learn the art of caring and repairing and make your woollens last a
life time!

wool
care and repair
for dummies

Liever de handleiding in het Nederlands?

Wimpy's world

introduction

“Oi! Wimpy here, to guide you through the process of taking better care of your woollen garb. I can go on and on about this lovely, natural material and its impressive benefits. Wool keeps me warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Wool fibres are breathable and absorb large quantities of moisture, evaporating it into the air. It’s antimicrobial, which mostly means your woollens are pretty odour resistant. I’ve never met a sheep that didn’t smell fantastic! If ewe have ever had any wool garments, you know there’s something special about them.

Sadly, the production of wool has a pretty big impact on our planet. Sheep need lots of land and produce tons of methane (excuse me). The conditions for these sheep are sometimes quite poor, but it is possible to buy organic, mulesing-free wool which is much more friendly to us and the rest of the planet. Pay close attention to where materials came from, and under which conditions they were produced, when shopping for new wool.

Better yet, buy your woollen items second hand! I’ve got some tricks up my sleeves—and inside this box—to help you bring endless life to your woollies. Use the needles and wool together with my wooden tools to keep them in tip-top shape.

But let’s also not forget the woollen garb already in your closet, the most sustainable option! Those socks with the hole, your pilled jumper, that musty scarf your nan made you. There are plenty of techniques I can show you to revive, personalise, and make them last even longer. To sum it up: fix your clothes, look cool, save money, save wool!”

“Oi! Wimpy here, to guide you through the process of taking better care of your woollen garb. I can go on and on about this lovely, natural material and its impressive benefits. Wool keeps me warm during the winter and cool in the summer. Wool fibres are breathable and absorb large quantities of moisture, evaporating it into the air. It’s antimicrobial, which mostly means your woollens are pretty odour resistant. I’ve never met a sheep that didn’t smell fantastic! If ewe have ever had any wool garments, you know there’s something special about them.

Sadly, the production of wool has a pretty big impact on our planet. Sheep need lots of land and produce tons of methane (excuse me). The conditions for these sheep are sometimes quite poor, but it is possible to buy organic, mulesing-free wool which is much more friendly to us and the rest of the planet. Pay close attention to where materials came from, and under which conditions they were produced, when shopping for new wool.

Better yet, buy your woollen items second hand! I’ve got some tricks up my sleeves—and inside this box—to help you bring endless life to your woollies. Use the needles and wool together with my wooden tools to keep them in tip-top shape.

But let’s also not forget the woollen garb already in your closet, the most sustainable option! Those socks with the hole, your pilled jumper, that musty scarf your nan made you. There are plenty of techniques I can show you to revive, personalise, and make them last even longer. To sum it up: fix your clothes, look cool, feel good.”

wimpy's workshop

my 19-piece kit includes tools, materials and easy to follow instructions for wool care & repair

the wimpy kit includes

mending macaron
darning base for socks and jumpers

pill comb
fuzz remover and felting base

wool brush
fuzz remover and felting base

5 types of darning wool
extra strong wool
by Schoppel

needle holder
needle storage and felting needle storage

5 colours felting fleece
wool from Kinderdijk by dyed by Koperdraadje

snag needle

darning needle

felting needle

repair instructions poster

care instructions poster

Wimpy is designed by Foekje Fleur and all illustrations are by Lauraine Meyer.

All tools are produced in beech wood, stainless steel, copper and natural rubber. The woollen supplies are from Kinderdijk, dyed by Koperdraadje. The yarn is a mix of mulesing free wool, hemp and biodegradable polyamide by Schoppel Wolle in Germany. All paper and cardboard is 100% recycled and printed co2 neutral.

techniques

I will teach you five dummy proof repair techniques so you can renew and personalize all the woollens in your wardrobe

fuzz off

Wearing woollens will often cause small fibres to come loose. These little hairballs then stick to the garment. You can call them pilling, bobble, fuzz balls, lint, whatever you like. Although pilling is totally innocent, it can give your garb an unflattering worn-out appearance. Use the Pilling Comb to instantly remove pilling. Lay your garment down on a flat but soft surface and use light pressure to work the comb from top to bottom. Work out an orderly routine to cover all surfaces. It’s best to use the Pilling Comb right before washing the garment. (I’ll tell you how on the other side of this poster). The laundry process will ‘close’ up the open fibres. Pilling typically happens to newer garments with lots of loose fibres. Over the years you’ll note that the more spare fibres have been removed, the fewer fuzz occurs.

the magic of dry felting

The quickest and easiest way to repair a hole is through felting (it’s truly dummy proof). I’m still amazed by how the wool fibres become one cohesive material. You can use a dry felting technique to repair holes visibly or invisibly. Personally, I’m all for showing off your creativity. But, for invisible mending, mix your wool fibres to get the right colour. Pro tip: use the pilling comb to remove fluff from your garment, and then mix it together with the fibres to get as close to the right colour as possible.

