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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2009
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    Palm Beach, Florida
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    Default How to wash a wool dress sheet

    I realize this could be put into another category, but to my knowledge, the H/J crowd are the primary users of these.

    At a recent show, several of my wool dress sheets became dirty. I feel like taking it to the cleaners to dry clean a horse blanket is a little overkill, and hand scubbing the dirty/poop parts on the tail cord is just not appealing. Does anyone throw theirs in the washer? Do you use soap? Any tips would be really appreciated!!!



  2. #2
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    Nov. 13, 2004
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    Machine wash in cold water and Woolite, hang to dry.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  3. #3
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    May. 17, 2000
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    Default

    woolite cold water gentle wash, hang dry. I did have the advantage of trying this out on my non-show ancient barn wool cooler first, but since it was an ancient custom one, I figured the same rules would apply.
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 29, 2008
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    On the dark side of the moon.
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    Default

    If your dress sheet is a really costly one, dry cleaning is the only way out. The tail cord can be removed and soaked, srubbed or whatever, generally they are not made of wool.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2009
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    Down South
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    Default

    I agree with comfortably numb, at $350 each, I am not brave enough to wash mine. Plus the dry cleaners are really great at getting all of the grey hairs out of my dark coolers.



  6. #6
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    Jun. 13, 2000
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    Default

    i wouldnt wash it if it was expensive. i washed an inexpensive one in cold water and it definitely shrunk!
    my expensive one, i sent to the dry cleaners. they made me vacuum off all the hairs before they touched it. you might want to hand scrub the tail cord before you send it to the cleaners as they probably will not want to touch it if you do not.
    i only cleaned the dress sheet 2x. other than that i try to keep it nice and clean.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2006
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    Default

    Gentlest wash, use a liquid detergent that's VERY mild, or meant for wool, or none at all. Cold water only.

    Drying for a SHORT time in the tumble dryer set low or no heat really fluffs up the wool.

    I don't bother with a fabric softener.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
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    NJ
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    Default

    machine wash in cold water with woolite, hang dry. pretty easy they'll be fine, don't worry!

    however if you've got a super expensive one, i might be more comfortable sending it to the cleaners (make sure you vacuum hair off)
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3



  9. #9
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    Oct. 20, 2007
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    Default

    Every dry cleaner I took them too wouldnt touch mine.
    ---^v---^v---^v----------------------^v---^v---^v---
    For a moment there, you bored me to death



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2003
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    where there is no snow in the winter
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    Default

    This thread is of interest to me as well and very timely. I have a wool dress sheet with an irish knit lining (custom made for a previous horse). Unfortunately, the trainer forgot to take it off a few days ago after the horse was dry and exchange it for his regular stable blankets. So, as I happen to own pigpen, this sheet is now manure and urine encrusted to the point it soaked through to the irish knit portion. I don't think the drycleaner will even look at it! And, Im not sure it should be drycleaned with the irish knit lining.

    So, is it cold water, woolite and a gentle cycle with lay flat to dry for me?



  11. #11
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    Mar. 7, 2003
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    Mudville, GA ;-)
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    Default

    I've never been able to wash anything wool without shrinking it....
    Y'all ain't right!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2009
    Location
    Camp Creek, WV
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    Default

    This won't matter if you don't have one--and I doubt that anyone is going to go out and buy a new washing machine for a wool dreess sheet. But a lot of front loading washing machines (European brands like Miele, for example) have specific cycles to clean wool. I put TONS of things in mine that would normally have to go to the drycleaners and they come out beautifully. I believe the wool cycle has low agitation to prevent the felting/shrinking that happens to wool in a regular top loading washer. Perhaps if you have a horsey friend who has a front loader, they would agree to let you use it? (It might be a hard sell with a friend who doesn't have horses.) If the sheet was really dirty I can see a drycleaner saying no--they normally recycle the drycleaning fluid multiple times and that would probably mean one use and down the drain!



  13. #13
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    Jun. 17, 2009
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    Wyoming County NY where Wind is King
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    Default

    This is just why, when I make a wool dress sheet from Pendleton, or English wool, I pre wash and dry the material before I make the item. I wash in cold water, without soap (soap and big agitation creates felt-from a weaver who made many wool blankets. After spending 2 months warping and weaving, I wasn't about to felt everything )

    I did dry the material in the dryer on wool or damp cycle, and then would hang to dry, then cut and sew.

    I have 4 or 5 100% wool dress sheets I've made over the years, some from 50 yr. old Hudson Bay blankets, and some about 20 years old. They have not shrunk, and I put them in the machine periodically when they need to be freshened up, and hang to dry. I make all of my sheets with removable tail cords so if all the dirt is centered on the tail cord, I can wash that and save the sheet from cleaning.

    I never send things to the drycleaners. I don't send anything there. I don't like the solution they use. Unless it's a disaster with a sheet or riding jacket, a dishwashing woven donut will take off the big chunks when dried, and then a spritz of water and towels usually gets the rest. Inevitably horses will roll with a blanket if you are not careful, (like in their stall after a bath). I use a terry cloth lined sheet with a wool over it and an anti-cast roller.

    I do have a great front loader extra size for my blanket washing business, and found that the 'steam' setting for all of my hunting jackets, wool clothing and sheets is great.



  14. #14
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    Default

    good point, the dry cleaning chemicals are by no means easier on fabric, just easier on us (if not our pocketbooks).
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  15. #15
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    I have three very nice wool dress sheets. One of them is a wool blend and the other two are full wool (one of them is lovely thick Irish wool--bought it in a tack shop and had it customized here to fit my horse.) The wool blend shrunk down about an inch. The full wool dress sheets did not shrink at all. For what it's worth!
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  16. #16
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    Oct. 1, 2003
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    I have never understood why wool is not pre washed and pre shrunk before making it into whatever. I had a friend that use to make wool sweaters and made 2 for me. Both were pre shrunk by washing the wool and drying it before making the sweaters.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2006
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    1,197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nadasy View Post
    This is just why, when I make a wool dress sheet from Pendleton, or English wool, I pre wash and dry the material before I make the item. I wash in cold water, without soap (soap and big agitation creates felt-from a weaver who made many wool blankets. After spending 2 months warping and weaving, I wasn't about to felt everything )

    I did dry the material in the dryer on wool or damp cycle, and then would hang to dry, then cut and sew.

    I have 4 or 5 100% wool dress sheets I've made over the years, some from 50 yr. old Hudson Bay blankets, and some about 20 years old. They have not shrunk, and I put them in the machine periodically when they need to be freshened up, and hang to dry. I make all of my sheets with removable tail cords so if all the dirt is centered on the tail cord, I can wash that and save the sheet from cleaning.

    I never send things to the drycleaners. I don't send anything there. I don't like the solution they use. Unless it's a disaster with a sheet or riding jacket, a dishwashing woven donut will take off the big chunks when dried, and then a spritz of water and towels usually gets the rest. Inevitably horses will roll with a blanket if you are not careful, (like in their stall after a bath). I use a terry cloth lined sheet with a wool over it and an anti-cast roller.

    I do have a great front loader extra size for my blanket washing business, and found that the 'steam' setting for all of my hunting jackets, wool clothing and sheets is great.



    nadasy - what brand of washing machine do you have? My mostly wool (Pikeur, so it's got some elastine in it) hunt coat is caked with mud after being splattered and rained on out hunting, and I'm loathe to get it dry-cleaned. Does the steam cycle work well?

    Love the idea of making horse blankets from good old wool blankets - !



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