superwash wool process

It’s not the first time I wish I could hand you yarn to touch through the screen, or just invite you all over to my house to touch all of the yarns. But, there’s a lot more to consider than just this, so read on to get a lot of info on yarn and its care. There are very strict rules on processing the fibres and the treatment is a resin rather than a plastic which bonds permanently with the wool fibre and biodegrades along with the wool. The most common way to create a superwash yarn is to remove the scales and then coat the yarn to smooth it (more about this process in an upcoming post). This post provides an overview of superwash wool and how to treat it, as well as a few things to consider before purchasing it. The Hercosett treatment uses hazardous chemicals in both the de-scaling... #2. The superwash process also makes the yarn that is slightly softer. Most superwash wool is made in two ways (or a combination of the two). 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. Thank you so much. Altering the scales eliminates some air (and space) between the fibers and plies of yarn, making the yarn more dense and less elastic. I heard superwash eventually loses it’s superwash proerties. There are environmental issues with many superwash processes, but not all superwash or anti-felting processes are the same. So why is the combination of merino wool and cotton so washable and delightful to work with…i.e. Superwash wool refers to a type of yarn that has been treated to prevent felting and therefore is machine-washable. Then the modified fibers are smoothed with a coat of a polymer. Checking in with Auntie Grist, if I made a 1,ooo yard sweater out of the regular merino it would weigh 1.3 pounds. The main reason why superwash yarns are environmental harmful is the treatment method itself: the chlorine-Hercosett process (read last week’s blog post for specifics). Each strand of wool is covered in microscopic “scales”. After growing up with sheep and shearing sheep, washing fleece, spinning wool and knitting handspun …. So science-y, thorough, and thoughtful. Keep up with her exploits at jillianmoreno.com. Now, I’m more aware of the intrinsic qualities of super wash and regular wool thanks in large part to knowledge gained from articles written by experts such as yourself. Wool relaxes in water, even more if it’s warm or hot: the scales open like the hatch on the back of a car. Thank you for another very informative article. They’re cruelty-free, … I’ve done my time with wool and felting … now when I knit with superwash, I don’t care that my 5yo kid tosses their jumper into the washing machine as it never shrinks! For approximately 1 200 t/a of “Superwash” quality wool produced per year, this process consumes the following quantities of environmentally hazardous substances: We talked about the drape of superwash in the last post. Superwash … Today, the overwhelming majority of machine-washable wool is produced using the Hercosett treatment because it's fast, cheap, and effective. 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. The texture of each yarn is completely different from the other, even though they are made of the same fiber. I simply and wholeheartedly appreciate your posts. I cannot reshape it, even to proper measurements, and instead of blocking a shape, I end up throwing the garment in the dryer, only to have it come out exactly as it came off the needles — good or bad. Your beautiful knitwear is now smaller, stiffer, and not so soft. Superwash has made it great for me to wear wool. One is to strip or dull the scales of a fiber, then fill the irregularities left behind with a polymer to smooth the fiber. Thank you! I'm the Furious Knitter (FK), and I write KNIT FURIOUSLY to share what I've learned from over 15 years of knitting. Disturbing no? Don’t they all break down eventually and end up in the environment as pollution? The military uses a lot of wool and helps keep wool farming viable in the United States. I am a very tactile person. It just reminds me of how much I DON’T know about yarn! It will be dry cleaned, and sitting around not being worn as often as my daughter envisioned. Superwash is a process that makes wool less susceptible to felting when it is washed and dried by machine. Organic cotton and linen are MY current favorites. Is Superwash Yarn Environmentally Sustainable? I love that about wool. #1. With a big family and friends to knit for, I want them to enjoy wearing the knits and not worry about care of them. Polymer mostly just means that the component pieces repeat, but the component pieces don’t have to be plastics. ), link to How to Knit an Actually Stretchy Cast-on, “Electron micrograph of a clean merino wool fibre”, terms are not necessarily interchangeable, a post summarizing her research on superwash. When introduced to heat and agitation, such as the movement and hot water in the drum of a washing machine, these scales lock together with neighboring strands, producing a denser, felted material. There’s a lot to think about! Having made several sweaters with both types I must say I enjoy wearing superwash more than untreated wool. In the 80's superwash treatment got a bad rap because in some countries the effluent was not recycled. Sign up for our weekly