Karukinka Outdoor wool garments are meant to be taken out into the wild. They are meant to be worn as you work up a sweat on your way to the summit and in cold, damp conditions. They are meant to protect your skin as you glissade down a glacier or haul yourself over the top of a rough boulder. We’re a slow fashion brand and we are proud of how our high-end wool garments look, but we’re even more proud of how they perform in the harshest conditions.
Each Karukinka Outdoor garment is handmade from natural fibers and you can read more about why we chose not to use synthetic fibers in our outdoor apparelhere. Wool is resistant to odors, moisture, and dirt but even Karukinka products, if they are worn in the outdoors as we intend them too, need a little TLC and clean up now and again.
When it’s time to clean your sweater (or any other wool garment), we have a few recommendations that will both extend the life of your garment and reduce waste in washing. If you have already purchased or are considering purchasing one of our products, chances are good you are already a conscious consumer and interested in learning more about how to minimize your impact on the planet.
1) First, reconsider how often you think you need to wash your wool sweater. Wool, as mentioned above, is an extremely durable and odor-resistant material. If you wear a base layer, don’t sweat much, or purchase a garment in a darker color that doesn’t show much dirt, you can actually probably get away with five or more wears between washing.
Before getting too grossed out, just remember that over-washing a piece of clothing can degrade it. This is especially a problem for apparel made out of synthetic fibers as those microplastics and petroleum-based materials will drain out of your washing machine and inevitably end up in our rivers and streams. Luckily, natural fibers like the llama, alpaca, and sheep wool used in Karukinka products won’t impact the planet in the same way, but it’s still something to consider.
2) Karukinka products should be machine washed in 30° C water in wool or hand wash setting if your machine has those features. If not, consider handwashing at the same temperature. Many other wool apparel companies will suggest dry cleaning but we do not recommend this for our products. We do suggest washing separately or with similar colors, closing all fasteners before throwing in the wash, and washing with a detergent made specifically for wool. Do not bleach wool or use a softener.
3) Don’t dry your Karukinka clothing in a tumble dryer. The dyer can further any damage caused by the washing machine and shrink or misshape wool. It’s also a waste of energy and if you are trying to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels this will help you cut back. And you shouldn’t hang dry or wring your Karukinka sweaters either because the wool can stretch out. In fact, you should handle and reshape them carefully when they are wet and lay them flat to dry. Once dry, you can smooth them out with a cool iron.
Following these steps will help your Karukinka garment last for decades. And if you are serious about reducing your impact on the planet, consider applying this advice to how you care for all your clothing.