Article by: Lucy Wildman
Merino is such a wonderful, versatile fabric, but by far the most common question asked by clients is how to look after it to ensure it goes the distance.
As the founder of children’s merino clothing company Little Flock of Horrors, a brand both of my children wore throughout their childhood until they aged out of the range, I know how important it is to look after your kids’ clothes properly to ensure they last the distance and you can get value out of them.
WHY ALL THE FUSS ABOUT MERINO?
It’s not just the modern-day spinning technology that makes the fibres feel luxurious that has us all hooked on the wool – one of the main reasons why merino is so popular for babies and children is because of its thermo-regulating properties. This means it keeps you warm throughout the cold days, but helps to cool you down on the warmer days – perfect when you live in an area that gets a range of temperatures in one day!
Merino is lightweight, absorbent and has natural lanolin that makes it mould and odour resistant – perfect for kids that are constantly on the go. It’s also gentler on the skin than traditional wool.
Don’t be intimidated or put off about buying merino for your little ones due to the washing requirements – it’s actually quite simple!
The first and arguably most important step is to make sure you buy a quality product. At Little Flock we do some of the prep work for you – it goes through an arduous process and hot wash testing and preparation, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve some extra care when it gets to your place.
HOW TO WASH MERINO
Merino doesn’t actually need to be washed as often as other fabrics – the fiber ‘self-cleans’ and won’t hold on to smells. You can refresh it by turning it inside out and leaving it to hand in the fresh air. This obviously won’t remove the chocolate stains, so to get the best wash, turn your garment inside out and make sure that colours are washed separately. Make sure to machine wash cold and do not soak or bleach. You can use a delicate or wool setting, but quality merino will stand up to a regular cycle.
Powders and enzymes that are boosted in laundry detergents should be avoided as they can damage your beautiful merino piece – that’s why we recommend a specific wool product, like ecostore’s Eucalyptus Wool and Delicates formulation. It is perfect for gently yet thoroughly washing fabrics like merino, and doesn’t leave residue on the items. It’s got no nasty ingredients so you know it won’t be harmful to your kids, plus it smells lovely!!
When drying, it’s best to dry flat or tumble on a low setting and avoid drying in the direct sun if you can as it can start to fade the colour. If you want to iron your merino children’s clothing, make sure it is on low heat, and while you may want to dry clean your garment after a particularly muddy outdoor excursion, it’s best to avoid this as well.