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Merino Fabric Care & Stain Removal Information

Merino Fabric Care & Stain Removal Information

Merino fabric care & stain removal information

The Sleep Store highly recommends using merino fabric for your baby and children's nightwear. The wonderful properties of merino are becoming more widely known and many children are now sleeping better as a result.

We have sourced the following information about merino, a true wonder fibre. Caring for your Merino will help it last longer. We've gathered together the best tips from our top Merino brands to help you look after your precious woollens. In this article we'll look at:


Watch Lou talk about caring for your merino

You've invested in merino swaddles, bodysuits, blankets, clothing and sleeping bags, so Lou gives you some advice to look after your merino, and things to watch out those pesky moths!

How to wash your merino items

We've designed our merino to be easy to care for. Us parents are busy enough, without having to find the time to handwash delicate merino items! The Sleep Store merino can be machine washed on a wool cycle using a liquid wool approved detergent. Please remember to check your care label before you first wash your merino item as instructions may vary by brand and style. Always use a wool approved detergent not regular washing powder that you might use on other fabrics.

  • Close zippers and domes to wash - these can catch and cause holes

  • Wash dark colours separately

  • Allow 5% shrinkage

  • Machine wash 30°C max, gentle wool cycle, or hand wash

  • Use liquid wool approved detergent

  • Gentle machine spin dry - no higher than 800 rpm recommended

  • Do not use bleach, nappy cleansing agents, garment brighteners or fabric softeners

  • Do not soak or spot clean

  • Dry flat away from direct sunlight

  • Some merino items may be tumble dried on a low heat only - please check the label

Some cream merino garments are particularly susceptible to yellowing , especially from milk residue and if exposed to sunlight. Please follow our washing instructions carefully.

The Sleep Store do not take any responsibility for damaged garments due to incorrect washing detergents or procedures.

Tips for caring for your merino with Amanda at The Sleep Store

Learn how to care for your merino with Amanda from The Sleep Store. Wash your merino items less and air them more. Make sure you follow the washing instructions on your garments. Use a liquid wool wash and follow the drying instructions as well. Do not soak or bleach or use napisan with your merino. It'll break down the merino fibres and create holes. You may not see the holes straight away, but after a wash they will start to appear. Don't use fabric softener , it will coat your merino fibres and stop it performing to it's natural abilities.



The Sleep Store

How to remove stains from merino wool garments

To remove stains from your merino garment, we recommend gently handwashing with sard or sunlight soap, prior to washing in your machine on a gentle wool cycle with liquid wool wash. Never soak your merino garments in Napisan or similar products as these are harsh and can cause holes. Additionally, airing your merino in the sun can help fade the stains.

Note: Rubbing in order to remove the stain may cause pilling, deterioration and discoloration of the fabric.

Useful Facts about Merino

Merino fibre is measured in micron. Merino fibre ranges from 13-24 micron which when you compare this with the average piece of human hair which is 60 micron then you realise just how fine Merino is. The smaller the mircon, the finer the fibre. Look for garments marked "Extra Fine" or "Super Fine" when shopping for Merino for a fabric with a soft feel that will endure.

When man was created there was one fundamental flaw; a body that was ill equipped to live in the world's varied climatic conditions. So man had to use his intellect and develop body coverings to protect himself from the harsh environment. This need has created the world's vast textile industry. Today in the modern world clothing is a huge part of our lives and is basically an outward continuation of our skin. Ideally, then, it should be as natural, close fitting and comfortable as our skin, and it should protect us against external influences of all kinds - mechanical shock friction and abrasive forces, heat and cold, rain, sun and wind.

There are now a myriad of fabrics one can choose from made from a selection of fibres. However there is only one that was designed by nature to protect the human body from the environment yet at the same time, be in harmonious unison with it. It has been around for centuries; it's Merino - nature's wonder fibre.


Holes in Merino

Did you know a single clothes moth can lay up to 200 eggs at a time and its larvae can damage your expensive woollens without you even knowing they are there?!

We all hate the damage moths can do to our clothes! If you want to help avoid holes appearing in your Merino garments like the ones shown in the picture below read on.

