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Topic: superwash  (Read 806 times)
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« on: November 21, 2007 11:44:12 PM »

I was just wondering how fiber is made 'superwash'- what process does it go through that prevents it from felting?

Apple & Tree

Apple and Tree believes in the philosophy of re-using before recycling. We make one of a kind pieces using salvaged items as base material and offer authentic vintage fashions.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2007 03:27:34 AM »

There are two possibilities.  Either you can treat the wool with a caustic that burns off the scales that cause felting, or you can coat it with a very thin layer of something (some sort of plastic!) to stop them touching each other.  Both treatments can interfere with dye uptake, but don't always.  Some people who find wool itchy are OK with superwash, particularly the acid-treated sort.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2007 08:36:58 AM »

  Both treatments can interfere with dye uptake, but don't always.  Some people who find wool itchy are OK with superwash, particularly the acid-treated sort.

I've always found that superwash sucks in the dyes, much more than regular wool -- colors are deeper, brighter, clearer, when they come out of the dyebath, at least in my experience.  (I'm always afraid, though, that I'll be boiling off the resin when I dye superwash.  It happened once, but that was under very extreme circumstances.)

It's true, though, that superwash is usually "user-friendly" even for the wool-o-phobes out there.  It's just plain smoother, in every fiber.

Not, you understand, that I don't love my plain merino top, too.  They're different, neither is better...  (Don't want to hurt their feelings -- it might make them harder to spin...)
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2007 01:41:01 PM »

I've been trying to figure out how the average person  might do this as well. No luck so far, everything I've gotten is what stripey_cat just told you, no tutorials.

However, I DID find this site where you can buy some superwash roving at a pretty decent price. I priced it out, and including shipping to where I am its about 15-16 dollars a pound if you buy 2-3 pounds. The roving actually comes from the Brown Sheep Company, which apparently is just a few miles from where I used to live but I just found this out a couple of weeks ago! Blows my mind... Shocked

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