You may remember last year that a Canberra-region sheep affectionately named Chris broke the record for growing the heaviest fleece, lugging around a mammoth 41kg of wool on his back as he wandered in the wild around Mulligan’s Flat for six years.
That’s six years of wearing a massive wool coat through freezing Canberra winters as well as boiling hot summers!
Wool is fast becoming the all-season fabric. It absorbs and evaporates moisture more effectively than most other textiles, making it an excellent temperature regulator. On a warm day the right wool will cool you down (although I think Chris was happy to be rid of the weight of his coat).
But right now in mid-winter Canberra, wool is also the fabric of choice as the mercury drops. At Ainslie Laundrette we take care of many wool suits, wool dresses, wool jumpers, jackets and scarves—the ideal clothes for mid-winter Canberra and a cost-effective fabric choice. We are also seeing much more alpaca, cashmere and mohair.
These are beautiful, finer fabrics than wool. Like sheep, alpacas are shorn annually for their wool. Cashmere and mohair are both farmed from particular species of goats. While mohair goats are shorn, cashmere comes from the soft undercoat of the cashmere and other goats’ necks and it has to be separated from a coarser protective top coat during the spring moulting season. This is largely done by hand and it takes more than two goats to make a single two-ply jumper. That will give you some idea of why cashmere is so expensive.
Sheep, goats and alpacas have the benefit of growing back their wool (even if they can be a little chilly after first being shorn). But it is impossible to magically ‘grow’ back a favourite wool suit or an expensive cashmere jumper if it is damaged through bad laundering practices.
We stock The Laundress Wool and Cashmere shampoo for you to wash your winter woollies at home. This is a specially formulated cedar-based mix that is designed to gently clean but retain the fabric’s natural oils. It always gets an overwhelming response from customers about how fresh, soft and fluffy clothing is after being washed in this shampoo.
It is 100 per cent biodegradable and the fragrance also gets a big rap with people describing it as luscious, heavenly, amazing and moth-repellent. But if you want to really get those moths away from your woollen clothes, you can also use the Laundress Wool and Cashmere spray. Combining sandalwood, orange and rose with a base of cedar, the spray naturally repels moths and critters and freshens woollens between washes.
We’ve recently diversified into selling homewares and clothing, and any of our customers who purchase an item from our woollen clothing line in July will receive a gift of a 60ml bottle of wool and cashmere shampoo to keep their purchase looking, feeling and smelling their best.
Take care of your woolly investments and they will give you enjoyment for many winter (and summer) seasons to come.