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Home & Garden
I wash all my "hand wash only" wool sweaters in the washing machine. Use the delicates/wool setting, turn the temperature dial to cold and pre dissolve your washing powder in a cup if it's not liquid and don't forget to add fabric conditioner. Turn the sweater inside out before washing and ensure there is a low spin speed setting. If the sweater is still very wet after washing pull out into shape on a dry towel and roll the towel then apply pressure - I usually stamp on it. Now either dry the jumper flat or if you are going to hang over a washing line fold the sweater over the line and peg it under the arms. I have used this method for years on all my lambswool, shetland wool and cashmere sweater with hand wash only labels and never ruined one yet. Turn jumper right way round before ironing, iron on wool setting making sure not to pull it out of shape and avoid ironing the rib at the bottom and cuffs or they'll end up going baggy.
PS: I used to advise on care label instructions for M&S garments, but as I'm sure you'll appreciate the above instructions are far too detailed to put on a little label, so most manufacturers tend to put "hand wash only" or "dry clean only" that way there is no come back.
Thank you Trix018 for your advice. I appreciate the length you have gone to with your explanation of the washing and drying process but I would still prefer to let someone else do it for me, hence my question about dry cleaning. I love the feel of pure fabrics and if I can clean them easily I would certainly buy more!