Knots & Dots Handmade Bespoke Wool Soakers.
Using Mother Nature’s solutions – the natural way.
Welcome to the wonderful soft and squishy world of wool soakers.
It is not as scary or complicated as you might imagine (I must confess the first time I heard about wool soakers I was a little dubious, but here I now am, spreading the woolly word)
How do they work?
When you buy your new wool soaker you need to lanolise it before first use. Once lanolised the soaker will become waterproof and can then be worn over any cloth nappy to provide a natural, soft and breathable protective wrap, perfect for night times.
What is Lanolin?
When the wool is still a fleece and attached to the sheep, the sheep produces a natural substance called lanolin.
Lanolin is like a wax, it coats the wool and protects the sheep by making its fleece waterproof. Keeping it snug and warm in even the harshest of winters, yet remaining breathable so the sheep doesn’t overheat in summer. Clever stuff!
When the sheep is shorn and the fleece sent for processing into wool, the processors remove the lanolin to make the wool easy to spin into balls of yarn and then for us to make garments.
All you are doing is putting the lanolin back into the wool after we have created our lovely squishy covers.
How do you put the lanolin back in?
To lanolise your wraps you will need a bucket or washing up bowl, lanolin, baby bubble bath or baby shampoo.
There are two types of lanolin you can buy, liquid and solid. I am supplying solid with my wraps but the instructions for both are essentially the same without the melting part.
Put about ½ a teaspoon of solid lanolin into a cup of boiling water from the kettle and stir until it comes off the spoon. Then zap it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time until the lump has melted.
Then squirt a little baby bubble bath into the cup and mix it about until it goes milky. What you are doing is emulsifying the wax so it is suspended in the water (the same as washing up liquid removing the oil from your roasting tin!).
Run some warm water into your bucket and pour in the cup of lanolin and give it a good swish about. Then put your wool soaker in and poke it about making sure it is all wet and just submerged under the water.
Then leave for a few hours or over night for the magic to happen.
Remove the soaker from the bucket and gently squeeze- don’t wring it out it will go all misshapen!
Then lay it flat on a towel and roll it up to squeeze most of the water out. Reshape and lay your soaker flat somewhere warm to dry.
If it feels a bit sticky once dried, don’t worry it just means you used a bit too much lanolin. They will be fine to wear, and the next time just reduce the amount you use.
If you are lanolising a brand new pair you will need to do it once a week for the first 3 weeks to make sure the lanolin has penetrated deep into the wool fibres.
How do I care for them?
The marvellous thing about a wool soaker it that once lanolised it will only need washing every couple of weeks (and of course for the odd poo explosion), and then lanolised again every one to two months to keep it waterproofed.
I know it sounds a bit horrid to leave them so long, but honestly it works.
Because the lanolin prevents the wee from entering the wool and has antibacterial properties you just need to air dry them when you take them off and they shouldn’t be smelly.
If they are getting a little smelly once air-dried then they will need washing. To wash use a wool wash like olive oil soap or a liquid wool wash and warm water to gently clean.
It is not recommended to put them in the washing machine as the wool can felt with the action of the machine, equally don’t rub them together too hard when washing.
Be gentle with your soaker and it will be gentle with your baby’s bottom!