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I found the mother lode of woolly amazingness the other day. It’s pretty hard to find natural wool blankets at the thrift stores around here, and especially ones that are in nice condition and come out of the wash smelling only of pure wool (as opposed to the tenacious stench of synthetic perfumes, the smell of wet dogs and other potentially unattractive aromas). It is extremely rare to find sheepskin at the thrift stores here, and this rug may just be the thickest, coziest sheepskin rug I have yet to experience. To find all of this on one trip was super exciting.

Now that everything has been washed, and the sheepskin finally dry, it occurred to me that I might be in on a secret. Want to know?? Sheepskin can be washed in the washing machine! We have been washing our sheepskin in the washer for years. We don’t wash them frequently, but when they need a refresher it’s nice to be able to wash them in natural soap and water, in the convenience of our own home.

Set your washer to the gentle cycle. I think a front loader would be favorable, but we have washed them in top loaders in the past. The agitator can be hard on things, is the reason I mention that. Once finished, hang it to dry, out of direct sunlight (this one took 3 days to dry). Once it’s dry, some exposure to sun (UV) also has a purifying and freshening effect, and in between washings, an occasional hour or so of exposure toΒ  sunshine can help keep your wool items fresh.

I also read something just the other day (though I’m not remembering where at the moment), that addressed washing leather in the washing machine. It said that leather items can actually be washed in water. The importance is that the whole thing gets evenly saturated, and then evenly dried. This is easier with smaller items that don’t have a lot of seams. Larger items like leather jackets and bags might need a little more discretion. I never dry clean anything, and I break almost every washing rule (you know, those little care instructions on the labels of clothing and other textiles). With a little common sense and intuition, it almost always works out.

0 Responses

  1. liane

    nice finds! i wash our sheepskins occasionally in the washer, too. i’ve found that it’s best to use soap specifically made for wool. i buy mine from a local yarn shop. the skin comes out feeling soft and not drid out…which over time (years) has happened to some of mine.

  2. marri

    i never wash anything the way i’m supposed to either! bras in the wash with everything else? sure. πŸ˜‰

    for woolens, i use soak wool wash that i get from my local yarn shop too. it’s no-rinse so you don’t have to man-handle the fibers as much, and comes in a bunch of different scents (or unscented, which is kind of slightly scented but in a nice, fresh way).

    for normal stuff, i LOVE mrs. meyer’s basil laundry detergent. earth-friendly and the natural scent is HEAVENLY in a no-frills, un-flowery kind of way. seriously, i don’t know how i lived before i found this stuff. generally i’d head straight for lavendar but this… amazing.

  3. Valerie

    oh Abby !! this is incredible : you heard me ask my husband yesterday whether our sheepskins could be washed or not, washing machine or not… (i’ll go for wool shampoo)
    a big thank you for this !
    your wool blanket is such a great find πŸ™‚
    i love how you put all these together + the footstool (we have almost the same)

  4. Nicole

    What finds! That blanket is so beautiful.

    Thanks for the tips! I’m off to put my sheepskins into the wash….

  5. jenny lee fowler

    Yikes! Lucky you. I found a sheepskin at a thrift last summer and washed it very gently in the machine as we do our others and it fell absolutely apart. I’ve been wondering why it works with some and not others. Peaceful corner you have there.

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