It finally happened…=-(

7 05 2011

So comfy - so tight!...=-(

I’ve been really careful not to let any of my lovely wool garments to make it into the dryer, but my streak of success came to an end today. One of my MEC LS wool tops that fit perfectly ended up in the dryer. Luckily I dry my clothes on low and for a short time so the top went from a perfect fit to a slightly tighter than I’d love fit. I can still wear the top as a layer under something else, but not by itself unless I want to show off my scrawny physique and beer belly!

So while I’m loving the wool on for how it feels and how it works, but this Achilles’ heel of shrinking it in the dryer is a real problem preventing me from getting 100% behind it.



11 responses

8 05 2011
Jean Smith

Don’t worry, just switch to airdrying everything. Metal or wood line dryers are cheap and collapsable. We have only used our dryer 3 times in the last 2 years. In the winter, with the dry air in the house, your clothes will be dry in 12 hours. In the summer, the same racks can be put on a porch or balcony. The reduction of our gas bill makes it worth the small inconvenience.

8 05 2011

Wash it again, Vik. Before hanging it to dry, wear it and stretch it over your body to reclaim its original size. Since wearing wet wool feels weird, I’ll re-wash it and re-shape it right before a shower and then hang the clothing to dry. Drying wool on a horizontal surface will also lead to shrinking (the amount depends on the type of wool fibre used).

8 05 2011

I live on the coast. The humidity is very high. I could air dry for days before clothes are dry. Back in Calgary [which was a desert] that suggestion would work and in fact I did air dry most of my clothes.

8 05 2011

Bummers. I avoid that problem in that I hardly ever use the dryer. Generally only for my button-front shirts and jeans. And then only for the few months its too cold to hang stuff up outside to dry. My usual load of wool and synthetics always gets hung up to dry, often just on hangers then hanging in doorways overnight.

8 05 2011

Hmm…I live in Vancouver, and have been air drying for the past two years (in fact, I don’t even have a dryer, because my washer needs the lone 220 V socket). I also have a large number of Icebreaker/Ibex pieces, which dry fast enough.

Part of the reason: I bought a used Miele washer off Craigslist, which spins at up to 1600 rpm (and sounds like an airplane getting ready for take-off when it spools up). Leaves my clothes holding a lot less water than a traditional top-loader, and they dry overnight on the rack. Just a friendly tip. 😉

8 05 2011

I can’t imagine air drying stuff here in the winter. It would take forever. Perhaps your washer is much better at removing water from the clothes, but I don’t see myself replacing my appliances until they stop working.

9 05 2011

Something else to consider is that the latest front load appliances really are less damaging to the clothing itself. The wash cycles are gentle but do take much longer. However, the dry cycles are much shorter thanks to the excess water that is removed so the overall time is about the same. The amount of detergent necessary for laundering is shockingly minute.

Front load washing machines are definitely the key to air drying. Towels come out damp instead of wet. Wools come out damp but air dry very quickly. Synthetics even come out feeling dry (nylon based, fleeces).

9 05 2011

I have no doubt you are correct, but I’m not going to drop a load of cash to replace existing appliances that are performing just fine. As soon as they breakdown completely I’ll be shopping for something that is high efficiency, but until them it’s academic really.

10 05 2011

Wool is awesome. You could get your girlfriend or someone to act as a wool fascist to keep the woolies out of the dryer. And when you start investing in icebreaker or even more plush gear then you really don’t want it to shrink. It will last longer too kept out of the dryer. If I left my husband to his own devices all his wool would be shrunk. I live on the west coast and air dry most clothes. I do have a woodstove which helps in the monsoon half of year, but I do know about dampness(and people move here from across Canada thinking it’s going to be warm?). I lived in a few places with mold growing up the walls in the winter. Gross!
However, what I do is air dry stuff and in the end throw it all in the dryer for a wee bit to fluff up and get last moisture out. A good outdoor clothes line or umbrella is a good investment. On days with any sun, clothes will dry enough for you to finish the job inside hanging all over chairs and then in the dryer for a few minutes. Without the woodstove burning my house is freezing so I put all the clothes I am going to wear in the dryer before I put them on.

10 05 2011

Bummer about the shrinkage!

What’s prevented accidental “dryer-ings” of my beloved woolies is having enough of them to do a separate load. So that way I know that I won’t accidentally dry them. And yeah, it takes a little longer to air-dry stuff in the damp Cascadian winters, but it’s a price I’ll pay for what wool gives me. (And it takes 1 1/2-2 days to air dry my wool, depending on its thickness.)

While we’re talking wool, I use Kookaburra wash on my woolies. It’s a gentle detergent so it does a good job on wool. Though it doesn’t always take out odors, so that’s cured by adding some baking soda to the wash.

14 05 2011

Thanks for the stretching wet wool tip. I tried it and got things back to something approaching normal…=-)

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