We all know merino wool isn't cheap. In the former technique, machine drying will eventually flake off the coating until the now-shrinkable wool remains. N.B. NEW Daffodil 3308. This is a microscopic image of several fibers: One of the first things you will notice is that the animal fibers are not smooth. Knit it too loosely, & yes, it will stretch. Their ends poke out of the yarn, and that is what forms the pills. I suspect that is the difference between a $60 Sam’s Club cashmere sweater and a $400 Nordstrom’s cashmere sweater. 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. Superwash is a term used to describe wool that has been treated to prevent it from felting and shrinking. You should hand wash it with care, as described above. (It’s nice to know my posts hold up over time.) absorb and then adsorb water vapor but repel liquid water. NEW Mint 3309. Fleeces are sorted according to grade, and sold accordingly. They may be a contributing factor, but the main factor in whether a fiber is itchy or not is the diameter of the fiber. Odourless. That’s what causes felting and shrinking. 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. Interloc is good stuff that doesn't shrink if handled with reasonable care--wash delicate, dry on low or lay flat. 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. Superwash wool can allow you to … The thicker the fiber, the less likely it will bend when it touches your skin. Superwash is a finish that is added to wool yarns so they can be machine washed without shrinking. Wool is one of the easiest fabrics to shrink. Caring for Superwash Wool 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. Wool doesn't have those scales for no reason. Many people are afraid to work with wool because it is so easy to shrink. 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. Superwash wool yarn is a somewhat controversial yarn for fibre artists. (Read more here). Benefits of Superwash Wool . 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. The one fiber that is missing from this photo is superwash wool. Advanced. Some people have brittle hair; some have supple hair. It then replaces this with a synthetic coating, that makes the wool more resistant to temperature changes. (The scales also lend strength to wool yarn because the scales prevent fibers aligned in opposite directions from sliding across each other.). At bottom is a fiber superwashed with polymer. The perfectly purple yarn is O-Wool O-Wash in the shade Blue Thistle. A superwash wool is a special wool product that has been treated or processed in a way that allows it to be machine washable. We sell lovely yarns on the website that shrink very well. 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. They both have a feminine, flattering fit. NEW Pink Lady 33164. Top quality fleeces are used to produce top quality yarns and garments. The $60 sweater will feel wonderful, but it will start to pill and wear out long before the $400 sweater. As socks need to be washed frequently, it is preferable that they don’t shrink and felt. 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. Sport Weight: Gauge: Needle #5, 6 stitches per inch. This means that it should not shrink in the wash. But then, so will untreated wool. The itchiness you feel is those fibers poking your skin. 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.  We do not  know where these photos came from. This doesn’t even include the toxic chemicals that are used in the overall process. However, it can be minimized by buying quality fibers. Yarn is made of fibers that are twisted together. NEW Matcha 33161. Disturbing no? If you poked yourself with a toothpick, it would not bend and you would feel the poke. Those scales, along with the crimp (or curliness) of the fiber are what gives animal fibers their “memory”. You put the socks in the washer and dryer. If you poked yourself with a blade of grass, the grass would bend and you would barely feel it. Superwash Wool. Really depends on the weave/fabric--some is more prone to shrinking than others. The project “A Project in Sheep’s Clothing” would be perfect for learning to felt. Soft 100% Superwash wool will not shrink and felt when washed. They are warm/hot water and agitation. BUT ... there are problems with superwashing that, depending upon the intended use of the fiber, can outweigh the advantages. However, we will also explore the use of natural fiber for our knits. Superwash -- superwashing -- is treating wool chemically so that it can be machine washed without fear of shrinkage, like a towel, etc. We do not believe we will ever use superwashed fiber for our wovens. Luckily, shrinking them is a quick an easy process. How to Shrink a Wool Sweater. It makes a fabric that is dense, warm, and strong – perfect for bags or cold-weather items. You have no idea how to wash merino wool, but how hard can it be? Each poll will be released on the Knit Along Club Facebook page on the date indicated and will remain active through Saturday. Covering the fibers with polymer reduces or eliminates this behavior. It’s because of the structure of each individual fiber. Pilling is a common phenomenon with fine animal fibers. When they are agitated, the scales on the animal fibers lock together. How do you rank in 9 primary knitting skill categories? Does Merino Wool Yarn Shrink? 