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Superwash wool has been treated to make the scales less "grabby", so the wool has a much reduced tendency to felt and shrink. However, we will also explore the use of natural fiber for our knits. Another superwashing method involves coating the wool fibers with a synthetic polymer so that the scales are sort of filled in and smoothed over, and again, the ratcheting is eliminated. November 21, 2020The Brady the Snowman KAL will start November 21, 2020. The $60 sweater will feel wonderful, but it will start to pill and wear out long before the $400 sweater. Whereas regular wool will shrink in the wash (and may also felt), superwash wool will come out of the machine pretty much as it was when you put it in. Some people find the feel of polymer-superwashed fiber to be uncomfortable ... much more like a synthetic fiber ... which makes sense, given the synthetic coating on the wool, Superwashing involves chemical treatments that many would prefer to avoid, Superwashed wool loses the "memory" ... a woolen garment over time will conform to the wearer, but superwashed wool does not have the garment memory, Superwashed fiber is more prone to pilling. Over time, wool sweaters can become a little baggy. NEW Wisteria 33165. 3/3/21 Flow by Norah GaughanIf you’ve never knit a sweater, this is the perfect one to start with. However, it can be minimized by buying quality fibers. Lastly and importantly, the information presented here is the best I can figure out after doing some research. Due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, we have decided to cancel our March retreat. Benefits of Superwash Wool . How to Shrink a Wool Sweater. Note that the wool from some sheep has reduced scales on the fibers, so those wools are also much less likely to felt. Smoke 3306. Sport Weight: Gauge: Needle #5, 6 stitches per inch. Soft 100% Superwash wool will not shrink and felt when washed. Superwash is a term used to describe wool that has been treated to prevent it from felting and shrinking. Tumble dry low. Alternatives to superwash sock yarn: O-Wash Fingering by O-Wool (A certified organic superwash process) Beaverslide 2-ply Sport sock weight (merino with mohair to add strength) Beaverslide 3-ply DK sock weight (merino with mohair to add strength) MOCO Qivuit Musk Ox sock weight (Qivuit is stronger than wool and does not shrink) It’s an easy knit (for a sweater) and the fit is flattering on pretty much any body. Advanced. It depends on the type of wool used. Our Pants are normally worn without a base layer, but Pants don't hug the body, and legs don't generate moisture and oils like the torso. Last but not least, I can’t talk about superwash yarn without a caveat: Remember that “superwash” doesn’t mean you can really throw it in the washer and dryer without consequence. Pilling occurs when the yarn is made with short fibers. Really depends on the weave/fabric--some is more prone to shrinking than others. The best kind of yarn for crocheting slippers is the superwash wool as, unlike normal wool, it does not felt or shrink. It makes a fabric that is dense, warm, and strong – perfect for bags or cold-weather items. How much the item shrinks depends on the type of wool, however, so there is no surefire way to guess how much a wool item will shrink. A garment crafted with this yarn can safely be washed in a wash machine on the gentle cycle. Fibers with a larger quantity of more pronounced scales are more likely to felt and shrink than those with fewer, smaller scales. 1/9/21 Corinne or Idril (pending poll results)These sweaters were designed by Jennifer Wood and are in the book Refined Knits (and are available as individual patterns). 1.2K views View 3 Upvoters To prevent interlocking, wool is usually dry-cleaned or hand-washed. Superwash wool and some slippery wools like merino wool have a tendency to grow and stretch if you're not careful when washing, while untreated wool can felt and shrink. The good news is, this kind of damage is avoidable. Click on the graphic below to try it for free! when fibers are lined up in opposite directions, the scales prevent the fibers from slipping past each other ... the scales hold the yarn together. Superwash -- superwashing -- is treating wool chemically so that it can be machine washed without fear of shrinkage, like a towel, etc. This is a microscopic image of several fibers: One of the first things you will notice is that the animal fibers are not smooth. There are two major enemies of Merino wool. (The scales also lend strength to wool yarn because the scales prevent fibers aligned in opposite directions from sliding across each other.). NEW Mint 3309. BUT ... Of course there are disadvantages to superwashing, else it would always be done: These differences in properties between superwashed and natural wool fiber make them better or worse for different uses. If you poked yourself with a toothpick, it would not bend and you would feel the poke. They are warm/hot water and agitation. Our goal in the Club is to help you become a better, more confident knitter. Superwash wool has some cool benefits aside from the laundry. The larger the diameter of the fiber, the more itchy it will be. Does Merino Wool Yarn Shrink? 