As I make no secret of being a wool enthusiast, perhaps it is not surprising that most of the questions I get from readers that aren't about bicycles, are about wool. Some are just trying to get their heads around the idea that this traditional, low-tech fabric can be worn on the bike in leu of modern synthetics, and often with better results. Others have specific questions about care and maintenance. Being a natural fabric, wool has a reputation for being delicate - vulnerable to the ravages of moths, washing machines (I offer a solution to the latter here), even everyday wear. Consider, for instance, this reader's lament:
...Following the advice of blogs such as yours and Let's Go Ride A Bike, I stocked up on merino sweaters since I began bicycle commuting. I have also bought a couple of wool cycling jerseys. The wool feels fantastic to wear, I was in love. Unfortunately, after only one season I find that most of my wool tops are ruined with pilling and felting, fit for nothing but yard work! So... what am I doing wrong? Is this a question of quality and if so what brands should I be looking at? Please help me get more life out of my woolens!Well, actually I am happy to tell you, there is a very simple solution to this. So if you notice your wool garment pilling (forming tiny balls of fluff that make it look old and worn before its time) or felting (the stitches losing their structure and instead fuzzing over with a dense, weblike layer), don't throw it out or relegate it to yardwork apparel just yet. Instead, get out your razor and read on.