4 Tricks to Prevent Wool Clothes from Itching

If wool clothes are itchy, some products can help to soothe it. In this space we share with you the most popular ones.
4 Tricks to Prevent Wool Clothes from Itching

Last update: 22 August, 2022

Wool garments – such as sweaters, pullovers or vests – are usually quite comfortable, warm, and soft when they’re new. However, sometimes the fabric itches on contact with the skin. So, what can you do to stop wool clothes from itching? In this article, we’re going to share several great tricks with you.

Whether it be because your skin is sensitive or because the wool has deteriorated, it’s possible to get irritated or even have allergic reactions when wearing a garment with this material. And that’s not to mention that heat and humidity tend to worsen the discomfort. Let’s take a look at some tips to resolve this problem.

Why does wool clothing itch?

Wool is one of the most popular and widely used natural fibers around the world. It’s obtained from sheep and other long-furred animals such as llamas, alpacas, and rabbits. It’s an extremely versatile material and is used in the textile industry to make hats, gloves, scarves, coats, sweaters, and many other garments.

Many people refuse to buy wool clothing because, at some point, they tried on a garment and couldn’t stand the itch. And although it’s true that some varieties generate itching, we shouldn’t generalize or deprive ourselves of the benefits of this natural fiber. After all, it’s one of the best fibers to protect ourselves from the cold.

The reaction may occur due to the thickness of the fiber used for its production since its structure is based on scales that overlap to form the final product.

The smaller the scale, the softer the wool (as is the case of merino wool), and the longer the scale, the more irritation it may cause.

Why does wool itch?
The thickness of the wool fiber affects its texture. That’s why some types of wool generate itching and others don’t. 

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Four tricks so that wool clothes don’t itch

If you don’t want to get rid of your favorite wool sweater, don’t worry. There are a few tips that allow you to soften the texture of these garments. Take note of them here!

1. Take advantage of the cold

If you feel that the texture of your coat has changed and you don’t want your wool clothes to itch, you can help yourself from the cold. This technique will make the wool tighten and feel softer to the touch.

Just put your garment in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours. Then, take it out and let it warm up in the shade before wearing it.

2. Use a softener and glycerin

For this method, add a tablespoon of glycerin to the soap you are using and wash the garment gently by hand. Avoid scrubbing or machine washing, as this will only cause the wool scales to lift and start to itch or lose quality.

Then, rinse well with plenty of cold water and add a little of your favorite fabric softener. If you want, you can make your own homemade fabric softener. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and rinse with cold water. Finally, dry in the shade.

3. Use white vinegar

White vinegar can be a great ally when it comes to softening the roughest wool fabrics. To take advantage of its effect, dilute a cup of white vinegar in a liter of water and let your garment stand for 15 minutes.

This method is effective, but you must remember that vinegar can leave the wool impregnated with its typical smell. Therefore, be sure to wash the garment afterward with a scented soap or a little shampoo.

Like this article? You may also like to read: Tips To Keep Clothes from Accumulating in Your Closet

4. Use hair conditioner

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Wool is a natural, organic fiber composed of keratin, just like our hair. You can take advantage of all the properties of your treatment or conditioner to provide softness to your garments. This will prevent wool clothing from itching.

After washing the sweater in cold water (remember, cold is one of wool’s best friends), apply a thin layer of conditioner all over the garment. Do this by squeezing and not pulling the fabric to avoid damaging it. After half an hour, you can rinse it with plenty of water and let it dry in the shade. Besides being soft, it will smell delicious.

tricks so wool doesn't itch
Conditioner and hair treatments moisturize wool so it won’t itch.

To keep wool clothes from itching, you must take care of them

If you want your wool garments to remain as soft as the first day you wore them, you must take special care to avoid mistreating them. Basic tips like taking advantage of the cold weather and washing gently with conditioner and softener can make a big difference in the feel. So, take the plunge and follow some of these techniques and fall in love with the comfort of wool again!.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fowler JF Jr, Fowler LM, Lorenz D. Effects of Merino Wool on Atopic Dermatitis Using Clinical, Quality of Life, and Physiological Outcome Measures. Dermatitis. 2019;30(3):198-206. doi:10.1097/DER.0000000000000449
  • Doyle EK, Preston JWV, McGregor BA, Hynd PI. The science behind the wool industry. The importance and value of wool production from sheep. Anim Front. 2021;11(2):15-23. Published 2021 May 17. doi:10.1093/af/vfab005

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.