Wool is self-cleansing fiber
Thanks to the natural antibacterial properties of Merino wool and the permanent antibacterial treatment of our polypropylene, Svala of Finland products rarely need washing.
The natural features of merino wool
Wool fibre has a very special natural property: it traps and neutralises odours better than any other fibre. For this reason, merino wool products are easy-care, self-cleaning, and do not smell, as the keratin in the wool destroys odour-causing bacteria.
The core of wool fiber is made up of two types of cells that absorb different amounts of moisture. The other cells swell and provide continuous friction between the two cells. Due to this property, the wool cleans itself.
Moisture on the surface supports the growth of bacteria, but the outer surface of the wool fiber remains relatively dry. The surface of the wool fiber is moisture-repellent, which prevents bacterial growth and unpleasant odors.
Organic silver ions are harmless to humans and nature. Silver-ionization prevents the growth and spread of microbes, mold, fungi and bacteria and reduces the formation of unpleasant odors. The antibacterial treatment of Svala Airbase products with silver-ionization has been applied to the core of the fiber even before spinning into yarn, so the treatment does not disappear during washing. The products with this treatment remain fresh and odorless and can be easily refreshed by airing or just a quick rinse.
Airing your merino wool clothing is the very best way to keep it fresh and in good condition – and it’s a cleaning method that doesn’t cost a cent! In addition, depending on the weather, moisture in the air helps to smooth out wrinkles, and frost repels dust mites. Although airing can’t remove stains or dirt, it is very effective at neutralising odours. Clothing can be aired in all seasons and almost any weather, provided the area is protected from rain and direct sunlight.
Hang the garment out on a clothesline or hanger so that it cannot fall to the ground or, for example, to a neighbor’s balcony, even if the wind gets up. If you hang it in a place where other living species (people or animals) have access, keep an eye out that no-one can steal it.
A suitable airing time is usually at least 2 hours, depending on the need of refreshment. There is no maximum, but it is important that the sun does not shine directly on the garment so that it does not fade or become brittle. A good idea is to air your clothes overnight.
Even woollen clothes need to be washed occasionally. Most of Svala’s merino wool garments are machine-washable, but the method that’s best for the wool and for the environment is washing by hand in warm water with a mild detergent. With this method, you need only wash the soiled areas, preventing unnecessary wearing out of the rest of the material.
First soak the garment in water for about 10 minutes. After that, remove any stains by lightly rubbing. To ensure that the washing water flows through the material and properly removes the dirt, squeeze the garment in the water.
Rinse the garment at least three times, changing the water each time. To rinse properly, squeeze the material in the water in the same way as during the washing. The temperature of the rinsing water should be as close as possible to the washing water. The reason for this is that large temperature fluctuations will cause the wool fibres to become matted together. Gently squeeze out excess water, and then spread out and shape the garment while still wet on a surface that allows good air circulation, and allow the garment to dry.
Wash your Svala-wear only with similar colored clothes. The products do not require any emollient chemicals or fabric softeners.
The products should be washed inside-out with a bleach-free detergent suitable for the material. Washing inside out will extend the life of the product as it minimises abrasion to the outer surface.
Tumble drying is not recommended. Instead, the garments should be spread and shaped while still wet and let dry on a surface that allows good air circulation.
Svala Merino Comfort and Merino Active -products can be washed at 30°C.
Power Stretch Pro- and Svala Merino Extreme-products are washed at 40°C.
Airbase-products can be washed at 60°C though we advise to wash them in a washing bag so that the mesh structure does not get caught for example in the zippers of other clothes.
The product washed at the right temperature does not shrink. Natural fibers may retract during washing, so it is advisable to reshape the product before drying. That way the garment returns to its former dimensions at the latest when worn.
Natural fibers, especially proteinaceous wool fibers, fluff when exposed to abrasion.
Fluff balls are the ends of the fibers that the abrasion makes rise.
This is a completely normal phenomenon and mainly just an aesthetic issue that is fairly easy to fix.
It is recommended to remove pills with a wool comb or electrical lint remover. The same thing can be done with a sharp razor and small lint can be picked up by hand. First pull the cloth for example over the ironing board so that the lint is easier to peel off gently and start from an inconspicuous point. Only remove the lint occasionally, as excessive lint removal will wear out the knit and may cause premature wear and holes.
Sometimes something sharp, such as a fingernail or a wrist / belt buckle, gets caught in a garment and pulls a loop of yarn into the knit.
If the loop does not break, there is no need to worry because there are no holes in the garment and there is no risk of unraveling.
The yarn loops can usually be repaired literally in two shakes. The brisk stretching of the knit around the loop with both hands in different directions slowly returns the threads to their original positions.