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Topic: Question About Reclaimed Yarn  (Read 995 times)
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« on: March 28, 2012 03:11:18 PM »

I just finished skeining all the yarn from my first sweater unraveling and I have a few questions. Do I need to wash the yarn afterwards? Or does it depend on the fiber content? The one I just finished is 100% cotton and was washed before being unraveled, although I'm not sure how recently. However, I have a few other sweaters in the waiting that aren't machine washable (silk, merino wool, and a blend). Some of them were from a thrift store, so the yarn should probably be washed at some point, but I'm not sure when.

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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012 06:23:19 AM »

I think I read somewhere that the yarn should be washed after it has been unraveled... I think because things can get stuck in the stitches that won't wash out when washed as the garment, and washing after unraveling will get all of that out too.

It seems like the sort of thing that might come down to personal preference.

If it were me, I'd probably wash it after unraveling.

« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012 09:17:46 AM »

I've done this only once but I did wash the yarn after I unraveled the sweater; it helped get the kinks out and made it easier to use. So I think washing the skeins before you use them is a good idea, and maybe in the case of the thrift shop sweaters - a necessity. But I'll put in a plug here for handwashing; that's what I did with mine (I'm a handspinner and washing skeins is one of the things you get used to doing when you make your own yarn). Handwashing is a bit tedious but it's easier on the yarn and you could use it for everything you find, including the wool and silk yarns.

I won't go into the details here but if you have questions you might want to check out the spinning section in the Fiber Arts forum here, or any good handspinning site should have that information. It's not really complicated, it would just take a while to explain.

I hope that helps, and I would love to see pictures of your new creations when you get them finished.


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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012 02:30:19 PM »

Oh goodness, I'd never put the skeins in the machine. I decided to handwash the sweaters before unraveling, as machine washing them would be expensive ($1.25/load, and only three to go in that load). The smell of the wool sweater wet totally threw me off. I washed it twice thinking that it didn't get enough soap the first time. Then I looked it up and discovered it's probably just because it smells like wet sheep, and I couldn't recognize the smell. >.<

I may wash the skeins after unraveling, depending on the level of crimp. It seems like most people who advocate washing after unraveling are concerned with the crimp of the yarn. I'm not terribly picky, though, as I have a bunch of yarn that I practice with that is really crimpy but works up well enough for my taste.

I sew, crochet, bead, make natural toys for kitties, and so much more.
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