Caring for our hand-knits is an important part of our making process, and lanolin is essential for keeping our woolens in great condition. But what is lanolin, and what makes it so important? Today, we will explore those questions, and discover why lanolin should be a part of every knitter’s wool-care routine.
Lanolin is a natural wax produced by sheep to maintain and protect their wool, and many modern yarns lack it due to harsh chemicals used in processing. Lanolin helps sheep care for their wool, allowing it to not only repel moisture, but also to prevent the presence of bacteria and fungus that likes to grow in damp, warm places. Even without harsh processing, all-natural wools can lose their lanolin over time due to normal wear and washing. Using a wash with lanolin will revitalize and freshen woolen garments and accessories, making them more resilient, and able to last longer.
Our favorite lanolin wash is Twig & Horn’s Wool Soap. Made from all-natural ingredients, and scented with organic essential oils, there is a lot to love about it! It does not need to be rinsed from woolens, which is a must-have feature for any wool wash. You can get Wool Soap in liquid or bar form in four scents; Rosewood, Lemongrass, White Grapefruit and Natural. It is easy to use, just follow these four steps;
1. Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water, and submerge your garment.
2. Lather your hands with the soap, and gently squeeze your garment to work the suds into the fabric.
3. Soak for 15 minutes. If the water clears, your wool may be thirsty for more lanolin, so you can add a little more to the water!
4. Rinse gently if desired (rinsing is not necessary), then block as you normally would.