What's Up With Wool? (Part 2)

What's Up With Wool? (Part 2)

Are you dying to know if wool can be softened? In our last blog, we talked all about wool- what it is made of, why it itches, and how to soften it. We figured we would try some of the highly recommended suggestions ourselves and report back! Read on to see how the “softened” Shay Shacket compares to an “unsoftened” Shay Shacket! 

  1. The first experiment that we tried on our Gray Shay Shacket was soaking it in vinegar and water solution. We took about one cup of vinegar and poured it into a bathtub filled with just enough cold water to cover the Shacket. This soaked for about two hours. In other articles, we read that you could also soak your wool piece in one part vinegar and two parts water for up to a half hour, but we did want to go the more gentle route for this experiment. After two hours, we took the Shay Shacket out of the water, wrung it, and put it in the washer. This takes us to our second experiment…
  2.  After soaking in water and a little vinegar, we washed the Shacket in the washer on cold with some baking soda-based laundry detergent. Again, some articles have said to use about one cup in the wash but we wanted to be a little more gentle for these first experiments. Especially because these first two were done in close proximity! After the cycle and run-through, we took the Shacket and air-dried it completely. Now for our final experiment…
  3. After the Shacket was completely bone dry, we rolled it up in a very tight ball and managed to fit it into a gallon plastic bag- (you may want to try tightly saran-wrapping the wool piece if the bag is too small!) After tightly closing the bag, we put the Shacket in the freezer for 12 hours. After 12 hours, we took it out of the freezer and let it get to room temperature. At last, the touch/feel test between the softened Shacket and the unsoftened Shacket could commence! 

So now the question of the hour! “Was the “softened” Shacket actually softer? When it came down to it, yes, the Gray Shay Shacket did feel softer than the Plaid Tan Shay Shacket. Now did it still have that wool feeling? Yes, it wasn’t like it had magically turned into a soft cashmere. But! The biggest difference we noticed between the two was the lack of “pokiness” the softened Shacket had. When comparing the two Shackets, the Gray Shay Shacket hardly had any poking fibers coming out of it, while the Plaid Tan Shay Shacket still held many.

Overall, we think this experiment was successful! Now keep in mind, the Shay Shacket is designed to be worn as a jacket, not as a “throw” over a short-sleeved tee shirt. While you certainly can do that, most wool products are warm and usually worn with a layer under them. Although the softening agents used helped, we would still suggest wearing your Shay Shacket with the intention that it is a Jacket!


 Natural fiber wool jacket for colder months in plaid tan color. Woman wearing jacket tied around shoulders in a green field of wildflowers.

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