Thursday, October 13, 2011

Renew and reuse: refresh your Uggs

Fall is coming.  The cold-weather clothes are coming out.  Here's a neat trick to get fix worn-out Uggs to get another year's wear out of them.

This is not actually a knitting post but close enough--a trick with loose wool.  The thing with Uggs, heck, with all shearling boots, is that as time goes by, they start to wear out.   First, the wool inside gets beaten down.  Then, the leather tends to stretch with wear. So here's a (super) simple trick to refresh the innards of a well loved pair, and at the same time, tighten the fit to like-new.

1) obtain some loose wool--the kind of locks prepared for spinners (washed and combed) are perfect. However, pretty much any combed loose wool with vegetable matter and oils removed will do.

2. Slip some of this loose wool into your boots in small handfuls, trying to keep the strands of the fibers oriented in the the same direction.  Insert your foot every handful or two, to test the fit, then keep going until things feel snug but not suffocating. Put the wool more around the edges of the foot, and don't put as much under the foot as you think--too much loose wool under the sole tends to clump up and get hard to walk on. As you walk around, the wool inside will mold to your foot. 

It is best to wear your Uggs barefoot with this trick, or the loose wool will stick to your socks and make a mess.  If you must wear socks, wear thin light-colored smooth cotton ones, *not* woolen.

As to the exactly best kind of wool to use,  my own method has not been very scientific--I just grab a small bag of loose wool at a farmer's market whenever it comes up for sale, so I can't tell you what kinds are best.  It does seem, however, that different batches of stuffing-wool last for different amounts of time. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will speak up in the comments as to what would be a specific kind of wool to look for?

At any rate, when this new wool has become too trodden down--overly felted and worn, its easily removed and replaced with fresh.

Neat, huh?  Not a new idea, though--this is actually a trick from the Middle Ages.

This is how folks kept their feet dry and warm in all manner of clunky footwear--wooden shoes and heavy boots.  This is also how the fit was adjusted on the coarsely-sized footwear then made. Wool was used if available, but really poor folks used straw (ouch!) or moss.



Anonymous said...

This is such a helpful post, thank you TECHknitter!

Christie Allen (Talulla's Mom) said...

This is oddly timely: I was telling my husband how my 7 year old UGGs were about to bite, maybe NOT! Thanks!

Laurel said...

That's really interesting! I don't have UGGs but I assume it would work as well for any kind of sheepskin-lined footwear. I am thinking of my slippers and some other winter boots I own.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is great! Thank you for sharing. On Uggs, UGGHHHH. Hateful entities, the ugliest I can imagine, well ahead of crocs, but VERY WARM! At certain age, comfort is better than beauty...

moonlight369 said...

I've been wondering how to refurbish the vertical heel of my hand me down Uggs. I've already replaced the insole, but the back heel is the only part that shows wear now. I'll have to try it, thanks...I've been looking for a solution all dsy. Other sites say to resole them, at $75...don't like them THAT much. I only like them because they are warm!

The Farm-Marm said...

I have been entertaining the thought of cutting out some inserts from some moth eaten wool sweaters to "freshen my 8 year old Uggs....My 18 year old Uggs have fared much better and been worn much more! Go figure!! I think product quality has gone done :( But, I digress...I will be trying this instead =)