As an ethical brand, we want to create products that last and are the antidote to 'throwaway fashion' - this page includes our tips and advice to prolong the life of our merino wool and organic cotton products.
Merino wool properties
Merino wool is super-soft and a naturally breathable yarn, so was an obvious choice when we started designing our signature bobble hats for children. You wouldn't put nasty, overprocessed chemicals and synthetic dyes on their hair - so why would you put them on their head?!
It's better for the environment too - no sheep were harmed in the making of our products!
- Merino is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture away from the skin as well as being slightly moisture repellent. We've found our bobble hats are perfect for those 'warm blooded' kids who tend to overheat in acrylic or fleece style hats.
- Like cotton, wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight), but, unlike cotton, wool retains warmth when wet - making them the ideal choice for skiing.
- Like most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties. Because wool is 'self-cleaning' our hats don't need to be washed frequently, the lanolin helps keep them germ-free. Useful, especially in flu-season!
- Merino is one of the softest types of wool available due to finer fibres and smaller 'scales', giving it its smooth texture. Meaning no more moaning about 'itchy wool' hats!
- Merino has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant, without the bulk.
Wool care tips
When we launched our signature bobble hat collection we wanted to create something that would last for more than one sibling. If cared for well, our hats will last and last - here's some TLC tips to keep them in tip-top condition:
- Treat small stains by rinsing them with cold water and blotting dry with a clean cloth.
- Wool doesn't need to be washed regularly as it contains lanolin which has antibacterial properties. If you do need to wash your wool hat or blanket, always handwash it with a dedicated wool detergent.
- Always dry your hat flat and away from direct heat to retain shape. Never wring dry.
- Wool doesn't tend to require ironing, but if you do always use steam and the 'wool' setting on your iron (warm).
- When storing your wool item over the summer always ensure it is clean before packing it away as food stains and natural skin oils attract moths. Before storing, place them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for 24 hours. This may sound strange but it helps kill any moth eggs. Always store flat in an airtight bag or container.
- If your wool item needs refreshing when you get it out of storage simply hang it outside on a breezy, sunny day.
Organic cotton benefits and care tips
Using organic cotton in our sweatshirts was a no-brainer. Produced with no pesticides or chemical fertilisers it means the natural fabric is gentle next to children's skin and is suitable for those with allergies or skin conditions such as eczema.
Besides being 'skin friendly', quite simply it's snugglier to wear! Our children notice the difference and feedback from customers is that they can also feel the difference next to standard cotton garments in their children's wardrobes.
As an ethical brand it was an important choice for us too. Conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world - these have a massive impact on water contamination and wildlife diversity. Regular use of these chemicals also leads to health problems for the farmers who grow the crops. By switching to organic farming they not only live healthier lives but they are getting paid a fairer price for their crop, too.
Our sweatshirts are screenprinted in Somerset using organic water-based inks. Here are some tips to prolong the life of your Lala & Bea sweats:
- Always wash at 30 degrees with a gentle detergent to reduce colour loss.
- Wash inside out.
- Do not tumble dry as this can cause cracking on the screenprint.
- Iron with a warm (not hot!) iron on the reverse of the screenprint.
We hope you find these tips useful for caring for your Lala & Bea products!