To Wash or Not to Wash?

Hello and welcome to the first installment of Crochet with a T!

I want this to be a monthly advice blog post where I will answer your questions about crochet. For now I will make a post in my stories on Instagram and Facebook each Saturday to collect your questions and pick one to answer in depth. I will give you my techniques, tools or habits and also give you links to OTHER crocheters and bloggers who have points of views they have shared on the topic.

Still with me? Yay! Let’s take a look at our first question.

Q: Should you always wash yarn before starting a project?

This is a great question!

Personally I do NOT wash my yarn before starting a project BUT I always wash my project after finishing it. The exception would be for yarn that has become dirty somehow (que toddler grabbing your skein of yarn with peanut butter fingers!).

Let’s talk about the ways you can wash the various kinds of yarn if you end up in a situation where it needs it.

Machine washing and drying for acrylic, cotton, synthetic/plant based blends, and super wash yarns.

These yarns can usually be washed in the washing machine. There is a trick to this though! You do not want to just throw a skein of yarn in the washing machine. It will come out a twisted and tangled mess. A good way to avoid this problem is to put your yarn in something to hold it all together. If you happen to already own a lingerie bag you could use that. Pillow cases and pantyhose are also great options and they are cheap and easy to find.

Loosen up the skein of yarn a bit by putting your fingers into it and pulling it apart lightly. You just want to loosen it up enough for the middle to get washed as well. Not to completely take it apart. Put the yarn into whatever you are using to wash it, knot it close to the skein so it doesn’t have a lot of room to flop around inside because this is when the tangles will happen. Now you can wash it in your washing machine with either regular laundry detergent or no-rinse soap for delicates. (Searching “delicates wash” on Amazon will bring up several options. I have personal experience with Soak Wash and have loved it.) Make sure you wash with cold water and the gentlest cycle your machine offers. Then throw it in the dryer on the lowest heat.

You always want to use the gentlest settings you can to avoid felting or pilling. Felting is when the top layer of your yarn begins to separate and create fuzz and pilling is when it starts to form tiny little balls of the loosened material. These yarns don’t felt or pill as badly as some of the animal fibers like wool but it does still happen and the best practice is to be gentle. You can also wash your yarn by hand if you want to be even safer with your yarn.

You now have clean yarn once again! Get to making something beautiful!

Handwashing for wool and other delicate yarns.

Wool is a much more sensitive material when it comes to washing. Whether it’s in yarn form or a finished piece you have to be more gentle with wool to avoid felting or pilling. The best practice when it comes to these yarns is always to be gentle. I would recommend winding your yarn into a large circle and then tying it in a couple places to hold it together. This is because your wool is going to need to air dry and it will take FOREVER and probably cause it to smell if you leave it in a skein or ball.

Hand wash your wool in a no-rinse soap. I suggest no-rinse soap so you don’t have to agitate or squeeze your yarn a lot during the washing because we don’t want that friction that causes felting and pilling. Submerge the yarn completely and then let it soak for around 20 minutes. Make sure that you squeeze gently and roll gently in a towel to remove access water and avoid twisting.

Hang your yarn up to dry and then enjoy your fresh clean yarn!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have found something useful with this post!

Have a follow up question or suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment and I will answer to the best of my ability or update information in the post if I need to! Everything in my post is from my own personal experience and from researching the topic on the internet. I may at times have opinions or processes that differ from yours or others you have heard. If you feel there is something incorrect in my post feel free to politely reach out to me! I am always open to learning more.

Are you looking to find information on washing finished pieces? Check out these posts from some fellow crocheters! Or feel free to ask a question on the topic for me to address in another Crochet with a T.

Two Brothers Blankets Blog Post How to Care for your Crochet Garments

Creations by Courtney Blog Post Washing your Handmade Items


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s