Merino Wool is, by far, one of the most popular types of hiking and outdoor gear fabrics on the market. Many companies use it in their products because it is an excellent fabric for many different types of activities. It is also a natural fabric, which is important to many consumers. However, one question that is often asked about merino wool is whether or not it shrinks.
After all, you do plan on washing your gear at some point, right?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. In its natural state, merino wool does not shrink. However, it can shrink if the fabric is not cared for properly.
What is Merino Wool?
Merino wool is a protein fiber that comes from sheep. The Merino wool fiber is very fine, which makes it a great fabric for outdoor gear. The fabric is also very strong and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Merino wool is also known for being able to regulate body temperature. This means that it will keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather. The fabric is also breathable, which helps to prevent sweat buildup.
Compared to fabric like cashmere, for example, merino wool is much less likely to shrink. Cashmere is also a protein fiber but does not have the same strength and durability as merino wool.
So what part makes it so that merino wool can shrink?
Why Does Merino Wool Shrink? (The Shrinking Process)
Merino wool will shrink if exposed to hot water or air. This is because the heat causes the fibers to contract. The amount of shrinkage will depend on the temperature and how long the fabric is exposed to the heat.
To avoid shrinkage, you should always wash your merino wool gear in cold water. You can also air dry the fabric to prevent shrinkage.
If you do happen to expose your merino wool to heat, there is a way to fix the problem. You can stretch the fabric back into shape and then air dry it. This will help to restore the fabric’s original shape.
Does Merino Wool Shrink Over Time?
Fortunately, regular wear and tear will not cause your merino wool gear to shrink over time. You only need to worry about shrinkage if you expose the fabric to high temperatures.
Merino wool is an incredibly durable material, but it’s not completely impervious to shrinking. If you wash your merino wool clothing in hot water or put it in the dryer, it’s likely that the garment will shrink.
To avoid shrinkage, always wash your merino wool clothing in cold water and air dry it. If you must use a dryer, set it
Can You Wash Merino Wool in The Washer?
As with most natural fibers, you may notice some shrinkage the first time you wash your Merino wool garments. However, this is not permanent; clothing will often return to its original shape after being washed a few times.
However, if you end up washing with extra hot, or even hot water, you may cause some serious shrinkage. So, it is always best to practice caution and use cold water when washing Merino wool. You can also hand wash Merino wool garments if you are worried about them shrinking in the washer.
Can You Put Merino Wool In The Dryer?
You can put merino wool in the dryer on a low setting, but as mentioned – it’s best to air dry it. Merino wool is a natural fiber and can shrink if exposed to too much heat. If you must, always use a low heat setting when drying merino wool and never put it in the dryer without a garment bag. If you must put it in the dryer, make sure to remove it as soon as the cycle is done.
Is It Possible to Unshrink Merino Wool?
If you accidentally shrink your Merino wool garment, don’t despair! It is possible to unshrink Merino wool.
The first step is to soak the shrunken garment in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes. Then, gently stretch the garment back into shape. You can also try using a mild detergent to help with the process.
Once you have stretched the garment back into shape, rinse it in cold water and lay it flat to dry. Do not put the garment in the dryer, as this will shrink it again.
With a little care, your Merino wool garment should return to its original size and shape.
How to Care for Merino Wool
Now that you know how to prevent shrinkage, it’s important to learn how to properly care for your merino wool gear. Here are a few tips:
- Always wash your merino wool in cold water.
- Air dry your merino wool whenever possible.
- If you must use a dryer, set it to a low heat setting.
- Never put your merino wool in the dryer without a garment bag.
- Use a gentle detergent when washing your merino wool.
- Avoid exposure to high temperatures, as this can shrink your merino wool.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your merino wool clothing looking and feeling great for years to come.