December 2003

How to wash your knit and crocheted garments

It is always a good idea to wash your garments in a way that makes them last for many years. One way to make sure you are washing the garment correctly is to save the yarn wrapper and refer to it whenever you need. If you do not have access to the yarn wrapper, the best way is to use products that do not damage the fabric. Regular detergents are too harsh for most yarns. Also the considerable difference in water temperature between washing and rinsing cycles can damage most natural fibers, and make them felt. I have always had good results with the following guidelines:

  1. Use the same water temperature for both wash and rinse. This helps garment not to felt.
  2. Use the mildest detergent available. Most of the time, a shampoo wash works best. After all, something that is good for your hair should be good for wool or silk.
  3. Hand wash your garment, or use the delicate cycle on your washing machine.
  4. Do not wring your garment to take out extra water, instead gently squeeze the water out. You can wrap the garment in bath towels and squeeze the water out.
  5. Lay the garment flat and let dry completely. This will bring back its original shape.
  6. For acrylic fibers, do not use hot water; as heat will stretch them out of shape.
Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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