Wool is a durable natural fabric that has been in use since primitive times. It offers warmth in the cold, but also keeps you cool when it’s hot. Despite its durability, you must properly care for and clean wool garments to prevent shrinkage and other damage to the fabric. This doesn’t mean you have to take your wool dress pants to the dry cleaner each time they need to be laundered. Wash them right at home, but use care to keep the fabric intact.
Spot treat any stains on the wool pants by apply white vinegar. Dab the vinegar onto the spot prior to washing.
Fill a sink or tub with enough cool water to completely cover the pants. Add a few drops of mild detergent. You can buy special wool detergent or use gentle laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid. Mix the detergent and water with your hands.
Place the wool pants into the water. Swish the pants around gently in the water, then let them soak for about 10 minutes.
Drain the water from the sink or tub. Pick up the pants and gently squeeze out the excess water, taking care not to stretch or wring the fabric in the process.
Fill the sink or tub with clean, cool water. Put the pants in the water and swish them around to rinse. Repeat this process until no soap remains. Avoid rinsing the pants directly under running water, as this can stretch the fabric.
Lay the pants on a white bath towels on a flat surface. Use several towels if necessary to accommodate the length of the pants. Roll the towel and pants together while gently squeezing to remove the excess water.
Place another towel on a flat surface. Lay the pants on the towel and use your hands to reshape the pants. Leave the pants on the towel to air-dry completely away from direct heat. Replace the towel once the front of the pants are dry on top, then flip them over to allow the back to dry.
Items you will need
- White vinegar
- Mild detergent
- White bath towels
- Check the care tag in the pants for instructions on how to machine wash them, if you prefer.
- Use white towels rather than colored or printed ones to prevent any dye from transferring to the pants.
- Once your pants are dry, use a clamp hanger to hang them by the cuffs for storage.
- To limit the number of times you’ll need to wash your wool dress pants, hang them up and brush them with a horsehair brush or whiskbroom after each use. This will help get rid of dirt and dust, and smooth out wrinkles.
- If your wool dress pants need to be ironed, let them dry completely before doing so. Set the iron to a warm or wool setting , or use a steam iron to press the pants.
- Home Enlightenment; Annie B. Bond
- Martha Stewart: Hand-Wash a Sweater
- International Wool Textile Organisation: History of Wool
- Graham's Style Store: Caring for Wool
- The Laundress New York: Washing Suits, Blazers and Wool/Blend Dress Pants with Lining
- Inside Out Style: Benefits of Lined Trousers and Care
- Tasmanian Wool Centre: Wool Tips