fibre, the soap or shampoo used to clean it should be of a neutral Ph or mildly acidic in nature.
Make sure you do not use strong soaps with bleach as one of its ingredients – it could damage the fibre. Since angora fibre is hair (of the Angora rabbit) you could use a mild shampoo and conditioner while cleaning it. The conditioner’s presence in the rinsing water will help to soften and relax the hairs.
No To Ice
When we say ‘cold’, you must not take it to be ice cold. Ice-cold water will cause the dyes and colours of the wool to run and, when combined with soap, will harm the protein fibers of the wool and cause it to loosen. Lukewarm water, on the other hand, softens the fibres, which helps in removing dirt more easily and also sets color.
How To Wash It
- Fill a huge bathtub with lukewarm or reasonably cold water, not ice cold. Add in it, about one tablespoon of clear, unscented soap and dissolve it by swirling it around, till enough lather is formed.
- Place the sweater in the water and push it down. Now, gently squeeze the sweater as if kneading dough. Do this over the entire sweater and take care not to twist or pull.
- Remove the sweater from the water and empty the bathtub. Now fill it with clean water and, pushing the sweater into it again, squeeze it gently. Again, do not twist or wring the sweater.
- Lay the sweater on a clean dry towel and keep changing the towel and flipping the side of the sweater periodically. Take care not to press the sweater with the towel as that would flatten the fluffy finish of the wool. When flipping or handling it, use the towel to flip the sweater and avoid handling the sweater till it dries. Do not hang the sweater, wring it or pull it as that would cause it to lose shape. Do not dry in the sun.