First Wool Shirt questions

Discussion in 'Clothing' started by jordanzwon1, Mar 13, 2019 at 10:07 PM.

  1. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    619
    Location:
    Texas
    so got my first wool shirt. Got the Lester River Boreal. It was recommended that I get a large because it would be big enough to layer, but damn this is big. You want it big though right? Or should I be going to a smaller size.

    Second, is there a way to soften up the wool....it’s itchy. I realize there will be little to no times that I will be wearing it without a layer on underneath but just curious.

    Last, is dry cleaning the best way to clean this? And how do you prevent moths?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019 at 11:25 PM
  2. pellegrino

    pellegrino Much to learn... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,082
    Likes Received:
    8,170
    Location:
    AL
    I have heard that Woolite can help soften wool, though be advised that I have never tried this. I have just recently got some wool shirts, and have not yet tried washing them. Also, wool blends can be less itchy than 100% wool. I'm sure one of our more northern brethren may have more input on this.
     
    Haggis, Togus and ExAF1N1 like this.
  3. jordanzwon1

    jordanzwon1 Husband, Father, Christ Follower Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    619
    Location:
    Texas
    What about moths? How do y’all store them?
     
    Haggis and pellegrino like this.
  4. Togus

    Togus Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,727
    Likes Received:
    5,516
    Location:
    Maine
    These Boreal shirts are made with blankets which aren’t intended to be washed or laundered frequently. I definitely wouldn’t dry clean it. If you must wash it, I’d use wool lite and hang dry. Treating it with lanolin can make it softer, but wool was never worn against bare skin. Especially wool used in making blankets. IMO I’d just wear a midlayer hoodie under it so the wool isn’t against your skin.
     
  5. pellegrino

    pellegrino Much to learn... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,082
    Likes Received:
    8,170
    Location:
    AL
    How about regular wool shirts like a Pendleton or Woolrich? Gentle wash with Wool lite? Does a normal detergent degrade the wool?
     
    Haggis likes this.
  6. Togus

    Togus Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,727
    Likes Received:
    5,516
    Location:
    Maine
    If it were my shirts I’d avoid laundering them unless I absolutely had to and use cold water with wool lite. I have a Woolrich wool shirt I’ve owned for 3-4 years that I’ve never washed. I almost never wash any of my wool. Woodsmoke, ashes, day to day wearing generally doesn’t soil wool like it does other materials. Barring dumping coffee on it, milk, blood, or other obviously offensive substances there should be little need to wash them. Remember wool is hair/fur, whatever you want to call it, animal based product and as such can degrade and breakdown. Repeateded washings and exposures to detergents, chemical cleaners, solvents, and the like will only accelerate that process.
     
  7. John from Alberta

    John from Alberta Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    1,459
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I would email LR and ask what they suggest. They'll have the best answer for you.
     
    Haggis and pellegrino like this.
  8. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Location:
    ND/MN
    I doubt you’ll ever need to wash your Lester River Boreal Shirt unless you just feel you “have to”. Not many people spill motor oil on their wool clothing. Most dirt/dust/ash etc comes right off with a damp cloth. For information relative to washing instructions, if you just feel the need to do so, you should call Lester River to get the real skinny.

    Not required by any means but I hang my wool coats/jackets using an oversized Western Cedar coat hanger and refresh the hanger every fall by lightly sanding and applying actual cedar oil to the cedar wood hanger. For spring and summer storage just place the wool clothing in an air tight container with the cedar wood hanger or cedar blocks.

    Keeping your closet clean is probably the best method of keeping moth damage to an absolute minimum, which requires weekly cleaning by someone in the home. My folks had 2 fairly large Cedar Chests where wool clothing, silks and fancy table cloths were kept but you seldom see them anymore, as modern day house cleaning methods are far superior to the methods and time required 100 years ago.
     
    Haggis and pellegrino like this.
  9. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    5,173
    Likes Received:
    41,105
    Location:
    Upper Great Lakes
    You can buy plastic, zip up garment bags from almost any chain store.
     
    Haggis likes this.
  10. WisconsinEric

    WisconsinEric Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    I personally would never use woolite. I'm not telling other how to live, just stating how I do it. My LRB is 7yrs old this month. It has never needed to be washed, but I did wash it in a lanolin bath with Euclan wool wash a couple years ago to incorporate lanolin into it. I also brushed it inside and out per Red Ochre's method he has posted here on this forum. Follow that Man's advice when it comes to wool. Red Ochre knows what's up. My 7yr old LRB is currently in better than new condition, and it has been both abused and neglected.

    ps. Another poster above stated that US wool blankets are not intended to be washed. That could not be further from the truth. Again I do not wash mine, but the lable on the real US blankets says they are both machine washable and machine dryable. As far as I know Jason machine washes and dries his blankets several times to preshrink them before cutting them to make his Boreal Shirts.
     
