Wool is an animal fibre obtained from the fleece of sheep. The properties of wool are temperature regulating and moisture absorbing. Wool fibres readily absorb moisture but are not hollow. Wool can absorb almost one-third of its own weight in water. Makes sense that diaper covers are often made of wool! Because wool is temperature regulating and is breathable, it is an ideal fibre to wear year round. Wool is also antimicrobial which means that it is naturally resistant against bacteria and fungus.
What to expect
Some wool can be on the scratchy side but can become soft quite quickly with use. Wool has tremendous elasticity which provides the ultimate in cush and bounce when wearing in a wrap or a sling. It is very supportive and comfortable to wear. Cashmere is super soft straight out of the box. It is a fibre that is luxuriously soft and cuddly right from the start. Like wool, It generally has a good amount of bounce and cush. However not as much elasticity as wool.
Many people are intimidated by wool and cashmere wraps due the special care required. However, it is not as hard as it seems. Most people choose to hand wash but if you have a front loader that has a wool and cashmere setting, there are some people brave enough to trust these machines. Personally, I love the therapeutic qualities of handwashing.
As with all baby carriers and slings, it is best to use liquid detergent that is free of optical brighteners, bleach or softening agents. Didymos recommends using a special wool detergent. Wool is prone to felting if exposed to extreme changes of temperature and agitation. Make sure to avoid felting your wrap by using only lukewarm water, avoiding extreme temperature changes and any agitation whatsoever. To wash a wool or cashmere wrap, simply fill a tub with lukewarm water, add a dime sized amount of wool wash, gently swish, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then very carefully lay the wrap flat on a towel, being careful to support its weight in all places. Fill the tub up again with water the same temperature as the water you just drained. Add the wrap and swish gently to rinse it. Let it sit for a few minutes. To dry a wool or cashmere wrap, first lay it flat, sandwiched between two towels. Roll up the towels and squeeze to remove any excess water. Then lay it flat by itself to dry. Do not tumble dry. Air dry your woolie, but make sure to give it support while it is drying. Laying flat will prevent stretching.