Care of Old Welsh Blankets
How to look after a vintage Welsh blanket? Can I wash my old Welsh blanket? How do I protect it from moth damage?…These are questions we are asked all the time
but actually, these old wool blankets are a lot more robust than you might think. They hardly ever need washing and because they are all pure wool, airing them outsite on the washing line is the best thing for them. When you do occaisionally need to give them a wash, they can go in the washing machine on a COLD, delicate or handwash cycle. Use a delicate wool wash such as ecover or bioD, and conditioner if you feel the need to. Wool can hold many times its own weight in water, so it is best to give it a slow spin it or it will take forever to dry! You can spin the blanket without worrying because as long as there is no heat, there is very little risk of felting or shrinking… and that goes for your jumpers too!
Moth can be a real problem – and of course they always seem to go for your favourite things! We have to be really vigilant in the shop with all our woollen products, so we have developed a special wool wash which helps to deter those pesky insects! Our concoction is a blend of natural essential oils, which are all known to deter moths from the tempting smell of tasty wool. All you need to do is add a couple of teaspoons per blanket to the final rinse (use in the same way as a fabric conditioner) and the oils will impregnate the fibre, helping to protect it from moth damage, conditioning it at the same time… and of course it smells absolutely divine!
If you are storing blankets, make sure you do wash them first, but another great tip are these little anti moth sachets. They are made from handmade cotton paper, and filled with sandalwood, which has been soaked in a blend of essential oils. Try and find a zip up storage bag so there are no little gaps for moth get in, and slip one of the sachets in with your blanket. They are also great for hanging in the wardrobe, draws and airing cupboard. In fact, we use them all over the shop, particularly in amongst the piles of blankets. People often ask us what the wonderful smell is in the shop, and the answer is: a well nurtured blend of quality leather, beeswax floor polish, a sprinkling of insence and a large portion of these sachets -if you have ever visited the shop you will certainly recognise the smell! If only we could encapsulate it!
The worst time of year for moth is during the summer months, particularly July, August and September. This is the time to be really vigilant, and when it comes to moth, prevention is a thousand times better than cure!