Intimidated about how to care for your hand-dyed yarn and luxury bases? Don’t be! While some fibers may require a little finesse, most are very straightforward.
The Hand-Wash Method
You will need:
- A wool-safe detergent such as Eucalan, Soak Wash, Unicorn Fibre Wash, homemade castile laundry detergent, etc.
- A clean basin, such as a bathroom sink, bathtub, or wash basin
- A clean bath-sized towel (depending on the size of the item you're washing)
- Cold or room temperature water
Ready? Here we go!
- Fill clean basin with cold or room temperature water.
- Add suggested amount of detergent (sometimes just a squirt will do). Mix it with the water a little bit. If your blend contains silk or you want to reduce static, adding a fabric conditioner like Unicorn Fibre Rinse may help keep the fibers moisturized and prolong their life.
- Add your project to the basin. You may need to submerge it a few times until it’s fully soaked through.
- Wait 5-10 minutes.
- Agitate your project gently. This will help dislodge any stubborn dirt. There’s no need to be rough here—but some gentle movement of the item will help in the cleaning process.
- Drain the basin.
If your wool-safe wash is a no-rinse (this will be clearly indicated on the label), skip ahead to step 8. If your wool-safe wash requires rinsing, proceed to step 7.
- Now it’s time to rinse the project. I like to run new water into the basin and press my project into the bottom of the basin, letting it express the remaining detergent and soak up the new water. You may have to do this several times until the water runs clear and free of sudsy-bubbles. Some bubbles are fine, but it’s best to try to get out as much as possible.
- Press out as much excess water from your item as you can into the basin. Do not twist the fabric of the item. (Disclaimer: I totally do. But I don't recommend it. 😀)
- Lay out the clean towel on a clean horizontal surface. Now, lay your item flat on the towel. Roll your item up in the towel, and step on it or pound it with your fists. This is a fun step for kids to get involved in and helps to get out even more excess water and their wiggles!
- Unroll from the towel and lay flat to dry in a well-ventilated area! You can use a blocking or play mat for this, or use a traditional drying rack. You don't want it to lay flat on a non-textured surface where air is unable to move through it; this can encourage mildew, and we don't want that!
Leaving the item to soak for too long in the water and detergent may lead to bleeding and transfer of colors. Keep all submergences short and sweet, and you’ll enjoy your project for years to come!
The Delicate Cycle
If your yarn is a superwash wool blend, you can pop it in the washing machine every now and then. Hand-washing is always recommended, but sometimes a trip in the wash is all we have time for.
Here are some tips for a safe trip in the wash:
- Use a wool-safe detergent. This can be quick rinses like the lanolin-rich Eucalan, Soak Wash, a HE- and baby-safe detergent like Unicorn Fibre Wash, or a homemade castile detergent.
- Always use a mesh laundry bag. This keeps your project from getting caught on any foreign object in the wash.
- Delicate cycle only! The delicate cycle’s wash cycle is only about 4-10 minutes and uses low to no spin, so your items won’t be excessively agitated. Whether your yarn is superwash or not, agitating fibers excessively will wear down your wool project.
- Lay flat to dry. Never in the dryer. Ever, ever, ever, ever. EVER.
Have your own fiber hacks? I would love to hear them!
This post is not sponsored or endorsed by any of the aforementioned brands. I've used them in the past and have personally enjoyed the results. :)