Ella's Wool Blog
Ever since I got into this, I'm often asked how to care for our wool. I think, what people really mean when they ask is: Isn't it a huge pain in the neck?
No, it's really not. Once you know a few basics, washing wool is no more of a hassle than washing a load of whites.
The first thing to know, is that wool does not need to be washed as often as other fabrics.
Unlike materials like cotton or linen, wool repels both moisture and bacteria, so nothing much really bites.
Many spots can simply be brushed off, wiped off with a damp cloth or rinsed away with tap water. Afterwards, hang your wool to air out a little bit, and it will be as good as new.
You probably don’t want to avoid machine washing completely, though. And when it's time, there are some things worth keeping in mind.
You’ll want to stay away from bleach and fabric softeners completely, and use a special wool detergent to preserve the wool fibers’ softness. We highly recommend The Wool & Cashmere Shampoo made by our friends at The Laundress.
To avoid shrinkage, avoid hot water and rapid temperature changes. Most of our wool can be washed on a warm cycle, but I still usually run my wool on a cold-cold delicate cycle.
Finally, while not all wool can be tumble dried, our baby wool can be tumble dried on low heat. Tumble driers are, however, tough on all clothes – not just wool – so if you have the time and space to hang your baby’s woolens to dry, you may want to consider it.
Posted by Christian Nordtomme
Everyone knows to dress in layers when it’s cold. But did you know that the wrong layers will defeat the purpose?
So, how do you dress your baby to be comfy and warm all winter long? We've put together an infographic that shows you how.
Did you for example know that the neck and upper back is the perfect place to feel if your baby is too warm or too cold? (If it feels wet, remove one layer.)
Did you also know that when wool gets wet, it will still keep you warm?
Wearing a base layers in soft merino wool it's the safest and best. Take it from a Norwegian.
GET IT HERE.
Below you can see the full infographic, and learn when to put which pieces of clothing on your little one too keep her comfy and happy.
Posted by Vibeke Johansen
As we enter the holiday season, many of us prepare for travel.
There’s a lot to think and worry about, especially if it’s the first big trip for the youngest members in the family.
At Ella’s Wool we like to keep things simple. By dressing them in wool, we simply have fewer problems to worry about.
1. How to dress for long flights and drives?
Planes can be cold, cars can be hot, and with the kids being strapped in a seat for the journey, it’s not easy to dress or undress them. By having the kids wear a base layer of thin wool, we make sure they are as comfortable as can be.
That will keep them warm against cold draft, but not too hot if the temperature rises. It’s easy to add or remove outer layers, and it stays warm even if it gets wet.
2. How to keep clothes looking good?
Wool clothes looks good, even when they have been stuffed into a suitcase or small bag. Shake off any creases, dress kid and you are ready for whatever social event that’s on your calendar.
Quality wool always looks classy and fresh. No iron needed!
3. How to keep clothes clean?
Kids spill and get dirty, but because of the self cleaning qualities of wool, you don’t have to wash it as often as other fabrics. That means they can be worn longer, which is practical when you can’t pack that many shifts. Stains can be removed by a damp cloth and smells can be aired out.
4. How to get them to sleep?
Getting kids to sleep in new locations can be tricky. Different bed, lighting and sounds keep the young ones up way past bed time.
One thing you can do, however, is to at least make sure they're as comfortable as they can be in their PJs. Wool transports night sweat away from the body, keeping your kids warm and dry, and that will help calm them down faster.
If you don’t yet have a set of wool pajamas, you can let them sleep in the base layer.
5. What to pack?
You want to keep it light, but have to pack enough for the whole family.
Wool is lightweight, doesn’t crease, doesn’t need to be cleaned that often and can double as sleepwear. That should make packing easier, right?
Now, if only wool would prevent us from eating too much good food this season…
Happy Holidays to you all!
Posted by Christine Surlien
Halloween is around the corner, hooray!!
What kind of costume will your child wear this year? Are you dressing up, too?
In Norway, the Halloween celebration is pretty new.
In the 80’s when I was a young girl, we did something called “Julebukk”, which was similar.
Julebukk takes place between the 1st day of Christmas (what’s called Christmas Day here) and New Years Day. To “walk” Julebukk, you dress your kids up as cute Santa’s helpers. Then you walk around the neighborhood, ringing the bells at peoples homes and singing a Christmas carol or two when they open the door. Then they’d give the kids candy afterwards.
(In the 80’s we walked around without the parents - I’m not sure if that’s the case anymore!)
Since the average temperature in Oslo, Norway at that time of year is around 25°F, we had to do something clever to keep our kids warm without ruining the Santa’s helpers’ costume with a big coat over the top.
The answer was a thin layer of soft merino wool underneath the costume: simply a merino wool top and a merino wool longjohns. Your kids will stay warm!
For the smaller toddler or baby, a merino wool onesie and merino wool tights will do the trick.
We’ve brought this “wooly” tradition into our yearly trick or treat tradition here in Brooklyn. Now Ella’s friends have also learned to wear a thin layer of wool underneath the costume every Halloween.
Have a great Halloween celebration this year, and best of luck with the costumes!
Posted by Vibeke Johansen
Some of my best childhood memories from Norway are of spending almost every weekend from December to April at our family cabin the mountains.
When we got there, us kids would start playing outside right away while our parents dug out the snow to let us into the cabin and started warming it up inside. Meanwhile, we were having so much fun outside! We’d only come inside for meals and when it got too dark.
Every day the whole family went either cross country or downhill skiing. When we got back to the cabin, we’d spend hours making the perfect slide down the hill behind the cabin. We watered it every night to make it extra fast, too! When the snow was deep enough, we’d jump from the roof and land in the soft snow outside the kitchen window. What fun!
The temperature those days rarely climbed over 25 °F - often much colder. Yet I don’t remember being cold too much - except for my toes! My parents knew enough to put me in a wool base layer – longs and an undershirt from the itchy days before we discovered magical merino wool – but on my feet they couldn’t have made a worse mistake if they had tried!
For some reason, they insisted I wear cotton socks under my thick knit wool socks, and then I’d squeeze into ski boots I had outgrown. I could barely wiggle my toes in there, and as soon as the first snowflake found its way down my boot, melting to make my tennis socks even the slightest bit wet, my toes turned to icicles!
In Norway we have an expression that goes “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. Those tennis socks and overly tight boots were the perfect example of bad clothing. But we were happy, and didn’t know any better. When the cold got too bad, we would take off our boots and socks and rub warmth into our toes. If we were on one of our ski trips, my dad might make a little fire for coffee and hotdogs, and we would warm our toes over the flames. When I discovered modern merino wool socks a little later in life, I could hardly believe it!
The lessons of a Norwegian winter are pretty simple, and the number one rule is that wool keeps you warm, dry, and cozy! If you need to keep your kid (or yourself!) warm this summer, take a look at our infographic - a step-by-step guide to layering, winterizing, and preparing for the cold weather!
I hope you make some great memories of your own this winter!
Posted by Vibeke Johansen