Merino wool sweaters keep warmth next to the body while letting the skin breathe, but like any wool garment, this type can wrinkle with little effort when it is damp. Carelessly tossing a wet sweater over a chair or skipping a laundry step could leave your sweater looking creased. However, there are several options for removing wrinkles, but read the manufacturer's care label first -- if it says "dry-clean only" take your sweater to a professional cleaner.
Pressing Out Wrinkles
Turn the garment inside out and place it on an ironing board. Set your steam iron on the "wool" setting. Fill the iron with water.
Dampen a white cloth with water. Wring away any excess. Place the cloth on the sweater over the section that needs ironing. By using a damp cloth, you will avoid burning the wool or leaving it looking shiny. A white cloth is best because it will not transfer dye to the sweater during the ironing session.
Press the iron lightly on the cloth. Work the steam feature as you press the fabric. Instead of using a back-and-forth ironing motion, use a press-and-lift motion. Iron over the wrinkled area until the wrinkles smooth away.
Turn off the iron and remove the cloth. Place the sweater on a flat surface until it completely dries.
Soaking Away Wrinkles
Flip the sweater inside out. Fill a clean sink or plastic basin with warm water and one or two drops of gentle laundry detergent.
Push the sweater gently into the water. Allow the sweater to release those wrinkles with a good soak -- about 10 to 15 minutes.
Knead the fabric with your hands gently. Do not twist or rub the fabric together. Drain the water from the sink or tub. Press the water out of the sweater. Since you used such a small amount of detergent, you will not need to rinse it out. If you have sensitive skin or prefer to rinse the sweater, refill the sink with cool water, then drain it. Follow that by gently pressing water out of the sweater.
Lay the sweater on a thick white towel. Roll the towel up from one end to drain away the water. You may have to roll several times and replace the towel. Place the sweater on a drying rack or a flat surface to completely dry. Visit the sweater periodically during the drying process and tug the garment into shape if necessary.
Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.
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