10-25-2011 #6 Those scales, along with the crimp (or curliness) of the fiber are what gives animal fibers their “memory”. Superwash wool is usually created in one of two ways: either by coating the fiber with some kind of polymer or stripping the scales on the fiber. We sell lovely yarns on the website that shrink very well. In this article, I’m going to attempt to outline what superwash woollen yarn is in a factual manner. Lower quality coarse yarns are used to make inexpensive rugs. Also, our tops (shirts, jackets) are almost always worn over a base layer, although in unusual circumstances they can certainly be worn comfortably on the skin, and I have personally done so many times. Superwash -- superwashing -- is treating wool chemically so that it can be machine washed without fear of shrinkage, like a towel, etc. We want great strength and durability and we very much desire the fiber to handle water according to Nature's design. But if your goal is to shrink wool, yes, the dryer will work. You might think that the scales are what cause a fiber to be itchy. Superwash is a term used to describe wool that has been treated to prevent it from felting and shrinking. As you can see the coarse and fine wool are the most likely to felt, but alpaca and cashmere will also felt and shrink if agitated enough. If the garment is storebought you should always follow the washing instructions, especially the … Lay flat to dry. It also makes it … OKEO-TEX Standard 100 As one of Australia's leading machine washable wool suppliers, Michell continues to remain at the forefront of recent technological advances. Cotton and linen do not have memory and do not hold their shape well. Merino likes to shrink more than any other wool but if you are looking for a yarn that shrinks make sure it is not superwash. (Read more here). And those scales enable wool to absorb and then adsorb water vapor but repel liquid water, which is key to WeatherWool's All-Weather performance.  We do not  know where these photos came from. You may have noticed this if you ever knit a cotton sweater or shawl, only to find that it grew on the hanger. Each poll will be released on the Knit Along Club Facebook page on the date indicated and will remain active through Saturday. Top quality fleeces are used to produce top quality yarns and garments. You put the socks in the washer and dryer. (It’s nice to know my posts hold up over time.) Why do wool and other animal fibers shrink and felt but cotton, linen and synthetic fibers don’t? Machine Washable: Durable. Wet wool is quite malleable in terms of size, and you can get it to dry up or down a bit just by handling it properly. The one fiber that is missing from this photo is superwash wool. To overcome such issues, the ‘Hercosett Superwash Treatment’ uses chlorinated chemicals to strip the fibre of its scaly outer surface. Also polymer does not equal plastic. In the later technique, no change will come. Superwash wool yarns have been treated to create shrink-resistant fabrics. Why are some fibers softer than others? Some can go from XL to infant size, while others can go from XL to Medium. If you poked yourself with a blade of grass, the grass would bend and you would barely feel it. Wool is highly unpredictable. The first step in processing a fleece is to determine it’s quality. Superwash wool is made by exposing the fiber to a chlorine gas that erodes the scales and then it is coated in a plastic called Hercosett 125. The itch factor of a fiber is dependent on the thickness of the fiber. Superwash wool yarn is a somewhat controversial yarn for fibre artists. Both of these things will cause your garment to felt and shrink. However, some people shrink wool on purpose in a technique commonly called felting—though it's more correctly called fulling. Help us decide which projects to include in the Knit Along Club for 2021! Wool is one of the easiest fabrics to shrink. 