Wool doesn't like drastic temperature changes. Use only tepid water and don't over-agitate. It is the friction from kneading and rubbing that causes the wool fibres to grab onto each other and matt together.
The no-rinse lanolin rich wool washes that are available are wonderful, and eliminating the rinse step also eliminates one more opportunity to felt the knitted fabric. Eucalan is the brand I am familiar with and use. Their number is 1-800-561-9731
When you have finished gently squeezing (do NOT wring) the wash water from the sweater place it in your washing machine on the SPIN CYCLE ONLY. It removes most of the remaining water from the sweater, which will now dry much faster when you lay the sweater flat on a dry towel.
The following are recommendations we have received, but have not personally tested:
"I thought I'd let you know of a wonderful product known as Kookaburra
Woolwash. I like it because it's non-toxic and contains Tea Tree essential oil to protect against the bug problem. I think you should try it. You can visit their website at, www.kookaburraco.com."
- from Vera MacInnis, Fleur de lis Farms, Canada, Vgillen@mb.sympatico.ca
"I have been knitting, spinning, and generally working in the fiber arts for most of my life. I learned a lot of tricks for washing wool years ago when I started spinning.
I don't bother spending a lot of money on wool washes. A plain dish detergent like Ivory is just fine. To restore lanolin to any wool garment (this includes store-bought sweaters that feel coarse and dry), just buy an inexpensive hand lotion that includes lanolin as one of the primary ingredients. Put about 2 inches worth into a regular spray bottle, fill with water and shake to mix. Mist the sweater fairly thoroughly - not wet but dampish and put it in a plastic bag and stick it somewhere warm overnight. The lanolin will soak back into the wool fibers and restore the lanolin content.
This works on woven wools as well."
- from Linda Missimer, email@example.com
We will post to this page any personal recommendations for successful storing of knitted garments, which may include the use of favorite products. Please send e-mails to Sweaterscapes.