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Washable cashmere and merino

This is a follow-up to an earlier thread started by Andrea, who was looking for washable sweaters for winter travel. That is, sweaters that were labeled for washing rather than “dry clean only”, which is impractical for travel (not to mention an eco-crime).

I just received a catalogue from Woolovers, a UK company that has a US website with US shipping rates. Right now they are offering 20% off your order with code SPU20, and I was not charged shipping even though my order did not meet their $125 threshold for free shipping. Nor was there sales tax applied—-a nice perk since our Washington State sales tax is quite high.

Their focus is on wool in various forms, and I only say one sweater in the catalog that was “dry clean only”, probably because of the style (a biker-jacket, cute but not good for travel anyway). The offer 100% lambs wool sweaters and Merino-cashmere blends (90/10 or 80/20) in lots of styles, and all I saw were labeled “machine washable”. They also have some 100% cashmere sweaters that are labeled “hand washable” which is fine for a travel sweater.

They have styles for both men and women.

Of course I know nothing of the quality, but I thought is was worth a try, and ordered the “Jackie” roll neck sweater which is Merino/cashmere for $63 at the sale price.

https://www.woolovers.us/ For their US site.

Maybe some of our UK friends can weigh in on this company?

Posted by
24660 posts

I can weigh in but offer no info - they are new to me

Posted by
3585 posts

I have been ordering them from Canada for oh, maybe 8 years now. I only have the merino/cashmere blends..usually in a shell with matching cardigan. The do wash well (but keep it gentle cycle or hand wash, lay flat to dry) but there is the problem of pilling, particularly in friction area like under arm. I then use one of those pill shavers. I'll say I am a frugal shopper so the price worked for me; but I suspect we have shorter fibre lengths contributing to the pilling....we discussed this in Andrea's post...and they are also not quite as warm as 100% merino would be.
I recommended them for a long time, and wore my sets every week for many weeks a year and for several years. They suited my needs. Unfortunately, they don't make a plus size which I would prefer now.
Delivery was good and return was good as well. I think they send a return label but it has been some time since my 1 return.

Posted by
4362 posts

I have never heard of them and I don’t live that far away from them.

Posted by
2745 posts

Perhaps I'm just lucky, but I've always washed my wool and cashmere sweaters, usually by hand with woolite, then laid flat to dry. Never had a problem. Think about it - these are natural fibers. The sheep and goats that these come from manage quite well in the rain.

Posted by
7955 posts

Lola, thanks so much for sharing this. I took a quick peek at the website. I’ll get back to it to see if there’s anything I can’t live without.

Posted by
661 posts

Lola, thanks for the discount code. I just ordered a nice navy cable crew neck sweater and a pretty shirt. Really nice not to have tax too. Great tip.

Linda

Posted by
1239 posts

My friend who lives in Scotland has many things from the site; when I've visited, I've heard say she really likes the products.

Posted by
519 posts

Still, don’t assume anything about washability. Try it before you hit the road or the skies, wherever you’re going. I had a great merino sweater from Costco, labeled do not dry clean, cold water only. Washed it, laid it out, shrunk three sizes. You want to know what it’s going to do and what it’s going to look like after it dries. You also want to know how long it takes to dry.

Posted by
519 posts

these are natural fibers. The sheep and goats that these come from manage quite well in the rain. <;

The processes that make wool, cashmere, and other animal-sourced fibers wearable and weavable are often the causes of the various problems consumers have with them and, of course, heat changes irrevocably the physical nature of many such fibers.

Posted by
2745 posts

heat changes irrevocably the physical nature of many such fibers.

Oh, absolutely. The biggest mistake you can make is to wash in hot water and / or use a heat source to dry them. And you don't want any rough handling while washing, either if you don't want to end up with a felted garment. But I've found that a good soak in cool water and a mild soap in the sink , with minimal agitation, will be sufficient for all but the most heavily soiled items.

Posted by
634 posts

Also dont forget wool takes an long time to absorb smells, so just airing it at night will work. And stain just sit on the surface, so can just be sponged off. So on a month long trip you really shouldnt need to wash 100% wool garments, also the general opinion coming out of the textile would is we wash clothes too often at the moment, mainly due to advertising pressure 👍

Posted by
519 posts

also the general opinion coming out of the textile [world] is we wash clothes too often at the moment, mainly due to advertising pressure <<

And we tend to use way too much detergent and soap. My front loading HE washing machine requires only a tablespoon of liquid HE detergent per load. Once every six months or so I run everything through without any detergent at all and often still see sudsing.

Posted by
37 posts

I have ordered some things from WoolX that are washable and of good quality. I got them to add to my "packing light " wardrobe. They have various weights that can be worn in a range of temperatures.

Posted by
11905 posts

Just got one of the two items I ordered from Woolovers yesterday, so I thought I would give a report.

The sweater, the “Jackie” roll-neck, arrived from the UK by Royal Post in a pure (recyclable) brown paper package, ten days after I placed my order. The pullover sweater (or jumper as they say in the UK) was in a bag that looked like plastic but was marked in bold letters “This IS NOT PLASTIC”. It is made from starch and biodegradable, so that is good.

The sweater (90% merino and 10% cashmere) appears to be well made, and the royal blue color is true to the catalog photo. The fit is generous—-the XS is bigger than I would like, but not so large that I would return it. It is nice and soft and I am wearing it now. I may try to shrink it a bit when I wash it, by letting it stand in hot water for a bit. That has worked for me with another too-big merino sweater I bought. Apparently the degree of shrinkage in hot water is time-dependent. I will be careful in handling it so it doesn’t felt!!!!

Posted by
38 posts

Lola, thanks for the follow up regarding your order. Just an FYI, L.L.Bean carries sweaters that are a cotton/cashmere blend that are washable. They fit true to size, are very soft and comfortable to wear. come in a couple of different styles and a great variety of colors.