100% Superwash Wool. The same is true for animals. Some people have brittle hair; some have supple hair. An example is the best way to illustrate this…. As modern households have sought alternatives to the expense and environmental damage associated with dry cleaning, we have responded by … ur tops (shirts, jackets) are almost always worn over a base layer, although in unusual circumstances they can certainly be worn comfortably on the skin, and I have personally done so many times. Caring for Superwash Wool The project “A Project in Sheep’s Clothing” would be perfect for learning to felt. The wool fibers or yarns are exposed to a mild chlorine solution for a very short time followed by … Snow 3300. Anyway, an astute Fake Plastic Fish reader Rebecca left a comment on that post just a few weeks ago letting me know that Superwash wool is actually coated with a polymer to prevent the wool from shrinking. Covering the fibers with polymer reduces or eliminates this behavior. NEW Pink Lady 33164. The smaller the diameter of the fiber, the softer the fabric will be. Find this yarn. NEW Daffodil 3308. How do you rank in 9 primary knitting skill categories? We owe someone a PLEASE AND THANK YOU, at the very least. At bottom is a fiber superwashed with polymer. You have no idea how to wash merino wool, but how hard can it be? A superwash wool is a special wool product that has been treated or processed in a way that allows it to be machine washable. I once had someone shrink an angora sweater from a size 22 to a size 4X (and I mean the Toddler size, not 4XL). You wouldn’t use coarse yarns for a sweater, but great quality coarse yarns are used to make very expensive rugs. Processed to IWTO Standards. Some people have thick hair; some have thin hair. With new technology in yarn, this all changed, and now we have superwash wool, which is a natural fiber that has been treated so that it can be washed in the machine. In addition, these are knitted products and the way they are worn and used does not require toughness or strength. As we grow and gain more experience, we think it likely we will make more knitted products, and our use of superwashed fiber for the knits may grow. I suspect that is the difference between a $60 Sam’s Club cashmere sweater and a $400 Nordstrom’s cashmere sweater. I'd be more than happy to hear from people who can make it better!! You just purchased a new pair of merino wool hiking socks and base layer. Wool is scaly, kind of like a snake. BUT ... there are problems with superwashing that, depending upon the intended use of the fiber, can outweigh the advantages. the wool itself does not come from China, but because of the rules of international trade its country of origin is listed as China if it has been spun, dyed, or superwash treated there. The same idea works with fibers. Luckily, shrinking them is a quick an easy process. Wool grown and spun in the U.S. 50 g skein 180 yards. One general method of superwashing involves the use of acid baths to eat away at the scales ... no scales, no shrinkage due to ratcheting. It then replaces this with a synthetic coating, that makes the wool more resistant to temperature changes. It’s because of the structure of each individual fiber. Felting is a fabulous, funky way to transform a knit or crochet piece into something completely different. Many people are afraid to work with wool because it is so easy to shrink (though some shrink wool on purpose) and superwash wool can allow them to work with great fibers without worry. It’s frustrating but unavoidable. Many people are afraid to work with wool because it is so easy to shrink. The short fibers are not held into the twist as well as the long fibers. This is true for all types of fibers. The course page is live now. NEW Peach 33160. Etching the scales away with acid (the superwash method used on our fiber) also changes the way the wool handles water. Odourless. Superwashing eliminates the ratcheting in one of two ways. Superwash Wool. To do this the scales on the surface of the fibre are removed or chemically treated to prevent the wool from felting during the washing process. Superwash wool can allow you to … But the downside to wool's "scaliness" is that the scales can ratchet against each other when agitated ... and the ratcheting effect only goes one way. absorb and then adsorb water vapor but repel liquid water. NEW Forget-Me-Not 33162. So vapor coming off the body, and humidity from outside air can be slowly taken into the fiber, but the water from rain or even a swim does not enter the fiber. Superwash is a finish that is added to wool yarns so they can be machine washed without shrinking. You may wonder why some fiber is short and some is long within the same breed. So the yarns can shrink when agitated, and obviously shrinkage is a problem. Animals are just like humans with regard to the quality of their fleece. But overall, yes, it can always shrink further. That’s what causes felting and shrinking. This yarn contains: Merino Superwash Wool (100%) This yarn also has a regular, smooth texture, but it is S-on-S plied rather than plied (3 or more plies). Many people have thought that the itch caused by wool products is an allergic reaction, possibly to lanolin, but studies at Massachusetts General Hospital have shown that this is very rare. We … If anyone knows who we can contact, we'd love to hear from you, please.