Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wrinkle Free Wool

Sure, you know Leaping Sheep Wool Dryer Balls help with the longevity and use of your fabrics in the dryer but what if I mention the word wrinkles.  It's like a curse word.  That is...if it's used regarding the crows feet and laugh lines pegging your age.  Wrinkles are a much lighter subject when talking about wool .  Wool can smile like the Grinch one moment and be as smooth as jazz the next.  A miracle?  Yes, if it's put in a bottle and marketed as an anti aging cream.  No, if it's a wool sweater found weeks after falling from a shelf in the closet.   

Wool is naturally elastic.  It's not gonna smack you in the chest like a pair of Uncle Fred's suspender's when he's gloating about his appetite.  Wool is much more gentle and subtle than that.  Thank goodness.  Each wool fibre is made up of millions of coiled springs that stretch and give.  When dry it can be extended by up to 30% it's original size.  When wet it can be stretched 60% to 70% it's original size.  But it's not ruined.  It always coils back to it's original shape.  Kind of like Shirley Temple's little curls.

A very popular fabric used today is cotton.  But did you know it is extremely fragile?  Cotton is held together by a hydrogen bond.  When worn these bonds are stretched and broken when you move.  Once the original bonds are broken new bonds form, nearly never in the original place.  And water (sweat) can actually penetrate the area between the molecules in the bond, the bond dissolves and a new bond forms.  As the fabric dries the new bonds, or wrinkles, get LOCKED into place! 

Let's look at a few clothing scenarios.

Scenario 1:

You're late for work and you're bloated.  It could be from stress in your personal life.  Or maybe you're lactose intolerant and threw caution to the wind while you threw back a milkshake.  Regardless your stomach looks like you're in your second trimester and you really don't want anybody asking if you're pregnant.  Not today.  

You tear through your closet like the Tasmanian Devil, "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!" 
But what's this?  You see a skirt hanging at the very end of the rod.  You haven't worn it in months but you remember it being snug yet forgiving.  You throw it on, run out the door and go about your day. 

By the time lunch rolls around you've forgotten all about feeling bloated.  In fact you feel so great you eat your salad with gusto.  And when you check yourself out in the bathroom mirror you don't spend ten minutes adjusting your outfit to get through the second half of the day.  On top of that, the critical coworker steps out of the stall behind you and says, "Great skirt.  Is that wool?"  You just smile and nod because to be honest you're not sure and you refuse to put your foot in your mouth. 

As soon as she leaves you race into a stall, slam the door shut, spin your skirt around and reveal the tag.  100% wool.  You suddenly remember getting this as a hand me down from Grandma.  Now you're really confused.  It looks brand new.  And despite sitting at a desk for hours there's not a single wrinkle in it.  You spend the rest of the day distracted wondering what the rest of your clothes are made of.   

Scenario 2:

You're late for work but you don't care.  You feel great and nothing is going to ruin your mood.  You throw on your trusty collared t-shirt and cotton pants because spring has sprung early and you want to be cool and comfortable today. 

By the time lunch rolls around you've adjusted your outfit at least a hundred times.  For each minute spent at your desk there's a wrinkle in your pants to represent it.  And the backside is so loose you feel like MC Hammer.  You're feeling frumpy and pretend you didn't pack a healthy lunch.  An order of the freshest deep fried combo pack, super sized, goes down the hatch.
You go back to work and convince yourself you're PMS'ing.  Great, the critical coworker just walked past donning a sympathetic smile while you're inhaling a king sized chocolate bar for dessert.  It's a curl up on the couch with sappy movie kind of night tonight.   

That little tidbit may not be too far from a day in your own life.  Clothing can make or break your mood and productivity.  You might be thinking that you can't wear a heavy wool sweater, skirt or suit everyday.  Nobody said you have to.  Thanks to knitwear designers and wool technologists there is an endless number of combinations of weave, knits and textures, from sheer lacy knits to bulky tweeds and heavy overcoating to choose from. They're made from a wide range of wool types varying from extra-fine for the suits and knitwear to broad fibres for home furnishings.  Whatever the choice they all resist wrinkles and last beautifully for years. If you do find that your wool garment needs ironed check the manufacturers directions and never use a dry iron as it will scorch the wool easily.       

Oh, and don't ever wash your wool in the washer and throw it in the dryer, it will felt the wool. You will then be using that skirt as a dryer ball. 



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