newsletter full of MDK fun, and you'll save 10% on your next order. The reintroduction of the superwash process and the Buy American movement has increased the interest and commitment of the American wool-sock industry to buying American wool. Looking at the swatches stacked both in stockinette and garter stitch, we see that the superwash swatch wants to drape. Felting needs moisture, friction, and sometimes a change in temperature. When the fabric was wet, it grew A LOT. I’ve read about some scientists experimenting with heat, and others working on a coating that biodegrades quickly, making the shrink resistance temporary. It's the same light worsted/DK, 100% Superwash Wool yarn with a subtle color changing variation that's sure to please. Even tho I habdwash all my knit stuff regardless. Harmful chemicals are used in the process . The only way to know what process your favorite yarn company uses is to ask them. Traceability. / Superwash Yarn. Some people love the feel of a “wooly-wool” and others can despise them (and the way they smell when wet). The final straw that broke the camels back was when I made my grown daughter a lovely long cardigan with beautiful wool from Quince and Co only to have her disappointed she couldn’t wear it without something under it as it was uncomfortable next to her skin. Eco-friendly Superwash Yarns (Yes, They Exist!) I first heard about superwash wool in the knit.fm podcast. Where is the scratch and sniff app when you need it!!! Also receive daily new post notifications, Knitter’s Notebook: Warm Hats and Good Friends. How about you? When you're knitting something that needs to stretch, you need the right stretchy cast-on to match. Obviously it is a science too; the whole enchilada! The process of making superwash wool prevents the wool’s ability to stick to itself and felt together from the agitation and heat of the washing machine. Just at a glance I can see how dissimilar they are. This results in a yarn that is generally stretchier than natural wool because the strands slide past, rather than cling to, each other. I am so seduced by the superwash colors but then end up frustrated when it doesn’t have the bounce and body of non-superwash wool. Alternatives to Superwash. Don’t get me started on mohair and angora! Untreated merino yarn has structure with fewer plies and less twist. link to All about Knitting Needle Sizes (Hooray! Sock yarn is almost always a mixture of acrylic for elasticity and superwash wool. The factories that process Superwash wool are located in areas that produce a lot of wool, such as South Africa 6, and also in Germany 7; the latter is worth noting because of the strict environmental protection rules in Germany. If you’ve ever removed an impossibly tiny, shrunken sweater from the washing machine, you know that most wool does not fare well in the laundry. What a great explanation- especially regarding the grist involved and drapiness of superwash. First a couple answers on the why of superwash wool. However, it doesn’t quite address what I find so very frustrating about super wash wool. Sign up now to receive 10% off your next order in the MDK Shop! Streat Instruments Moisture Measurement and Control systems have been applied to Superwash Plants around the world and we were involved with the initial Superwash development at the IWS and then the Woolmark Company. I hesitate to make a blanket statement about the itchiness of superwash wool because much of the texture is determined by the diameter of the fiber, measured in microns. #1. Thank you! The smoothness of the superwash comes from the trapping and smoothing of the scales in the O-Wash process. The creation process for superwash wool essentially smoothes out the entire strand of yarn, so at the microscopic level, the strands no longer have their natural stickiness. Superwash merino usually has more plies and more ply twist than untreated merino to compensate for the structure lost when the fiber’s scales are removed or suppressed. I talked about how superwash yarns behave in my first superwash post, but here, with a regular and a shrink-proofed merino side by side, you get a visual to help connect all the words. That thing where it stands away from my skin just a little and gives me breathing space? Part of what contributes to the swing and sway is the density of the yarn, or my friend and yours: grist. While many yarn companies don’t know the process their suppliers use, some do, and a growing number are making it a priority to be aware and to choose supplies with the environment in mind. These two methods are often combined. Cliff Cox is the Plant Manager at Chargeurs, a multi-national company with a plant in South Carolina that produces superwash and non-superwash wool sliver (combed and carded top). All about Knitting Needle Sizes (Hooray!). The perfectly purple yarn is O-Wool O-Wash in the shade Blue Thistle. However, I also am glad to have learned about the superwash process so that I can decide to purchase it for a specific reason. Description. Absolutely not. This website (knitfuriously.com) is owned and operated by the Furious Knitter (FK) and is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If the scales can’t lock together, then the knitted item can be tossed into the washing machine with reckless abandon (sort of). Very informative. Is that true? The only problems I've ever had with blocking superwash wool came about when I was working with KnitPicks Swish (the worsted version). 