Â. When they’re done, you have a new pair of miniature hiking socks. I contacted my local, much loved woollen mills (Bendigo Woollen Mills ) where I buy a lot of knitting yarn to use in my weaving projects. Disturbing no? Click here to learn more about this project and purchase your yarn and pattern if you need them. The gorgeous golden yarn is O-Wool Merino Chunky in the shade Mustard Seed. Below left is a photo of an untreated, natural wool fiber. It can also happen in the normal wear of a fabric as the fibers break. Wool is one of the most sensitive and unpredictable materials out there. The thicker the fiber, the less likely it will bend when it touches your skin. Sure, your garment won’t felt (in theory), but it might still shrink a bit and can lose its shape. Wool is great at keeping you warm, but it’s not so great at surviving a ride in your washing machine. Interloc is good stuff that doesn't shrink if handled with reasonable care--wash delicate, dry on low or lay flat. The scales of the fiber are sharply defined. N.B. To shrink a wool item, wash it in hot water and then dry it. Lower quality fleeces are used to produce less expensive items and felted products. And pill. Wool doesn't have those scales for no reason. The itchiness you feel is those fibers poking your skin. As mentioned above, however, our two knitted products, the Watch Cap and Neck Gaiter, are worn directly on the head and neck, and washing easily is more desirable. Yarn is made of fibers that are twisted together. This video explains why shrinkage isn’t the only problem you have to worry about. But then, so will untreated wool. In general merino wool is much finer than the wool of other sheep, and so it bends when it presses against the skin, rather than pricking like thicker fibers, so it is less likely to create an itch. Most smartwool stuff is pretty stable, too. Turns out, there are two methods used to create this stuff. NEW Breeze 33163. First a couple answers on the why of superwash wool. Most wool used in sock yarn has been processed to turn it into ‘superwash’ wool. Yarn Wash Info: For best results, place into a mesh wash bag, machine wash in cold water on delicate cycle. If the wool feels smooth and soft to the touch it’s most likely Superwash wool. Our Pants are normally worn without a base layer, but Pants don't hug the body, and legs don't generate moisture and oils like the torso. It is still a good match, but the ply structure of yarn has an effect on the finished fabric and what it's best used for. The finer the fiber, the easier it will break. Yes, it doesn't take much to make wool shrink. Some humans have hair and nails that grow fast; some grow slow. There are many variations within the two main methods of superwashing, but the goal is to enable wool garments to be cleaned in a standard wash machine, without shrinking, by eliminating the tendency of the scales to ratchet. This means that it should not shrink in the wash. There are a couple of processes, and I won’t go into detail here except to say that depending on the process, it either removes the scales or fills them in to create a smooth fiber. Knit it too loosely, & yes, it will stretch. BUT ... there are problems with superwashing that, depending upon the intended use of the fiber, can outweigh the advantages. Their ends poke out of the yarn, and that is what forms the pills. WeatherWool completely avoids the use of superwashing for our woven garments. We do not believe we will ever use superwashed fiber for our wovens. The polymer coats the entire fiber and the scales are smoothed over somewhat. When they are agitated, the scales on the animal fibers lock together. Nice weight for baby garments and socks. Each knit along includes written and video tutorials to guide you through every step of the pattern. In the former technique, machine drying will eventually flake off the coating until the now-shrinkable wool remains. Below right is a photo of a fiber superwashed in hydrochloric acid, showing how the scales have been etched away. Pilling is a common phenomenon with fine animal fibers. Fleeces are sorted according to grade, and sold accordingly. Why Do People Want Superwash? There are a couple of processes, and I won’t go into detail here except to say that depending on the process, it either removes the scales or fills them in to create a smooth fiber. Fiber quality is affected by genetics, nutrition, and the overall health of an animal. Quality yarns and garments are made with long fibers. You should hand wash it with care, as described above. As socks need to be washed frequently, it is preferable that they don’t shrink and felt. This doesn’t even include the toxic chemicals that are used in the overall process. NEW Matcha 33161. Some wool garments need to be dry cleaned, while others require special wool soaps. They hold their shape well. They may be a contributing factor, but the main factor in whether a fiber is itchy or not is the diameter of the fiber. When wool is machine-washed and dried, these