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Wool crepe—wash or dry clean?

PollyE | Posted in Fabric and Trim on


First time post–ever!   I sew mainly with cotton fabrics.  A friend gave me a yard of wool crepe.  I want to know, do I pre-shrink it like with cottons?   If so, is that, in the washing machine, by hand, or dry clean?    Thanks for any input!


  1. SewNancy | | #1

    You would be better off dry cleaning this.

  2. bluebird | | #2

    I always ask the dry cleaners to steam wool and silk yardage to pre-shrink it.

  3. chopchop | | #3

    You could also sponge it by placing it on a damp (but not too damp) sheet and roll it carefully over a broom handle that's been covered in plastic and them wrap the whole thing in more plastic. Leave it overnight and then let it air dry the next day. Then carefully steam press it.
    Wool crepe is my favorite fabric to work with. You'll make a wonderful garment with it.

    1. PollyE | | #4

      Thank you each of you for your input.  I thought drycleaning was probably the way to preshrink, but was hoping for an alternative.  This sponge method looks interesting and probably what I will try, since there isn't a dry cleaners in my town.  I have 2 other questions that go along with this piece of fabric.  1. does wool actually have to be pre-shrunk?   2. what would you recommend lining it with?

      1. chopchop | | #5

        Yes, wool does have to be preshrunk. There are several reasons for this - wool is sometimes not properly felled after it it taken from the loom, wool is sometimes treated with chemicals to make it feel and look better, and the best way to see what a garment will look like after it is worn is to wash, dry clean or steam well beforehand. I line my wool garments with Bemberg as it has a soft hand (feel), wears well, and it's much better when it comes to the dratted static cling.............Hope this helps, Paddye

        1. PollyE | | #6

          This totally helps!   Thank you so much!  ---PollyE

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