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Topic: Blocking Woe  (Read 863 times)
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« on: May 29, 2008 01:51:08 PM »

Just a mini-query, but I've heard conflicting reports on whether or not you're supposed to block cotton items. I've heard

a) that you can block anything made of natural fibres and
b) that blocking cotton will destrooooooyyyyy the garment forever.

The garment in question is a jumper, if that helps, and it's made of bright blue Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton. I'm just asking because it's a little funny-shaped and blocking might help... but it might make things a hundred times worse.

Any help will be received with eternal gratitude and feelings of warmth!
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008 07:52:32 AM »

I just blocked a sleeve of a lace shrug I'm making.  It knitted up ALMOST to size, and I thought blocking might open up the lace.  My yarn is blue sky alpaca dyed cotton, and it really turned out nice.  The lace opened up a bit, the blocking didn't REALLY stretch it out, as it was almost to size anyway.  Honestely, I have never heard of cotton not taking to blocking.  The LYS expert said that cotton has less elasticity than wool or silk, but it should block just easily.  It may even retain the shape you blocked it to a little better.  Hope this helps, but I can definilty say blocking only improved my 100% cotton item Smiley

« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008 08:06:58 AM »

I've blocked and starched cotton lace to open things up.
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008 03:34:42 PM »

Blocking cotton won't ruin it- just handle the wet piece with care. Cotton likes to stretch, especially when wet. Also cotton won't have the blocking "memory" that animal fibers have, which is why I think a lot of people don't block it. Personally, I like to wash and dry my gauge swatch and then wash and dry my cotton garments, 'cause to me, the biggest benefit of cotton is to have a garment you can wash and dry! (And in my experience, cotton always shrinks.)

Good luck!

« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008 10:18:24 AM »


I've made a sweater from Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece, a cotton and wool blend.  I wet blocked as I usually do with wool garments, and had no problems.  It's been hand washed a couple of times since then, and is acting normally.  I'm always careful with it, though, as the stretching worries me.

« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008 04:53:55 AM »

Oh, cool! I'm glad to hear that this theoretical blocking would work out okay. I'll most likely give it a shot then - with carefulness, of course.

Thank you all for being so delightfully helpful! Smiley
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