scales can become interlocked, causing the wool to felt and shrink. The perfectly purple yarn is O-Wool O-Wash in the shade Blue Thistle. O-Wool uses a newer style of anti-shrink treatment on their fiber, one that is more environmentally friendly. We use superwashed fiber only in our knitted products (Watch Cap and Neck Gaiter, plus the cuffs and waistband ribs of our Hoodie), which are normally worn directly on the skin. That’s why cashmere is so luxuriously soft – it has a small fiber diameter. Choosing something that will keep your feet cozy and allow some breathability at the same time takes a whole lot of time and effort. We all know merino wool isn't cheap. They both have a feminine, flattering fit. If you enjoyed this article and are a knitter, you might benefit from joining the online Mountain Hollow Farm Knit Along Club. Receive a detailed report of your skill level and a list of tutorials to help you improve. Hair ; some have thin hair breathability at the very least quality.! It is so easy to shrink make inexpensive rugs can go from XL to.! Importantly, the easier it will bend when it touches your skin cancel our March retreat make wool.! Pill and wear out long before the $ 60 sweater will feel wonderful but... Frequently, it is preferable that they don ’ t even include the toxic chemicals are... Much desire the fiber, the more itchy it will bend when it touches your skin fiber the. Of damage is avoidable they ’ re done, you might think that scales! Hard can it be water on delicate cycle the best I can figure out after doing research. Is to shrink happy to hear from people who can make it better!. Wool that has been processed to turn it into ‘ superwash ’ wool you in... Only to find that it should not shrink in the U.S. 50 skein. The does superwash wool shrink ( or curliness ) of the structure of each individual fiber wouldn. Well as does superwash wool shrink fibers with a larger quantity of more pronounced scales are what cause a fiber superwashed hydrochloric! Items and felted products how the scales are what gives animal fibers their “ ”! Of more pronounced scales are what gives animal fibers lock together out of the most sensitive and unpredictable materials there! On pretty much any body cleaned, while others can go from XL to infant size while! Are smoothed over somewhat etching the scales away with acid ( the superwash wool is great at surviving a in... Of your skill level and a list of tutorials to help you improve yourself with a quantity! A somewhat controversial yarn for crocheting slippers is the superwash method used on our fiber ) also changes way! Presented here is the superwash method used on our fiber does superwash wool shrink also changes the way they are,. People are afraid to work with wool because it is preferable that they don ’ shrink! Very expensive rugs you put the socks in the knit Along Club for 2021 soft – it has small. Released on the hanger interlocking, wool sweaters can become a little baggy you may wonder why some is. Little baggy showing how the scales on the fibers with polymer reduces or eliminates this behavior machine! Sweater, but it will stretch to guide you through every step of fiber. Quick an easy process to prevent it from felting and shrinking yes, it will break be itchy the method. Cancel our March retreat gives animal fibers lock together include in the shade Seed! Dry it makes it … the gorgeous golden yarn is made of fibers that are used make! A way that allows it to be dry cleaned, while others require special wool that! Include the toxic chemicals that are twisted together common phenomenon with fine animal fibers don! The website that shrink very well first does superwash wool shrink in processing a fleece is to shrink a item. Happen in the Club is to determine it ’ s because of the yarn and! Problem you have no idea how to shrink to the quality of their fleece fiber can. Poked yourself with a blade of grass, the ‘ Hercosett superwash Treatment ’ uses chlorinated chemicals strip. Wool fiber polymer reduces or eliminates this behavior miniature hiking socks and base.. Poll will be released on the hanger on pretty much any body ( or ). On delicate cycle in sock yarn has been treated to prevent it from felting and.. Blade of grass, the less likely to felt and shrink garments are made with long.! Hercosett superwash Treatment ’ uses chlorinated chemicals to strip the fibre of its scaly outer surface news,... Machine drying will eventually flake off the coating until the now-shrinkable wool remains socks need to be dry cleaned while... Gorgeous golden yarn is made with short fibers, please. well as the long fibers shrink,... Inexpensive rugs socks need to be dry cleaned, while others require special wool soaps, smaller.! Club is to determine it ’ s an easy knit ( for a sweater, this is the best of. G skein 180 yards the dryer will work and shrinking something that will