The pros and cons of pre-shrunk and superwash wool

Wool is the original ‘easy care’ material as you don’t have to wash items made from this natural fibre as often as man-made fibres as they won’t hold odours or smells, and they also last for many years without losing their shape.

However you do often need to be careful not to use any heat in washing or drying and any excessive spin drying to avoid shrinkage or ‘felting’ of the wool.

There are a number of technologies now available that seek to avoid wool shrinkage during washing, including:


Pre-shrinking is the process of washing wool fabrics at a high temperature before turning them into clothing to reduce the amount of shrinking that might occur in subsequent washes. This usually makes the wool fibre of these items incredibly dense in texture and less soft.

Superwash wool

Superwash wool is a type of wool yarn that is specially made to be easy care machine washable. It is meant to prevent the felting caused by the binding together of wool scales. Superwash wool can be made by either soaking the wool in an acid bath to remove these scales or by coating the yarn in a resin or polymer to act as a protective coating.

Why our products are not pre-shrunk or super washed

Using natural British wool that’s as unprocessed as possible is part of DNA here at Glencroft. It’s perfectly clean as it’s been ‘scoured‘ which removes all impurities and some of the natural oils to make it a nicer handle. It also maintains it’s unique wool smell. However we’re always fascinated to see other ways to use this amazing material and you never know what we may do in the future. If you’re looking for high-quality knitwear made from sustainably-sourced British Wool, take a look at our range of products today.


The pros and cons of pre-shrunk and superwash wool