Monday, June 6, 2016

A Homespun Year....Home Made Wool Wash with Free Printable for Gifting....

 
 It's been wild and woolly weather here and definitely time to get the snuggly Winter woollies out, if you'll forgive the pun!
 
Of course here in Sunny Queensland in the Sub Tropics, Winter is short, but don't be fooled! The thermometer still plunges to single digits Celsius, and when the Westerly winds come a knockin' you'd be a fool not to rug up!
 
This was the Winter sky in our part of the world yesterday at around 4pm. It looks like a watercolour, doesn't it? This was taken with my iPhone, through a glass door, so I can only think that explains the odd watercolour effect. I can assure you it's real.
 

I've been meaning to make this hand crafted Wool Wash, ever since I saw some of the ways it's being gifted at The Christmas Challenge over at The Bluebirds are Nesting. I particularly loved the way Rachel had packaged hers, and she was my inspiration for this project.
 
I'd never thought of gifting Wool Wash as part of a hamper, but once you've made some and tried it yourself, you'll appreciate that it's comfort-and-snuggles in-a-bottle.
 
I made up a batch of this one and used it to hand wash some woollens that had been stored over the Summer months, and my daughter could not wait to wriggle into her newly laundered jumper.
 
 
 
I've also hand washed my beautiful baby blue vintage pure wool blankets in it, and they are so comforting to snuggle into now...supremely soft and warm. I scented the batch I used for them lightly with copycat Chanel No 5 oil from Wellington Fragrances, and the combination of the Lux Flakes and the gentle addition of the Chanel No 5, is to die for! Not only does the room smell divine, but curling up with them is like being enveloped in a cloud of sensory heaven!
 
Pure wool is of course the lightest and warmest thing of all. If you see these vintage blankets in your travels, grab them! I noted with interest here that my friend Annabel found some not so long back as well, and when she looked up the price new, it was in the hundreds of dollars. Yet they're frequently available at the thrift stores for around $12-$20. I have many like this, as well as some of the old style pastel, checkered ones, and we adore them.
 
When I bought these, they were musty and dirty, and quite flat and scratchy looking. But a dunk in the tub with half a cup of my wool wash, and a dry, laid flat in the Winter sunshine, and they were transformed! So don't be put off if the ones you see are not pristine. They are easily revived, and with care, will last you many years. Annabel transforms hers into heirlooms with her beautiful embroidery which you can see here. That's beyond my capabilities, but I'm thinking that simple ribbon rosettes or whipped stem stitch initials, could make these more lovely.
 
 
 
Now, there are as many variations on home made hand wash as there are items to wash it in. My variation is simple...
 
NOTE: If you have printed this off within the first 8 hours of my posting it, please be aware that I have changed the soap to water ratio. When I made this batch this morning, I thought I'd miscalculated so added more soap. Now my wool wash is a solid lump inside the bottle. Gotta laugh! Please adjust your ratios accordingly or reprint this now. Thankyou.
 
Mimi's Hand Crafted Dainty and Delicates Wash
 
Makes about 1.5 litres/3 pints
 
1 cup Lux Flakes or 1 cup grated white soap
1/2 - 1 cup hair conditioner
2-3 cups boiling water
Up to 20 drops of your favourite essential oil if desired
Several recycled jars and bottles in which to decant your wool wash
 
Add the soap flakes to a large jug, and gently pour in the boiling water. Whisk well until the soap has dissolved. Add the hair conditioner, and whisk again until smooth. Add the essential oils if using them.
 
A couple of hints...
 
Now the first thing with this is, that some hair conditioner I've used has been quite thick, and I haven't had to use as much of it in my wool wash. Half a cup has usually done the trick. Some hair conditioner makes the wool wash smell 'funny' and the essential oils have been a necessity to make it smell pretty again. I don't know why. Most commonly the more expensive the hair conditioner, the less successful it is as a wool wash additive, surprisingly enough! So use an inexpensive one, preferably one that is white, and if it has it's own delicate scent, you shouldn't need the essential oils at all.
 
The second point to note, is that depending upon the consistency of your hair conditioner, you might find you need to add either more water or less, to gain the right pouring consistency for your wool wash. I actually prefer it quite liquid as, to me, there's no point in having a 'liquid' wool wash, that you then have to swish around in the water to mix. That said, it is more successful used in a pouring consistency from a bottle, and a scoop-able consistency from a jar, so again, you make the choice.
 
And thirdly, the wool wash needs a gentle shake before use to redistribute the ingredients, as they do separate on storing.
 
Here's one I did in a recycled sauce bottle...
 
 
I only recently received this fabulous customised ribbon I'd designed and ordered, and I love the lavish touch it adds to any packaging. Well worth the small expense..
 
 
I think it's very 'me'...
 
 
And here's one in a canning jar, with a big double satin bow...just as pretty.
 
 
I spotted these little crocheted booties at a haberdashery store recently, and knowing they were beyond my realm of experience with crochet, I snaffled them for a new baby in our social circle. Along with the wool wash, and a polar fleece rug and hat, they'll be a lovely gift. Don't feel like you have to 'do it all'!
 
 
As you can see, adding lush trims and the sweet swing tag, that I've made available for you as a free PDF printable, turns something very ordinary, into something lavish and beautiful for gifting.
 
 My little swing tag is based on the cute vintage Italian advertising picture at the top of my post and you can find it here....
 
 
I trim mine to size and paste them to a manila luggage tag. These are available at stationers for around 5c each. Of course you could just paste them to any project cardboard, or glue directly to the bottle or jar. I like them like this though.
 
