For those SIR Members who just got your new wool Seattle Randonneur jerseys, here's some pertainent care info:
Please read the following care instructions in order to assure that your Merino wool jersey lasts a long time. FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS and you will also learn a lot about modern Merino wool!
1) USE a proper WOOL SOAP. The best brand is IVORY SNOW LIQUID, you can find it at any major grocery store. It is WOOLMARK endorsed.
*** NEVER EVER use some hyper aggressive detergent like TIDE, Arm & Hammer, ERA, or whatever normal detergent on merino wool. It is not made for wool and it'll eat holes in it and ruin the jersey. It is like sand blasting gravy off of fine china dinner plates! Way over the top and too harsh. *** Fair Warning. ***
2) WASHING - Your jersey is treated and machine washable. Woolmark Company certified and tested. Follow the wash instructions on the inside of the jersey and you'll be sitting pretty. Wash inside out, zippers up, in cold or luke warm water on delicate WOOL CYCLE ONLY with wool soap. Not permanent press cycle, not mixed with every piece of cotton shirt and jeans clothes you own. WOOL CYCLE ONLY separate (or with other wool)!!!
The delicate wool cycle is a fast cycle of about 25 minutes. Since wool doesn't hold odor, you wont need to wash the jersey maybe until the after six or seven uses. Try that will polyester and you will be run out of town!
3) DRYING - lay flat on a towel to dry inside away from light. Don't hang outside in sunlight. That is all. Pretty simple.
To dry fast naturally, I usually lay mine flat and put a book in the bottom of the jersey to prop it up and point a floor fan at it filling it like a balloon. Then in about 25 minutes it is dry, then I flip it and put little biz cards in each pocket and point the fan so it blows in there and dries.
4) SOFTNESS and RELAXATION - The wool gets much softer and elastic after the first wash, so best to wash before using it for the first time. There will be an initial relaxation of the garment of about 3 cm in width. This is not shrinkage, but relaxation. Like a rubber band under tension returning to it's natural state. Shrinking happened with 1970's crap wool. Fibers were breaking then because they hooked on each other. Technology in wool treatment has come light years forward and you didn't buy cheap wool! So forget the bad experiences of the past.
5) STORAGE - The Merino wool is treated for machine washing, color permanent, softness and an Anti Moth treatment. With that said, let's not give any of those critters a chance of a free meal. Always store the jersey when not in normal use in a sealed ziplock bag in a drawer that is used often. Why you ask? Well clothes moths hate LIGHT and they really hate MOVEMENT. So when you toss clothes in a dark corner of a closet and leave it there for a long time, the moths are like "AH SWEET, chow time without being disturbed!" but when you keep the jersey in a sealed bag in a drawer with clothes that you access daily (t-shirts, underwear, jeans etc), you opening and moving things around makes it totally unattractive for moths and reduces greatly any potential of damage. Now you know how they operate!