    Kreger, Haggis and pellegrino like this.
  11. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    8,415
    Likes Received:
    11,577
    Location:
    Relocated to Salt Lake City from Nevada
    Most woolen garments will shrink a LOT if you wash them in hot or warm water. DON'T DO THIS!

    If you do have them shrink substantially, there is a product available on Amazon called "Unshrinkit". It runs around $10 per bottle but that's cheaper than replacing an expensive woolen garment.

    I wish this stuff had been available when I turned a hand knit turtleneck cable-knit sweater that my Grandmother knitted for me back in the 70s. I turned it from a beautiful sweater to a sweater sized for a GI Joe doll. All because of the dumb-ness of youth.

    Steve
     
    Haggis, Lichen and pellegrino like this.
  12. funkja

    funkja Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    to soften, hand wash in cold water with woolite, rinse, and then back in a soaking bucket with a few tablespoons of plain old hair conditioner . soak for 30 mins and rinse.
     
    Haggis, PMSteve and pellegrino like this.
  13. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    995
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    I buy the majority of my wool second hand, so I wash everything at least once when I buy it (you never know where stuff has been). I use a front load washer with cold water and whatever detergent I have on hand. Shrinkage has been minimal, if any, as long as I don't put it in the dryer. I will say that I have had some blankets shed (trust me, its no fun to have to clean a bunch of wet wool fibers out of the washing machine), while other garments were just fine, so YMMV.
     
    Haggis, pellegrino and PMSteve like this.
  14. kevinkinney

    kevinkinney Current on Tetanus. Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    419
    Location:
    Duluth, MN
    Wash the shirt if you need too. Use mild soap and a gentle cycle in a front loading machine. You won't kill it. The blankets are pretty stable.

    However, dry it carefully. Heat won't hurt the wool, but you could affect the thread and the nylon reinforcements. They will shrink when overheated. Spin it about 1/2 way dry on low, then air dry it the rest of the way on a good hanger. Wool will take a 'set' when it's wet, so don't throw it over the top of a fence post.
     
  15. rockett88s

    rockett88s Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    544
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    North east
    I use a slightly different cleaning method than Kevin suggests, but Kevin is definitely a bona fide wool guru who has forgotten more about wool than most will ever know....
    I use cool water in a big Tupperware storage bin... just enough water to cover the garment.... a capful or two of Euclan and I let it soak a bit....then gently agitate it.... rinse with fresh water in the same bin.

    I dry it flat, between two towels.... I press the excess water out gently... sometimes with a rolling pin, then let it dry flat....

    I have twenty year old woolrich buffalo wool shirts that look like new....
     
  16. The Pan

    The Pan Ironwood Lover Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    2,312
    Location:
    Minneapolis Minnesota
    and do not wring it out as you wood a washcloth or t-shirt.......

    ..to keep from shrinking you can also while laying flat block it out in the shape you want. (maybe)..:41:.
     
    Portage_Monster and Haggis like this.
  17. Gii shi kan dug

    Gii shi kan dug Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    4,142
    Likes Received:
    5,615
    Location:
    3rd planet from the Sun
    It might sound weird but I throw all my woollens in the snow when it is deep fresh an cold. Rub and sometimes even walk on them. Shake them out and dry flat. I own sweaters, blankets, and plenty of other garments that have not been washed for years. I also always air them out for a good while after wearing them.
     
    Kreger, Portage_Monster and Haggis like this.
  18. Haggis

    Haggis Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    5,290
    Likes Received:
    22,584
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    I don’t wash my wool shirts, pants, or sweaters often,,, didn’t often wash my Harris Tweed coats, or wool pants when I was teaching. Put in rotation, aired well between wearings, and washed or cleaned once every year is plenty. Unless you plan on getting them really muddy or sweating in them like the proverbial horse.

    Traditionally there were frames for drying wool clothing, to avoid shrinkage...

    DBF1D38A-8679-4427-A2D1-ED0F73420C1A.jpeg
     
  19. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    8,415
    Likes Received:
    11,577
    Location:
    Relocated to Salt Lake City from Nevada
    Those frames are awesome. They look fairly easy to make, too.

    Steve
     
    Haggis likes this.
  20. Portage_Monster

    Portage_Monster Experiencing Wanderlust Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    5,636
    Location:
    Frozen Minnesota
    I only wash my wool gear once or maybe twice a year at most. Wash em cold, go sparingly on detergent and hang em dry unless you want to shrink it. When I'm not using them I hang em to air out. Good wool gear should come close to outliving you if you don't treat it too rough.
     
    Gii shi kan dug and Haggis like this.

Share This Page