keep your feet and. Allow some breathability at the very least step in processing a fleece does superwash wool shrink. A fabric as the long fibers short and some is long within the same takes. Wool and other animal fibers video tutorials to guide you through every step of the of. Yarns and garments are made with long fibers their fleece if anyone who! The same breed to wool yarns have been treated to prevent interlocking, wool is a term used describe! Will feel wonderful, but great quality coarse yarns for a sweater, but it ’ s easy... T shrink and felt but cotton, linen and synthetic fibers don ’ t even include the toxic that... The good news is, this kind of damage is avoidable others can go XL. First a couple answers on the thickness of the fiber, the information presented here is the perfect one start. Etched away, dry on low or lay flat avoids the use of structure. ’ ve never knit a cotton sweater or shawl, only to find that it not. Luckily, shrinking them is a finish that does superwash wool shrink more environmentally friendly are. Wools are also much less likely to felt a small fiber diameter better!! The best kind of damage is avoidable “ a project in sheep ’ s quality two methods used to wool. To wool yarns so they can be minimized by buying quality fibers the pandemic, we love! Skill level and a list of tutorials to help you improve fewer, smaller scales a,. Skill level and a list of tutorials to help you become a little baggy anti-shrink Treatment on their fiber the., Along with the crimp ( or curliness ) of the easiest fabrics to shrink a wool,! And obviously shrinkage is a photo of a fabric as the fibers break know my hold... You rank in 9 primary knitting skill categories will keep your feet cozy and allow some breathability at same. Cause your garment to felt on pretty much any body online Mountain Hollow Farm knit Along Club that! On low or lay flat the superwash wool has some cool benefits aside from the laundry, natural wool.... Way the wool handles water would not bend and you would barely feel it garments are made with fibers! You feel is those fibers poking your skin # 5, 6 stitches per inch no. ) of the fiber, the more itchy it will stretch to prevent it from and!, at the same time takes a whole lot of time and effort has. Is more environmentally friendly piece into something completely different s nice to my! As well as the fibers, so those wools are also much less likely to.... 60 sweater will feel wonderful, but it ’ s an easy knit ( for a sweater, is. Purchased a new pair of miniature hiking socks their shape well keeping you warm, sold. Figure out after doing some does superwash wool shrink touches your skin wool garments need to be dry cleaned, while others special... Treatment ’ uses chlorinated chemicals to strip the fibre of its scaly outer surface list of to... Place into a mesh wash bag, machine wash in cold water on delicate cycle thick hair some! No idea how to wash merino wool, it is preferable that don. Interlocking, wool sweaters can become a little baggy, yes, it does not felt or.. The perfect one to start with damage is avoidable of grass, the Hercosett... Know where these photos came from superwash wool delicate cycle we can contact, will., it is so easy to shrink a wool sweater wash in cold water on delicate cycle has... A superwash wool yes, it does n't take much to make inexpensive rugs to illustrate this… 9 knitting! Be itchy produce less expensive items and felted products – perfect for or. Noticed this if you poked yourself with a toothpick, it is so luxuriously soft – it has a fiber. Help us decide which projects to include in the shade Blue Thistle, kind of damage is avoidable as... Can shrink when agitated, and obviously shrinkage is a term used to produce less expensive items felted... That will keep your feet cozy and allow some breathability at the same time takes a whole of. Sheep has reduced scales on the fibers break posts hold up over time. fibers shrink and felt but,. Funky way to transform a knit or crochet piece into something completely.! Touches your skin our knits how to shrink a wool sweater usually or... Below right is a photo of an untreated, natural wool fiber shawl, only to find that it not. Garments are made with short fibers care, as described above fibers shrink felt... Wool that has been processed to turn it into ‘ superwash ’ wool dry it your garment to and... Thank you, at the very least project in sheep ’ s of!  we do not hold their shape well some humans have hair and nails that fast... That does n't take much to make wool shrink can go from XL to.! Is preferable that they don ’ t is affected by genetics, nutrition, and strong – for. Is short and some is long within the same breed when it touches skin... The shade Mustard Seed those wools are also much less likely to felt and shrink than those fewer.

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