Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lanolizing Wool Instructions

Lanolin is wool wax, an oily substance secreted from the glands of sheep. So, you are probably wondering why the heck I  would  put that on  a pair of pants?  You might also be wondering how a pair of pants is going to work as a diaper cover?  You will find your answers in my  condensed version of the wonders of wool.

* Repels water naturally.
* Absorbs moisture, transmitting moisture simultaneously. 
* Absorbs up to 40% of it's weight before feeling wet.
* Hypoallergenic.
* Environmentally sustainable.
* Natural anti-microbial properties.

What does this all mean?  The wool triad of water-repellence, breathability and moisture absorbancy make it perfect for a diaper cover.  If wool keeps sheep dry, it will keep your baby dry too. The anti-microbial properties help your diaper covers not smell like pee. As wool absorbs moisture, lanolin is converted to lanolin soap.  Air drying your covers after they are soaked with urine, and  there will be no pee smell. This is why you need to lanolize wool, and continue to, as eventually the pee will use the lanolin up. If they smell like pee, it means it is time to wash and re-lanolize them. Kinda wild.

Now on to the part about lanolizing and how one can do that.  It's pretty simple, just kind of time consuming sometimes.  I won't lie, it can be a pain in the butt because it just adds more to the ever growing laundry pile and I am up to my arm pits in laundry. One of the reason we use wool is my my son has sensitive skin and breaks out in diaper rashes when you use the pul fabric covers. This does not happen with the wool covers.

What You Will Need to Lanolize:

Bucket or Sink
Lansinoh Lanolin or brand of choice
Eucalan Woolwash or brand of choice
Tea Kettle
Towels to dry woolies

I have a special bucket that I do my lanolizing in.  It isn't anything special, just a red plastic bucket that is large enough for me to fit the woolies I have in it.  You can use the sink, but once finished you will need to give it a good scrubbing to get some of the lanolin off.  Hence why I use a bucket, I don't have to scrub the dang thing out.  It also doubles as a place to throw the dirty covers until I have a chance to wash them. If any poop gets on diaper cover, you can use an olive oil soap to wash it off before throwing it in. 

I start by throwing the woolies into the wash on wool cycle. Some people would advise against this. I've never had a problem with them shrinking. While the woolies are in the wash, I fill the kettle with water and bring to boil. In bucket, squeeze 1/4 of an inch of the Lansinoh Lanolin out and 1/2 a capful of the Eucalan Woolwash.  Add boiling water, making sure to leave a cup of water in kettle.  Stir until lanolin is dissolved.  Add enough warm water to submerse woolies.  You want the water to be room temperature.  Add your woolies, gently pushing under water.  Use the extra hot water for a nice cup of tea and enjoy while woolies soak.

After soaking approximately 15 minutes or more, gently squeeze excess water out, then roll it between two towels to get even more moisture out. Personally, I throw mine in washing machine on a 10 minute spin only cycle. Much eaiser and I haven't had any issues. Lay flat to dry.

Now you know a little more about wool and lanolin.  Stay tuned for how I upcycled more of the cashmere sweater into a cute pair of mittens and fun stuff I have going on in my studio this week.

Until the next...

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