Have I convinced you? Will you made some prettily scented and hand crafted wool wash to your gift stash?
 
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28 comments:

  1. Mimi, thank you for the cute tag and the added notes on the wash. Sometimes those little added tidbits can make a difference between success and failure. This will be yet another gift idea!

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    1. Hi Patsy...that's my pleasure. I faded the original illustration and added the wording, and I'm very pleased with it. I think it looks very sweet and really adds something to the gifting idea. I hope you find it useful. Love, Mimi xxx

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  2. Thank you for sharing Mimi! First, that photo is so striking; so amazing! Appreciate you showing it to us~ And thanks for the wooly wash recipe! Sounds heavenly : ) Karen O

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    1. Hi Karen. Yes that was a particularly spectacular sunset what with all the crazy storms and winds here last weekend! I think you'll love the wooly wash too. Love, Mimi xxx

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  3. I already make my own laundry liquid and was wondering what alterations I needed to make wool wash. Do you know what purpose the conditioner plays? Is it safe for pure wool? Thanks.

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    1. Hi Therese. The conditioner does for wool and fibres, what it does for your hair. Smooths, softens and scents. Wash one of your own woollen items in it and you'll appreciate the difference the first time you wear it. I promise! Love, Mimi xxx

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  4. Thank you for this Mimi! I loved the tags, have pinned it to my pinterest board for when I make some. :-) Love, Kaye xo

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    1. Dear Kaye. I'm pleased to hear you've shared my post. I'm really touched. Thankyou so much. Mimi xxx

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  5. I have never thought to make wool wash. I have always bought mine from the store. Cute tag...thank you for the printable and the lovely ribbon is very you Mimi. Love the photo of your "watercolour" Winter sky. It's all grey and black down here. A row boat would be good about now.

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    1. Dear Kim....yes the weather is a little crazy in our part of the world at the moment, isn't it! I hope you are safe there. I gifted this to a friend with a new baby last night, along with some sweet baby frou-frou and she loved it. It's an unlikely gift idea, but a surprisingly rewarding one. I do some scented with a Chanel No. 5 copycat from Wellington Fragrances, and gift it with Chanel inspired tags. It always goes down well for the woman who has everything ;-) Mimi xxx

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  6. Hi Mimi!

    I've been watching your posts via Annabel's "The Bluebirds Are Nesting" site, and was so pleased to see that wool wash, in one sort or another, is doing the rounds. If the 'Rachel' you mentioned happens to be me, then I am honoured that you would enjoy seeing my homemaking work! That ribbon of yours really does give a very professional, and tasteful, effect.

    I think I first saw your site around about the "Orchids on a Budget" stage, and appreciated the stories about basil pesto and gifting home produce. These accounts have such a ring of relevance to them. Thank you for that.

    With warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    1. Dear Rachel, what a pleasure to see you here! Yes it was you that inspired this post. Your wool wash for your sister looked so lush, I just had to replicate it! I'm glad you like the ribbon. It's a surprisingly inexpensive thing really, for the special touch it adds. I'm glad you enjoyed my Orchids on your Budget series. I'll be adding to that soon. Love, Mimi xxx

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  7. Great to share the Between the Lines week with you! So happy to meet you and get a chance to look around your blog. It is lovely!

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    1. Hello Beth Ann! I've just visited you too! What a lovely way to meet other bloggers. I appreciate the visit and the comment today. Love, Mimi xxx

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  8. Hi Mimi--
    It's nice to meet you through Between the Lines.
    1-I was trying to follow you on Pinterest but I can't seem to find the widget on your site (I'm sure I'm just missing it with my old lady eyes...could you give me the link?)
    and 2-Have you ever come up with your own laundry detergent recipe? I've been thinking about trying one?
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Hello Jodie, and thankyou for visiting and commenting! You can find my Pinterest following tag, near the top of the page, underneath where it says Email Me in script. Click on the word 'Pinterest' and you'll find me. As for the laundry detergent, yes I've made one and use it regularly. Mine is one cup each of grated soap or soap flakes (there's one here called Lux Flakes and I use that) 1 cup Borax, and 1 cup Washing Soda (also known as Lectric Soda). Mix well and use about 2-3 tablespoons per wash. You can multiply this infinitely and I usually make a triple batch at a time. I love that I can make it pink with pink soap, or use the good old fashioned Sunlight soap of my childhood to vary it. I store mine in a large Hurricane Lamp with a tiny Laura Ashley teabag holder as a scoop. It's perfect and it makes me smile when I do the Laundry...that's a real bonus! Love, Mimi xxx

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  9. Hi Mimi! I found you through the Between the Lines series. It's great to get to know bloggers my same age. Your wool wash looks absolutely lovely!

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    1. Hello Carla, it's a pleasure to meet you! That wool wash is an unexpected and very sweet gift and makes everything soft and lovely. Mimi xxx

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  10. I'm definitely going to keep this handy! Such a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    2. I'm glad you like it Jess! Mimi xxx

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  11. Mimi, my dear, you are just brimming over with ideas. I can just imagine how soft and lovely smelling those woolens are. So glad you've shared with us; thank you!

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Dearest Sandi, thankyou! These little things make home such a joy. What's not to like about rugging up on the couch at night in a cloud of sunshine and Chanel No.5! Mimi xxx

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  12. Thanks Mimi for sharing this great gift ideas with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J. :)

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    1. It's always a pleasure to join you Julie. Mimi xxx

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  13. Now this is a great gift idea! Thank you Mimi :)

    xTania

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    1. Thanks Tania. I'm glad you think so! Mimi xxx

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  14. I put it on Pinterest!
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/257690409908293980/

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx