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Machine Washable Wool

The high costs both to the environment and bank balance of dry-cleaning Merino wool wovenwear are a concern to many potential consumers. A better option especially for younger consumers is to simply machine wash an item of clothing, especially as most stains and smells are water based.

Machine washable Merino wool clothing - such as suits, jackets and trousers - are suitable for cleaning in a domestic washing machine then hanging on a line to dry.

The technology

Machine washable jackets and trousers combine several technologies.
The yarns can be made from easy-care treated fibre to prevent felting shrinkage and the fabric is specially treated with a polyurethane polymer to improve afterwash appearance.

Where a milled or flannel finish is needed, the fabric usually contains untreated yarns which can be milled before the polyurethane is applied by padding.

After polymer treatment the fabric must be carefully finished to reduce relaxation and hygral (expansion due to absorbing water) changes to the minimum.

The garments must also be constructed using washable trims that are compatible (similar dimensional stability) with the Merino wool fabric.

The features

  • Milled/raised finishes are possible.
  • Garments are suitable for hand washing, domestic washing machines and even dry-cleaning if necessary. 
  • As seams remain smooth, the garment needs only a light press after drying. 
  • No loss of appearance during rain showers.

For further information about this innovation contact your local Woolmark Company office.