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Topic: Yarn shrinkage and color fastness?  (Read 1200 times)
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saralea
« on: September 27, 2007 04:19:37 PM »

Sorry if these are really dumb questions... I've done quite a bit of crocheting, but since I've given most of the items away, I don't really know what's happened to them after washing!

These posts from momkat:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=198660.0
and multicrafty:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=198280.0

made me think again (okay...worry!) about the things I make... especially the things I make for gifts.  Aside from trial and error, how do I make sure the things I crochet will stay the same size and not run when washed? 

Are there particular yarns that are more "notorious" than others for shrinkage or lack of color-fastness?  I know cottons and wools have a shrinkage factor, is it just safer to use blends?

What if I want to make a wool scarf and hat set, but DON'T want it to felt?  Would even gentle hand washing still cause felting?

I'm sure one way to handle this is to swatch (and wash) before going ahead...?  Of course, I'm hoping for a lazy-grrl's way out of this!  Cheesy





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sprtsbear
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007 04:51:54 PM »

A good idea when making gifts to enclose that part of the yarn wrapper that has the washing instructions.  Most acrylics do not run color or shrink.  Usually the packaging will tell you how to launder the yarn.
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saralea
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007 05:15:23 PM »


Yes, I definitely will from now on!  I'm having a bit of a freak-out realizing that maybe I CAN'T just combine just any yarns any which way I please!  lol!!!  I can't believe I didn't pay attention to this before! <slaps forehead>  Cheesy
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gnathalie2
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2007 08:03:03 AM »

I've crocheted tons of stuff, and i can tell you that like blankets made with acrylic yarn, like red heart, is fine to wash.  It gets a bit fuzzy over time, but most things do!  If you wash toys, maybe throw it in a pillowcase first to keep it from getting weird in the wash.  As far as drying, most yarn stuff will shrink a tiny tiny bit, but you totally want to use fabric softener and dryer sheets!!!  With toys in the dryer, use lower heat and the pillowcase thing cause these tend to get more fuzzied up!!  If you're not sure about drying some items, i would either use the air/no heat setting (if you have one) or lay flat to dry.  But either way fabric softener is your best friend with any washed yarn item!!!
Nathalie
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2007 09:40:39 AM »

Are there particular yarns that are more "notorious" than others for shrinkage or lack of color-fastness?  I know cottons and wools have a shrinkage factor, is it just safer to use blends?

What if I want to make a wool scarf and hat set, but DON'T want it to felt?  Would even gentle hand washing still cause felting?
For what it's worth, certain colors of Sugar and Cream bleed a LOT.  I made a dishcloth out of dark red Sugar and Cream, ran it through the wash before using it, and it still took quite a few loads of dishes before the dishwater stopped turning pink.  I've heard soaking in vinegar can help stop that, but I don't know if it works or not...

About wool, if you follow the care directions you should be just fine.  I actually shrunk a store-bought wool sweater in the washing machine, because I figured I could just put it on delicate, cold water, just like in the second thread.  I bought a replacement (they were on clearance) and followed the directions to hand wash and lay flat to dry and never had a problem.  The main thing is to just let the item soak in cold, soapy water (I used Woolite) I think, rather than trying to scrub at it or anything.  Also it's best to lay the item on a towel, roll it up, and squeeze it to get water out rather than wringing it.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007 02:02:30 PM »

i second the toys in a pillowcase thing. But I also do this for scarves and such.
I typically wash my crocheted items by themselves anyways so I can see how they are doing and not worry about something not getting clean.
The pillowcase helps prevent snags on your stitches and on toys or things with buttons prevents eyes from getting scratched up. Smiley
If I am making something for someone I typically use acrylic becasue that's what I like due to the wash-ability factor. Though I have one in law who likes "fancy" things so I don't include her in the rule. Smiley
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saralea
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2007 11:26:07 PM »


Thank you so much everyone for your responses, this is all really helpful info.  I've got vinegar, fabric softener, and Woolite all on my shopping list now!  And the pillowcase idea is so simple, yet brilliant!   Grin 
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