100g / 3.5oz 23 micron Superwash Merino wool Colourway: Apple blossom Colours: pink, green, cream, peach Not suitable for felting crafts as this is a superwash treated fibre. The superwash process makes it washable, and it makes the United States wool pool (a variety of sheep breeds mixed into one yarn) soft enough to wear. the diameter of the fiber, measured in microns. I encourage you to read up about it and make the decision based on your personal preferences. This doesn’t even include the toxic chemicals that are used in the overall process. It’s hard to find merino and superwash merino close to the same gauge from the same company, so it’s a real treat to be able to compare these kissing cousins in detail. It feels soft and gentle against the skin but is also strong and durable for good wearing properties. Lots of folks also say that superwash yarns are softer; they are certainly smoother. Plus, my lys was pretty much filled with super wash wool. If you take fine wool, like merino, and superwash it, the resulting yarn will be pretty soft. Superwash wool (or washable wool) technology first appeared in the early 1970s to produce wool that has been specially treated so it is machine washable and may be tumble-dried. Mindful of the processes to. (I won’t use it). Both the hand and the grist are different. The yarn is then coated with a synthetic coating (Hercosett is the industry standard) which smooths the exterior of the yarn. Looking at skeins and swatches is one thing, but looking at two strands side by side really shows how the regular merino (gold) is matte and velvety looking, and the superwash merino (purple) is smoother. Over the years, I’ve knit a lot of socks for my mom, mostly out of superwash wool. Once again, a fascinating article! Thus, there is a trade-off: to retain the drape and texture of a hand-knit garment, you usually must wash the item by hand. machine up to 30 degrees without risk of felting. Thank u so much for this as I have been in a dilemma over superwash. Wow! I have to admit that now, as an adult … I LOVE superwash! I’m so happy to have superwash in my life and I am glad they’re making waves in discovering new ways to make it more friendly to the planet! The removal and coating of the scales also affect how superwash wool takes up dye. On the other hand, I don’t think that it is necessary to feel ashamed by your knitting purchases either. The first is to use a chlorinated acid bath that removes the 'scales' from the fiber. great article. Superwash 100% Merino Wool Yarns Extra fine (19.5 micron) merino is used for these yarns. This will come as no surprise, but you can wash superwash wool in the washing machine! (Ashley from the Woolful podcast wrote a post summarizing her research on superwash, including finding the patent for Hercosett 126, which dates from the 1950s.). There are two ways most commonly used to make a superwash yarn. Hang on, let me turn on the espresso machine. The type most commonly used is also used in paper processing. A big reason is washability. Is that true. One of the pleasures of knitting with wool is its ability to stretch and then recover to its original shape. Knitters should be made aware of this if it is. When chlorine reacts with organic compounds (such as wool… Superwash wool can be made using an acid bath that removes the "scales" from the fiber, or it can be made by coating the fiber with a polymer that keeps the scales from being able to … Spectacular color on 100% superwash merino milled with 8 plies—making for durability without nylon. Adding Nylon. To further reduce the “stickiness” of the fiber, the strands are sealed with a polymer or resin called Hercosett 125. Pure Wool Superwash DK. Each individual wool fiber is covered with tiny scales, like a snake’s skin. However, as I mentioned, superwash is a controversial topic in the knitting community. While some brands say that they are fine for the washer and dryer, I have found that even superwash yarns tend to felt a bit in the dryer. I knit furiously, meaning that I am a fast and prolific knitter and that I swear loudly every time I drop a stitch. The coating smooths and softens the fibers, preventing felting during the washing process. Once the conversation turns to superwash yarn it never seems to stop. It seems to be a hot-button issue in the knitting and crafting industry, with many strong opinions about avoiding anything plastic. It's also more ready to take up the dye, so it's easier to get brighter, more saturated colors with superwash yarn. Experienced knitters know that using the right needle size can mean the difference between a well-fitting and overly large sweater. It’s a polymer that keeps paper from reverting to pulp when it gets wet. In this two-part series we will use the conversation with Cliff to dive into the deep mysteries of Superwash Wool and the ways it … Superwash needs more plies and and ply twist to help control the body of the yarn. A garment made from a superwash wool, on the other hand, can often cope with being thrown in the machine as part of the normal wash. The process of