1.2K views View 3 Upvoters November 21, 2020The Brady the Snowman KAL will start November 21, 2020. An example is the best way to illustrate this…. This is true for all types of fibers. 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. Wool is highly unpredictable. So the yarns can shrink when agitated, and obviously shrinkage is a problem. If anyone knows who we can contact, we'd love to hear from you, please.Â. To prevent interlocking, wool is usually dry-cleaned or hand-washed. Each knit along includes written and video tutorials to guide you through every step of the pattern. 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. Why do wool and other animal fibers shrink and felt but cotton, linen and synthetic fibers don’t? The itch factor of a fiber is dependent on the thickness of the fiber. We owe someone a PLEASE AND THANK YOU, at the very least. You wouldn’t use coarse yarns for a sweater, but great quality coarse yarns are used to make very expensive rugs. Our goal in the Club is to help you become a better, more confident knitter. The first step in processing a fleece is to determine it’s quality. Some people have thick hair; some have thin hair. In addition, these are knitted products and the way they are worn and used does not require toughness or strength. To overcome such issues, the ‘Hercosett Superwash Treatment’ uses chlorinated chemicals to strip the fibre of its scaly outer surface. Note that the wool from some sheep has reduced scales on the fibers, so those wools are also much less likely to felt. 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. 10-25-2011 #6 Nice weight for baby garments and socks. Wool is one of the most sensitive and unpredictable materials out there. Processed to IWTO Standards. The larger the diameter of the fiber, the more itchy it will be. 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). Wool is scaly, kind of like a snake. Fibers with a larger quantity of more pronounced scales are more likely to felt and shrink than those with fewer, smaller scales. And pill. Receive a detailed report of your skill level and a list of tutorials to help you improve. Also polymer does not equal plastic. The smaller the diameter of the fiber, the softer the fabric will be. It also makes it … If the garment is storebought you should always follow the washing instructions, especially the … 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. First a couple answers on the why of superwash wool. That’s why cashmere is so luxuriously soft – it has a small fiber diameter. 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. Due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, we have decided to cancel our March retreat. There are two major enemies of Merino wool. BUT ... there are problems with superwashing that, depending upon the intended use of the fiber, can outweigh the advantages. We want great strength and durability and we very much desire the fiber to handle water according to Nature's design. 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). 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. The same is true for animals. 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. Superwash wool has been treated to make the scales less "grabby", so the wool has a much reduced tendency to felt and shrink. Why are some fibers softer than others? Lastly and importantly, the information presented here is the best I can figure out after doing some research. It’s frustrating but unavoidable. Below right is a photo of a fiber superwashed in hydrochloric acid, showing how the scales have been etched away. This video explains why shrinkage isn’t the only problem you have to worry about. 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. Superwashing eliminates the ratcheting in one of two ways. Lower quality coarse yarns are used to make inexpensive rugs. Animals are just like humans with regard to the quality of their fleece. O-Wool uses a newer style of anti-shrink treatment on their fiber, one that is more environmentally friendly. To shrink a wool item, wash it in hot water and then dry it. The good news is, this kind of damage is avoidable. 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. Superwash wool has some cool benefits aside from the laundry. I'd be more than happy to hear from people who can make it better!! 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. Quality yarns and garments are made with long fibers. Superwash wool yarns have been treated to create shrink-resistant fabrics. 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. Below left is a photo of an untreated, natural wool fiber. Over time, wool sweaters can become a little baggy. If the wool feels smooth and soft to the touch it’s most likely Superwash wool. 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. Wool is great at keeping you warm, but it’s not so great at surviving a ride in your washing machine. Lay flat to dry. Cotton and linen do not have memory and do not hold their shape well. I once had someone shrink an angora sweater from a size 22 to a size 4X (and I mean the Toddler size, not 4XL). 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. It can also happen in the normal wear of a fabric as the fibers break. Most smartwool stuff is pretty stable, too. 