Wool trousers can be washed, but extra care is required to prevent shrinkage, felting, or damage. Hand-wash them in cool water with a gentle wool detergent or use the delicate cycle on your washing machine. Always follow the care instructions on the garment’s label and lay the trousers flat to dry, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources.
The question of whether wool pants or any wool garment can be laundered is a difficult one to answer… There are so many different types of wool that it would be impossible to say yes or no without knowing exactly what the garment was made from.
However….. I would say that….. on the whole….. most garments can be successfully machine-washed… It’s always wise though….. to follow the washing instructions given by the manufacturer first… Wool is naturally temperature-sensitive and must not be exposed to heat greater than 104F (40C).
Wool should be hand-washed with a gentle detergent in cold water then hung to dry or….. better yet….. laid flat to dry… If you’re going to put it in the washer….. then put it in a laundry bag.
Use warm water if you must….. but cold is better if you have the option… Also….. don’t use fabric softener or bleach because it will damage the wool fibers and weaken their ability to repel water.
Do Wool Pants Shrink When Washed?
They will shrink a little bit….. but only about half as much as cotton does… Coldwater shrinks less than hot water does on any material so washing in cold water will help minimize the shrinking process.
TIP: Wool shrinks very little when it is washed….. so you don’t have to worry about this problem too much… However….. you should always check the label of your clothes to see if they are washable or not… Some fabrics may be hand-washed and others may require dry cleaning only.
To reduce the amount of shrinkage that occurs during washing….. you should always use a cold water cycle for your clothes when possible… You may also want to hang your wool pants out on a line in the fresh air instead of putting them in the dryer.
If you can’t hang your pants outside….. then use a dryer sheet with each load so that they don’t become static-charged… Static can cause the fibers of clothing to cling together and make them shrink more than they normally would… If you have time….. air-dry your clothes until they are just slightly damp or until they feel cool to the touch.
How Do You Dry Wool Trousers?
Whilst it may seem that tumble drying would be fine….. this can also damage your wool and lead to shrinkage as well as leave marks across your trousers from the tumbling mechanism.
Wool trousers are comfortable and luxurious… They are great in the winter because they keep you warm but they also have a lot of great characteristics in the summer… They stay cool to the touch….. which is a great benefit to you in the warmer months.
The major disadvantage is that they tend to be hard to dry… This is not such an issue if you wear wool pants on a daily basis because you can always hang your pants outside.
However….. if you only wear them for special occasions or when it is especially cold outside….. it can be difficult to get them dry enough before wearing them again due to how long it takes for them to dry.
If you want to make sure that your wool pants do not take hours to dry….. there are some things that you can do.
- First….. choose a location where your pants will get a lot of sunlight.
- Second….. make sure that the sun is out so that your pants will get plenty of warmth from the sun’s rays.
- Third….. turn your pants inside-out before drying them.
- If possible….. lay the pants flat instead of hanging them up with a hanger so that there will be more air circulating around them as well as more sun shining on them.
The main thing to remember is that wool is not like cotton or other fabrics; it doesn’t respond well to heat… This means that you should never put your wool trousers in the dryer….. no matter how good the spin cycle promises to be.
Instead….. let your wool trousers hang out to dry after you have given them their luster back through proper cleaning… If you are really pressed for time and can’t find any place to hang them….. use a rack outdoors.
Can You Tumble Dry Wool Trousers?
Yes….. you can tumble dry them on low heat but not high heat because this too could damage your wool clothing… Plus….. drying your wool trousers at high heat could cause the colors to fade faster.
You should remove your wool trousers from the dryer before they are completely dry because they will continue to shrink slightly as they cool down… Once your wool trousers are completely dry hang them up and let them air out for a day or two before wearing them again.
Tumble drying your wool pants is actually a great way to reduce the number of wrinkles that you will get in your pants after washing them… Wool pants can also be dried in the dryer or laid flat to dry when you want to get rid of wrinkles quickly.
In summary….. wool trousers can be washed….. but there are special care instructions to follow… Wool has natural dirt-repellent properties….. so you can get away with less frequent washing than a cotton pair of trousers… Even so….. it is best to wash your wool trousers in cool water and air dry them in the shade.
You may also be interested in… How Long Does It Take for Trousers to Dry? and What’s the Point of Crust Pants?
Louise Wilson is an accomplished author, passionate textile historian, and renowned fashion enthusiast with a rich background in the world of apparel.
Graduating with honors in Fashion Design, Louise further expanded her skills and knowledge by completing a master’s degree in Textile History. Her academic pursuits have led her to explore the fashion capitals of the world, including Milan, Paris, and New York, enriching her insights into the global world of fashion.
As an author, Louise’s passion for fashion has found its way into her writings, where she intricately weaves narratives of style, design, and fashion history.