1. first place the garment inside out with the hole over the brush
2. put on top a nice little patch of wool fibres that will basically work as a plaster
3. place the felt needle in the holder and start punching the needle into the fibres, the garment, and the brush
4. turn the garment outside in and work the needle into the materials some more
5. repeat this process from both sides until you have reached a sturdy closure of the hol

revive wovens with a brush

For the fancy pants among us, suits, skirts, dresses, and coats in a woven wool or cashmere can gain a lot from a good brush. Brushing removes dust, dirt, and hair but also delays the need for a wash or dry clean significantly. To keep them pristine, suits should ideally be brushed after every wear. Lay the garment on a flat surface and brush against the lie of the material first. Do so gently: a firm sweep is good, no pressure is needed. Then brush with the lie, to finish the look. If you want to refresh your garment or want to remove a stain you can dampen the brush before use.

remove snags

Repair a snag in knitted or woven fabric with the snag repair needle! Before starting, massage the fabric gently in all directions. This allows the thread to go back into place as much as possible. Continue until the fabric around the snag looks normal. Pick up the snag repair needle and stick the pointy end into the fabric as close to the snag as possible. Slowly push the needle through until the rough part of the needle approaches the fabric. Spin the needle around to pick up the snag with the grip texture. Then push the needle all the way through and take the snag along. Let go of the snag on the other side of the fabric. Massage the fabric a bit more until no trace of the snag is left.

darning

The wonderfully old craft of darning (repairing holes or strengthening worn-out areas) dates back centuries, and has been popular during many eras of shortage. In World War II, women were encouraged by the British Ministry of Information to darn as a patriotic act in times of rationing. Today, it’s sometimes considered a political act; protesting against fast fashion, throwaway culture and irresponsible mass production. Let your politics shine through and repair using your favourite contrasting bright colours. Over the years your garments become more and more colourfully decorated in honour of their long lasting service. There are many different darning techniques, but all you need are the mending macaron, needle, and yarn inside this kit. Wimpy will teach you two basic techniques – plain weave daring and the Swiss replicate stitch – and once you know them you can your use own fantasy to make variations.

plain weave darning

1. Clean up the hole by cutting away the yarn’s loose ends.
2. Stretch the fabric over the mending macaron and isolate the hole in the centre. Fasten the macaron with the rubber band.
3. Using the darning needle and the darning wool, begin a vertical running stitch on the side of the hole going up, then down. Stagger the stitches approaching the hole.
4. When you reach the hole, gently pull yarn across it. Keep the rows close together and the yarn tight, making sure to have the right tension.
5. Once you have covered the hole, continue with horizontal stitches to create a grid over it.
6. If it is still see through when you are done, keep sewing back and forth to create a denser weave.

swiss replicate darning

Darning can also be used to strengthen a wool fabric which is thinning from wear and tear. When you notice this happening, on the heel of a sock or the elbow of a jumper for example, you can strengthen it by replicating the v-stitches on top of the already existing stitches.
Start with step 1 & 2 as in plain weave darning.

3. Identify the area to replicate 4. Start on the bottom right side
5. Replicate a v-stitch first
6. Continue towards the left
7. Replicate all the loose v-stitches..
8. …Until the end of the row on the v-stitch
9. Continue to the row above
10. Repeat again, from left to right Continue sewing until the entire threadbare area is duplicated. At your last stitch, push the needle through to the underside of the garment, tie off and weave-in any loose tails.

care instructions

The instructions below will come with my kit on a poster that you can hang in your laundry room or kitchen. But why not start today to master your laundry skills with these tips and tricks?

care instructions

The instructions below will come with my kit on a poster that you can hang in your laundry room or kitchen. But why not start today to master your laundry skills with these tips and tricks?

freshen up!

Wool doesn’t need washing too often; it has antimicrobial   properties which makes it fairly odour-resistant. Hanging your woollens out for a few hours usually does the trick. You should really only wash when absolutely necessary. I suggest you wash them at the beginning or end of the season.

follow the rules

In general I recommend to wash wool on a low temperature. Before you start
washing, check the label of the garment for special instructions.

use your hands

Hand washing is always your best option, unless the labels says the garment can only be dry cleaned.

dry clean with caution

Sometimes dry cleaning your woollens is recommended, for example when your garment is lined with special fabrics like silk, or for some suits and other formal wear made from finely woven wool. Dry cleaning is a very chemical process but there are some environmentally friendly alternatives. Ask your dry cleaner about ‘wet cleaning’ and ‘carbon dioxide cleaning’.

