Insulating a sheep isn't easy; that's why wool is one of the more enduring jacket materials for humans. Wool coats vary in quality, consistency and coloring, but at some point even the highest quality wool jacket begins looking worn and faded. Dirt, fabric friction and poor storage techniques all make your wool coat appear dingy. Making your wool coat look new again requires a combination of home treatments and professional techniques, but is undoubtedly cheaper than buying a new coat.
Items you will need
- Lint brush
- Suede brush
- Wooden coat hanger
- Plastic garment bag
Remove lint and pilling by running a lint brush over your wool jacket. Use firm strokes when brushing the wool. Pay close attention to the areas that pill heavily, like the side of the sleeves that brush against the torso of the coat. Ensure full lint and pill removal by unfolding the collar and cuffs before brushing.
Restore the smoothness of your wool coat with a suede brush. As your wool jacket ages, the woolen fibers clump together, making the wool look segmented. Firmly brushing your jacket with a suede brush, after removing the lint and pills, reintegrates the fibers, giving your coat that smooth look characteristic of a new wool jacket.
Hang your wool jacket on a broad, wooden coat hanger. Folding and stuffing wool crushes the fibers, misshaping and creasing the jacket. Restore the shape of your coat by placing the jacket on the wooden coat hanger and hanging it in a well-aerated closet for several weeks. Letting the woolen fibers breathe helps return the jacket to its original shape.
Dry clean your wool coat. Unless otherwise specified by the care tag, professional dry-cleaning is the only safe cleaning method for a wool coat. Ideally a wool coat is professionally cleaned before and after each winter season.
Store your wool jacket on a wooden coat hanger inside a thick plastic garment bag with a few ceder blocks. Natural fibers like wool are a favorite of insects and moths.
Never re-dye a wool coat by yourself. The woolen dyes available in stores and online are intended for woolen yarn, not a tailored wool jacket. Dyeing a wool jacket yourself weakens the fibers and puts your coat at risk for discoloration and shrinking.