How do you care for a yak down hand-knit garment?
As a natural fibre, yak down has some great qualities that are maintained if washed properly. And if you follow these instructions you won’t ruin that nice hand-knit hat you received as a gift!
Hand wash in warm water using a gentle laundry detergent. Rinse. Lay scarves or mittens flat on a drying rack to dry. Drape hats over a tall inverted cup to dry.
During the summer months, the best place to store your natural fibre garments is in a cedar chest to keep them away from bugs. Since most of us don’t have a cedar chest, a storage bin with a spice bag, a bar of scented soap, or a few sticks of incense also works great. You can put a few bay leaves and some cloves in a cloth bag for a spicy moth repellent.
What detergent should I use?
Using your normal laundry detergent shouldn’t be a problem. Any quality brand of gentle detergent should work. But a more harsh detergent might ruin the garment.
Can I wash my yak down garment with my other clothes?
Not recommended. Washing yak a down garment with other types of material will likely cause the garment to shrink or pill. And washing with wool or other fibres will “pollute” the yak down, meaning the wonderful properties of yak down might be lost. For example, washing your yak down scarf with a sheep wool hat might make your scarf itchy.
Can I use the “Gentle” or “Delicate” cycle on my washing machine?
Not recommended. You probably want to find an even more gentle cycle than these. If your washing machine has a “Hand Wash” or “Wool” cycle these are fine to use. If you are concerned then wash the garment by hand.
When I hand wash my new garment, I see dye in the water. Will it lose its colour from washing?
All of the colours in our garments are colour-fast, meaning the colour won’t change with washing. This is true regardless of whether the garment was naturally-dyed or not (except indigo blue – see question below). You might see some dye in the water the first few times you wash the garment but this won’t change the colour of the garment itself.
What about indigo-dyed garments?
Our indigo-dyed garments bleed a little even after many washings. But the colour doesn’t change for at least 30 washes. (We didn’t test more than this!) Don’t wash indigo-dyed garments with other clothes or the dye might transfer in the wash. Wearing one of our indigo-dyed garments won’t leave blue on your skin.