Stitch n Save: Fleece Guide

Fleece Care

Here are some tips on how to care for your favorite fleece!

Modern Day Fleece Products:

Machine wash fleece garments or other fleece items in cool to lukewarm water.

Air-dry your fleece or tumble dry in dryer on a low setting.

Do not use bleach or fabric softeners.

Do not dry clean.

For best results, launder fleece garments separately and inside out.

Fleece is heat sensitive, so hot dryer temperatures and ironing should be avoided to reduce pilling. Finger pressing is usually sufficient.

If you must iron your fleece, test first for scorching on some scraps. While ironing fleece garments, ensure the iron does not get too hot and use a press cloth between the fleece fabric and your iron.

TIP: A clever trick to freshen up a fleece garment is the brush on the end of a travel steamer. Don't use the steam - just the brush.

Woolen Fleece Products:

Fill washing machine with hot water; add soap and let agitate a moment. Use a gentle soap such as Dawn or similar dishwashing detergents to clean fleeces that are not overly greasy. Greasy fleeces such as merino or Columbia usually need something stronger, i.e. Wisk or similar liquid soaps.
Turn off the washing machine and add wool.
Let wool soak for 20 minutes.
Turn the washing machine to the last spin cycle to remove the water. This is very gentle, as the wool is not stretched or wrung out while wet.
Repeat. If you wish, add liquid fabric softener and moth-repellent essential oils such as lavender during the second rinse cycle.
Remove wool.
To dry, simply lay the fleeces out in a breezy, shady area. (On top of old sheets, window screens, or web-woven lawn chairs works great). Do not dry fleece in your machine!
Woolen Fleece Storage Instructions:
Understanding fleece properties helps determine what you should (and shouldn't) do with your fleece. Fleece contains lanolin that has a melting point of about 95 degrees. Therefore, do NOT store fleeces where temperatures get that hot (i.e. attics, car trunks, non-insulated storage buildings).
Fleece attracts moths: Moth repellant storage is important. There are a variety of natural herbal moth repellants available in the form of sachets and oils (oil of pennyroyal, for example, has a light, mint fragrance that is pleasant to humans but repulsive to moths).

Fleeces "sweat": If packed firmly in plastic bags, fleece will cot to an extent where extra combing is necessary. You can keep fleece in a plastic bag for a short period of time (up to one month) as long as it is in a relatively cool environment. Ideal storage for fleece is a tightly woven cotton sack that allows the fleece to "breath" and at the same time keeps insects out. Large amounts of fleece for long-term storage can be kept in newspaper-lined cardboard boxes.

Long term storage: If you are storing fleece for over 6 months, it is advised to first scour the fleece to avoid lanolin oxidizing, which makes the fleece gummy and hard to spin.

Before storage ensure that the fleece is completely DRY. Storing a damp fleece can result in all sorts of larvae and ultimately in disposal of the fleece.

TIP: Mark the outside of the box with the date of shearing or acquisition and with description of the fleece.

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RSS | August 24, 2019

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