If you're like us you and can't stand to use the toxic moth balls our friends at Babu have explored a few DIY natural and pleasant alternatives you can create to help protect your woollens and other clothing you keep stored away.

What do moth larvae look like?

Moth holes in sleep store merino
Moth larvae on sleep store merino
Moth larvae on sleep store merino

So how can you deter moths munching your Merino?

Moth balls have been illegal in New Zealand since 2014. The natural deterrents below, are not only safer for your babies, they also smell amazing.

  • Cedar (chips, balls, planks or essential oil–cedar lined closets, drawers or trunks) Cloves Cinnamon sticks

  • Dried lavender, Dried lemon peel & Dried orange peel

  • Eucalyptus & Mint Peppercorns

  • Rosemary & Thyme

  • Moth traps

You can make bags/sachets to stash in cupboards, drawers, under beds or hang in closets out of cotton fabrics, plain cheesecloth, muslin,(our cotton packaging bags are great for this or an old muslin wash cloth) linen or clean nylons (knee highs or cut pantyhose). You could also spread dried orange and lemon peels in between clothing and linens while you’re packing them away.


Moth Sachet Recipes:

50/50 rosemary and mint

1 part dried lavender, 1 part rosemary, 1/2 part dried lemon peel, 1 TBS cloves

1 part whole cloves, 1 part whole peppercorns, 2 – 4 cinnamon sticks broken in pieces

1 part dried lavender, 1 part dried lemon peel, 1 broken cinnamon stick

1 part cedar shavings, 1 part thyme

1 part peppermint, 1 part spearmint, 1 part rosemary, 1/2 part thyme

Equal parts ground cloves, black pepper, orris root and cinnamon

DIY moth remedy to prevent moth holes in merino - thanks to babu

You can mix and match your own recipes, or just use 100% one ingredient if you like. Fill small bags/sachets to hold between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of the herb mixture. Roughly scrunch the bags periodically to help release their smells. Refill bags once they are no longer effective or hold no aroma. Enjoy the bonus of a nice smelling closet!

Merino Clothing Storage Tips

Clearly the best course of action is to stop the moths before they come calling. So here are some tips for when you are storing your items away:

  • Make sure you wash your merino first before storing.

  • Use airtight containers too which give that extra protection or in a cotton bag. Moths can eat through cotton, but they are much less likely to do this as they prefer merino, so wrapping in a cotton bag can give an extra layer of protection.

  • Freeze you clothes first, great way to kill larvae you can't see.

  • Store clothing in sealed containers.

  • Keep wardbrobe doors and drawers closed.
  • Store clothing in a dry place.

  • Vacuum. Edges of wardrobes, drawers and behind furniture.

If you know moths have discovered your storage area, kill larvae by dry cleaning, freezing cloth items for a few days or wash then tumble in the dryer on high heat (if possible). Clean the storage area thoroughly before using again.

You can't see a moth hole general before an item is washed. Larvae chew the fibre threads and leave them weak. they snap in the wash causing the hole.

Thanks to Babu for this information plus you can find out more about how to get rid of moths naturally on this website.

Tips for storing merino garments with Amanda from The Sleep Store

When you're storing your merino, you want to make sure it's clean and fully dry. Merino likes to wick away moisture, so you need to make sure it's fully dry with no moisture so it doesn't create mould in storage. Fold your merino when storing, don't hang it because it will stretch over time. We recommend putting merino into a cotton pillowcase or similar, that will breathe because merino likes to breathe. Then store it in a drawer with some cedar moth balls or some lavender.


How to avoid merino pilling & bobbling

Pilling and bobbling is a sign that you have purchased a quality merino item. Pilling is a natural process that is inherent in merino fabric due to the fact that merino is a staple fiber. Generally if pilling occurs, it’s because the shorter fibers are working their way to the surface of the fabric.

The best way to avoid pilling is to wash a new garment within 3 wears. To alleviate the pilling, we suggest that you wash the garment with a coarser fabric such as denim jeans (ensure all zippers are closed). The fabric will improve over time as the shorter fibers are removed.

Thanks to Icebreaker for this information.

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