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KNITTING => Knitting: Discussion and Questions => Topic started by: knottydottie on April 04, 2007 05:57:11 PM

Title: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: knottydottie on April 04, 2007 05:57:11 PM
Hello wise ones,
I am working on a multi colored afghan, using Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece yarn.  It's 80% cotton, 20% merino wool.  The washing directions say to add vinegar to the initial wash and rinse, does this keep the colors from bleeding?  I am worried about the colors bleeding on to other lighter colors, since the afghan is many different colors.  Should I just never wash it? lol.  yuck.  any suggestions, or experiences with this would be MUCH appreciated!


Title: Re: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: shewolf on April 05, 2007 02:07:50 PM
I'd gently hand wash in cold water with 1c of vinegar. Probably work best in the tub :) At least with a blend it's much less likely to felt on you.

Title: Re: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: JBoudreau on April 05, 2007 08:38:12 PM
My fifth (or so) project was an afghan made out of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. Tons of colors, striping galore and I didn't think once about whether or not the colors would bleed. I've had it for a couple of years now and finally got up the nerve to wash it this winter. I used cold water, shampoo and added vinegar to the rinse water. I soaked it in the washing machine so that I could spin the water out easily. It didn't bleed at all!

Title: Re: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: jesdmill on April 05, 2007 11:03:43 PM
I just washed a project made with cotton fleece, and it bled like crazy.  I would try making a swatch with different colors and washing with vinegar, just to make sure?  I hope you figure it out, I'm worried about that with my own afghan!

Title: Re: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: knottydottie on April 06, 2007 01:00:44 AM
yes, i think a swatch is a good idea.  if it bleeds, then i guess i just will never wash it!! lol.  maybe dry clean?  are you supposed to add vinegar to both the wash AND the rinse?  and what about drying it?

Title: Re: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: Laural on April 06, 2007 02:34:11 AM
The vinegar will help set the colors, keep them from bleeding and help keep the colors bright. Most dyes have you add vinegar during the dying process for color fastness and brightness.

Title: Re: How do I wash my afghan????
Post by: elijor on April 06, 2007 03:22:34 PM
I'll start with a disclaimer: I've used these products on fabric often but never on yarn - none the less they should work for yarn.

Synthrapol  ( - to wash fabric with - it keeps the excess dye suspended in the water so it goes down the drain not on the fiber.

Retayne ( - to "fix" the dye - keeps it from running much like vinegar. Generally I use this before mixing different colors of fabric. My logic is if it "fixes" the dye to the fiber that is great but what if it "fixes" the red dye to the white fiber (great if you want pink - not so great if you want white).

Dye Magnet ( - does sort of the same thing as Synthrapol only instead of keeping the excess dye suspended it actually attracts the dye so it ends up on the dye magnet instead of the fibers. As the article says there are several brands. I've used Woolite and Shout and they both worked.

So now that I've told you more than you ask I'll give you my opinion.

I think it is too late for the vinegar and/or retayne. Synthrapol is great - the cost isn't too bad because you only use a little - I like Dharma but don't work there so it doesn't matter to me where you buy it - it is available in many quilt shops. The dye magnet type thing would also work. Using synthrapol or a dye magnet I'd still swatch and test.

As for drying - color running or bleeding shouldn't be an issue during drying as long as the afghan isn't folded/bunched up while wet and allowed to sit. If a red part is sitting on a white part while wet the red could bleed onto the white.

Incidentally I used red and white because in fabric red is the color most likely to bleed/run - anyone know if that is true for yarn also?