match the colours

To save water, energy, and detergent,
you can wash multiple woollies
simultaneously. Just make sure they’re
the same colour!

take it slow

If your washing machine has a special wool cycle, then that’s a pretty good option too! Set the temperature to 20°C and turn the spin off or on the lowest setting. Add a small dissolved piece of a shampoo bar or baby shampoo to the machine. After the cycle, take your garments out immediately.

just like hair

Wool is made of hair which likes to be shampooed. I know mine does! Choose a cleanser carefully, but don’t worry if you don’t have a specialty product at home. Simply go for a regular mild shampoo (bar) or baby shampoo.

welcome to the spa

Squirt a bit of delicate wool detergent (available as bars and in bottles) into a sink or basin and fill with 20 – 30°C water. Turn the garment inside out, submerge it, and swish it around to allow the soap to penetrate the fibres. Rinse the garment twice to remove all soapy residue. Don’t wring out wool clothing, as they can lose their shape.

give it a rest

Never ever use the dryer, but leave your items to dry slowly indoors. Place your garment flat on a drying rack or a towel to prevent it from losing its shape. It’s best to store wool items folded, hanging can change the shape and leave marks.

grease lightning

After using and washing wool for a very long time, the natural water resistance will decrease due to the loss of the wool’s natural lanolin grease. Re-greasing can sometimes revive a garment and can be done with a special lanolin bath.

no mercy for moths

To prevent pesky moths from laying eggs in your woollies you can use natural repellents such as cedar wood, lavender, and cloves. I like to make little anti-moth packs which I store with my garb. You can also use a room spray with essential oils to spray into your closet, not directly on your clothes.

bag it up

Seeing lots of tiny moth holes? Time to take action quick! Grab everything out of your closet and quarantine them in sealed plastic bags, and chuck them in the freezer. Leave them be for 72 hours, and only then wash your clothes to fully kill the moth larvae and eggs.

shampoos for wool

Picking a laundry detergent doesn’t have to be difficult, remember that wool is hair and hair likes shampoo. You can use any mild shampoo, like our shampoo bar. Just rub it into the the stains and boarders of your sweater and wash it out.

If you have really nasty stains such as grease stains you can also use the cleaning soap to rub them in, leave them overnight and wash out.

get inspired

Welcome to the world of care and repair! Many artist, designers, parents, crafts enthousiasts share their mending journey online. Reading there stories and seeing the endless possibilities and mending styles might get you started too so I'm sharing a few of my favourites.

Lizzie is a very creative mender who goes wild with techniques and colour! She focuses mainly on knitwear and has a lovely collection of mended socks that will inspire for sure. Lizzie also teaches workshops and has a mending service on instagram.

Celia is an artist living and working in London. She has been exploring damage and repair in textiles since 2007. Working with garments that belong to individuals as well as items in museum archives, she has extensive experience with the spectrum and stories of damage, from small moth holes to larger accidents with fire. Her interests concern the evidence of damage, and how repair draws attention to the places where garments and cloth wear down and grow thin.

tom of holland

Tom van Deijnen a.k.a. Tom of Hollands mends in the UK. He really makes a project from his holes and studies them very carefully, looks into archives and uses historical techniques that not only makes his designs very special but his popular blog too! Tom has exhibited in many musea and collaborates with major designer brands such as Burberry, yet he also volunteers every last sunday of the month in the Brighton Repair Cafe where he passes on his skill.

Antwerp based textile artist Eva Vebruggen knows more crafts that you can name. In her workshop in Antwerp she teaches many of them, besides she has a webshop with crafts supplies and even finds time to work on her art and share that on instagram. You can imagine someone this skilled, creative and energetic will take advantage of every hole that crosses her path.

Find whatever is trending in the world of visible mending on any moment by using this hashtag. You might use this hashtag on Pinterest too to find even more examples and even tutorials to get you inspired and started right away. Good news; almost any technique could be done with the Wimpy tools.

The Cooper Hewitt museum in New York, posted this article about the history of mending and sustainability on their blog, very interesting!

Anne Schlüter from Lucerne, Switzerland, has developed a very clean mending style. Sometimes it’s hard to see whether her designs are repairs or part of the initial design. If you like perfection you will definitely be inspired but be aware, it’s hard to develope this kind of skill! But don’t worry, Anne has a mending service too or follow one of her mending workshops.

Evelien is a real knitter, but like, a technical knitter who knows any stitch in the world. She also knows any darning stitch in the world and makes wonderful test patches and even teaches workshops for the advanced menders. As a museum archivist she specializes in old Dutch techniques, that were in the past often though in ‘domestic school’. This job brings her a lot of inspiration and she creates her own patterns and instructions that are also available for free on her website :).