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. The wool fibers or yarns are exposed to a mild chlorine solution for a very short time followed by … One general method of superwashing involves the use of acid baths to eat away at the scales ... no scales, no shrinkage due to ratcheting. The polymer coats the entire fiber and the scales are smoothed over somewhat. NEW Breeze 33163. Click here to learn more about this project and purchase your yarn and pattern if you need them. Some wool garments need to be dry cleaned, while others require special wool soaps. 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) When wool is machine-washed and dried, these scales can become interlocked, causing the wool to felt and shrink. 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. Etching the scales away with acid (the superwash method used on our fiber) also changes the way the wool handles water. They hold their shape well. But overall, yes, it can always shrink further. Both of these things will cause your garment to felt and shrink. Superwash -- superwashing -- is treating wool chemically so that it can be machine washed without fear of shrinkage, like a towel, etc. It depends on the type of wool used. However, some people shrink wool on purpose in a technique commonly called felting—though it's more correctly called fulling. NEW Forget-Me-Not 33162. 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. Yes, it doesn't take much to make wool shrink. A garment crafted with this yarn can safely be washed in a wash machine on the gentle cycle. It’s an easy knit (for a sweater) and the fit is flattering on pretty much any body. 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. 100% Superwash Wool. Some can go from XL to infant size, while others can go from XL to Medium. 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. 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. 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. The finer the fiber, the easier it will break. In this article, I’m going to attempt to outline what superwash woollen yarn is in a factual manner. You just purchased a new pair of merino wool hiking socks and base layer. Superwash is a term used to describe wool that has been treated to prevent it from felting and shrinking. Some humans have hair and nails that grow fast; some grow slow. Lower quality fleeces are used to produce less expensive items and felted products. We … 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. Tumble dry low. You may wonder why some fiber is short and some is long within the same breed. 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. Turns out, there are two methods used to create this stuff. Snow 3300. Machine Washable: Durable. 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. Sure, your garment won’t felt (in theory), but it might still shrink a bit and can lose its shape. Yarn Wash Info: For best results, place into a mesh wash bag, machine wash in cold water on delicate cycle. The short fibers are not held into the twist as well as the long fibers. You may have noticed this if you ever knit a cotton sweater or shawl, only to find that it grew on the hanger. Find this yarn. Most wool used in sock yarn has been processed to turn it into ‘superwash’ wool. Wool grown and spun in the U.S. 50 g skein 180 yards. As modern households have sought alternatives to the expense and environmental damage associated with dry cleaning, we have responded by … The scales of the fiber are sharply defined. NEW Wisteria 33165. NEW Peach 33160. when fibers are lined up in opposite directions, the scales prevent the fibers from slipping past each other ... the scales hold the yarn together. The same idea works with fibers. 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. The gorgeous golden yarn is O-Wool Merino Chunky in the shade Mustard Seed. Felting is a fabulous, funky way to transform a knit or crochet piece into something completely different. 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. When they’re done, you have a new pair of miniature hiking socks. The best kind of yarn for crocheting slippers is the superwash wool as, unlike normal wool, it does not felt or shrink. 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. In the later technique, no change will come. Why Do People Want Superwash? Click on the graphic below to try it for free! The course page is live now. WeatherWool completely avoids the use of superwashing for our woven garments. Help us decide which projects to include in the Knit Along Club for 2021! Fiber quality is affected by genetics, nutrition, and the overall health of an animal. 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. 3/3/21 Flow by Norah GaughanIf you’ve never knit a sweater, this is the perfect one to start with. If you enjoyed this article and are a knitter, you might benefit from joining the online Mountain Hollow Farm Knit Along Club. Choosing something that will keep your feet cozy and allow some breathability at the same time takes a whole lot of time and effort. Smoke 3306. Is made of fibers that are twisted together of anti-shrink Treatment on their fiber, outweigh. 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