Things You'll Need
No-rinse wool wash
Leave-in hair conditioner (optional)
Distilled white vinegar (optional)
If you own a wool blanket that you're reluctant to use because the fabric feels hard and itchy, try softening it. Although your blanket's texture depends greatly on the structure of the wool fibers from which it was made, the chemicals used to process the wool also can contribute to a hard, itchy texture. If you want to return the wool to its pretreated softness, you can try a soaking technique involving softening agents.
Fill a large tub with lukewarm water and add 1 tsp. of no-rinse wool wash that contains a softener such as lanolin. To increase the softness, add a dime-sized portion of leave-in hair conditioner.
Agitate the water with your hands to disperse the wool wash.
Submerge the wool blanket in the wash solution. Hold the blanket under the water for a few seconds, as this will encourage the fibers to absorb water.
Soak the blanket for at least 15 minutes (30 if the wool fabric is extra-thick).
Remove the blanket from the basin, squeeze out excess moisture without wringing the fabric and lay it out on a bed sheet in a dry spot that receives indirect sunlight.
If you decide to further soften your wool blanket with hair conditioner, choose a high-quality brand that won't leave an oily coating on the wool fibers. The conditioner's softening effect will only last as long as it remains on the wool fibers, so don't rinse the blanket right after you've applied conditioner, and treat the blanket often to prevent the conditioner from wearing off.
You also can try adding 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar to the soaking water. This small amount of vinegar will encourage the scales on individual wool fibers to lay flat, helping minimize the blanket's coarseness.
Heidi A. Reeves
Heidi Reeves writes in Alexandria, Va. She got her first writing and editing job in 2001, when she worked as editor-in-chief of her undergraduate newspaper. Since then, she's earned a Master of Fine Arts at The University of Alabama, where she wrote and designed artist's books. Reeves writes hobby, lifestyle and wedding planning articles for various online publications.