Based on my experience on working with Cashmere, Cotton/Cashmere Blends and Merino Wool that has been waxed for use with a knitting machine, as well as working with Fishermen’s Wool, here are some tips for when you absolutely need to wash your woolen goods.
1. Your woolen wears do not and should not be washed after each wear. Unless you spill something on item, they can go quite a few wears before needing to be cleaned. That being said, if you are going to be wearing a wool sweater, I highly recommend wearing a tee shirt/undershirt as an under layer with your sweater. Not only will that help keep you warm in the cold months, but it will also help prolong the wear of your sweater between washing, as it will be the front line to absorb sweat and the natural oils that your skin contains.
2. I cannot emphasize enough having the proper wool wash for your garments, I highly recommend The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo or Eucalan Delicate Wash (I prefer the Wrapture Delicate Wash for my woolens, and used The Laundress wool shampoo when I worked at a knitting studio) you don’t need very much for what you are washing.
3. If you have an HE washer without an agitator in it, you can get away with machine washing your accessories, on the gentlest (delicate or hand wash cycle) rinse cycle with cold water. You don’t want wool to be agitated. When in doubt hand washing in a tub of cold water or a sink works as well.
4. I highly Recommend laying items flat to dry after every wash, do not put in the tumble dryer, not even on the lowest setting as the wool has the propensity to shrink, and wool garments are an investment, so why take a chance that it will come out being the proper size for an American Girl doll.
5. I recommend storing woolen wears in a plastic tub that has a lid with little cedar blocks (they can be found online, at Bed Bath and Beyond, and other stores may carry them I know that I got mine at bed bath and beyond) inside the container. I prefer plastic bins with a lid and cedar blocks because I feel that keeping that the containers would help keep bugs out, and potentially cut off the air from any already there.
6. If you take your wool garment in to be repaired, wash it first, those dealing with it at will thank you.
I am by no means an expert, but I am just wanting to pass along what information I have gained from experience.