First of all, we suggest airing out your wool if it starts to smell. Founder of Northern Playground, Jo, has worn one of our tank tops for over 200 days without washing it, and he was able to get rid of even the worst tobacco odor after a night out on the town. The most pungent smells may take a couple days of airing to get out.
If the smell won't go away, or if you that odors are sticking to your garment more often than usual, you can solve it by adding more lanolin. You have probably heard some people talk about wool as "self-cleaning". That is because lanolin, the fat from the hair sacks of the sheep, works as a type of coating. That makes dirt and odor not cling on to the fibers as well. Lanolin also has bacteria-killing capabilities, and helps remove bad odors. Lanolin is usually only found in untreated, organic wool.
Unfortunately, lanolin disappears with time – also in untreated wool. But there are solutions. You can give your wool garment a wool treatment to freshen up the amount of lanolin.
This is how you do it:
Mix lanolin in water and let the garment lie in the solution for a few hours or overnight. The specific amount and instructions depend on the wool treatment. Usually, the lanolin will stay in the garment for multiple weeks, depending on use and wash.