Knowing your way around good quality knitwear – from how to spot it, to how to best care for it – is a knack in itself, as we’ve learned from The Campaign for Wool’s Wool Week (initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and supported by major trade textile organisations), which returns to London in its ninth year with a roster of workshops, discussions and screenings. 

Natural, biodegradable, sustainable, durable, trans-seasonal, and machine washable (contrary to popular belief), the wonders of wool garments are expansive and, come the colder climes, all we'll be living in!

However, before investing for the season ahead, we've called on experts Peter AckroydCOO for Campaign for Wool and Patrick Grant, Fashion Designer and Creative Director of Norton & Sons, Savile Row, to dispel the myths around stain removal, washing, drying and general care, and explain how to cherrypick the crème de la crème of comfy attire.

Patrick Grant, Fashion Designer and Creative Director of Norton & Sons, Savile Row

"Making high quality woollen fabrics starts with high quality raw wool, and requires exceptional spinning, knitting or weaving, and then highly skilled finishing. It’s as much art as it is science. Over time you develop a feel for a good quality wool cloth, it’s a combination of what I call heft; when you handle it it somehow feels substantial. But its only a sense and provenance is also important: knowing where and by whom it has been created, and from what raw wool, is crucial. The UK still makes, arguably, the best quality knitted and woven woollen textiles. It’s where we source the fabrics we use at Norton & Sons, E. Tautz and Community Clothing.

In terms of care for your woollens, use a good quality, pH-neutral detergent, approved by Woolmark, and wash on the wool setting; air your wool clothes before you stick them away, never put them away damp; hang trousers and jackets on a good quality hanger after wear, if they’re stained use a clean cloth and clean water and blot out any stains, don’t rub." 

Peter Ackroyd, COO for Campaign for Wool

"The fineness of wool is always best appreciated in its handle and drape. Merino wool is measured in microns, the finest being around 13 micron, a quality suit would be on average 19 micron… Touch is the key in spotting good quality wool.

It's preferable to keep your wool knitwear in sealed bags in the draw. This will help keep moths at bay. It's not necessary to wash woollens frequently, but when required, always use a washing machine with a Woolmark cycle. AEG, in association with Woolmark have developed a 'Hand Wash Only' cycle that allows you to put knitwear into the machine with absolute confidence!"


Wool Week runs from 8-21 October. Click here to find out more.

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+ Lilian von Trapp’s ethical stance is raising the bar on craftsmanship and archaic gold mining.

+  We speak to young designer Elliss Soloman creating clothing that's as kind to the skin as it is the environment.  

+ This jewellery brand fashions mismatched painting earrings from old fallen tree debris.