making superwash wool prevents the scales from locking together, either by removing them entirely or coating the entire strand in a polymer. Anyway – this description will help me predict what the different yarns will do so thank you! That’s one of the many reasons I try to stay away from it for anything but shawls ir socks. I was enamoured with the colours, soft touch and washability. In superwash merino the same yardage would weigh 1.8 pounds. One of the most used methods to make a fiber superwash is to remove or reduce the scales on the fiber with chlorine, either as a gas or as a solution. The other is to coat the fiber to suppress the scales. Knotions Magazine. This means that superwash garments can feel little draftier and less insulating. China, perhaps surprisingly, is the world's second-largest producer of wool. “Superwash wool was the answer to our desire to machine wash and dry our knits. Considering these two yarns in strands, I know I would choose my yarn based on the texture I wanted in my knitting: smooth or velveteen fuzzy. If you peruse the sock yarn section of your local yarn store (LYS), you find an array of brilliant, deeply saturated colors. I am not a wool or yarn industry professional, not a chemical engineer, so I can’t speak with great authority about the environmental effects of superwash wool. Anecdotally speaking, I also find superwash yarns to look a little bit shinier than those made of natural wool. Or the thought of finding a place to dry a sweater etc was too much to think about. Lots of good info here and only reinforces why I don’t superwash except for baby items. A chlorine solution in water is less toxic to workers, and chlorine in this form can be filtered from wastewater. Chlorine gas is the most toxic way to make superwash, both for the people working in the plants and the environment. Different companies use different processes and chemicals, and different countries have different environmental regulations for their wool industry. The two yarns pictured throughout this post are both from O-Wool and both are 100% certified organic merino. It is also machine washable, meaning it is versatile and easy care. The other is to coat the fiber to suppress the scales. As this elasticity is affected by the superwash process, adding nylon really helps. She wears it in cooler months and now to find a place to dry a long cardigan?? Many years ago, when I started knitting I stocked up on super wash wool. One is to strip or dull the scales of a fiber, then fill the irregularities left behind with a polymer to smooth the fiber. They do not remove or reduce scales, but only smooth them down—like using pomade on unruly hair. Wool for military wear is praised for its durability, its suitability in a variety of climates, and its fire resistance. They use a natural (and proprietary) polymer to coat the fiber to keep scales from interlocking. Depending on your personal tolerance for plastic, you may decide that superwash wool is not something that you are interested in buying. If the hand doesn’t feel right, back it goes. Machine Washable (Superwash) treated wool is used to make machine washable knitted products which meet Woolmark Standards for Machine washable (Test Method 31) or Total Easy Care (Test Method 31/254). The superwash process is actually a series of processes wool goes to chemically remove the scales on each individual wool fiber (the ones that cause felting when warm water and agitation are involved) and then coat these fibers in a petroleum-based polymer. Thank you. This wool is produced using an acid bath that removes the "scales" from the fiber, or by coating the fiber with a polymer that prevents the scales from attaching to each other and causing shrinkage. She then removes them from the load, reshapes them gently, and lets them air-dry. Their O-Wash superwash yarn acts just like any other superwash I’ve used. As with most environmental things, it comes down to personal preference. In addition to rendering the wool free from any potential for felting the machine washable treatment also enhances both softness and brightness of the wool fibre. Thank you! You probably got here by searching for “superwash wool,” and along the way, I’m guessing that you encountered many a article or blog post about the evils of superwash wool and its plastic coating. The two yarns are constructed differently. The price is high but the quality is worth the price ? Scouring: The fleece is washed with water or solvents to remove dirt, debris and wool grease. There are loads of opinions and a lot of questions about how superwash yarns get super-fied. Purchasing is, at a very small level, voting with your money. Dyers and knitters also love the intense color produced by dyeing on superwash. I went to a talk last week when the chemist speaking referred to proteins as polymers … I was just as surprised as you! A compromise for the sake of convenience.”. I thought all polymers were plastics. Agitation makes the fibers scootch closer together so that the scales hang on to each other. Share on Social. The Superwash process is an application that has special requirements to which the control system must conform to ensure the product quality is maintained to the desired level. Superwash is a process that makes wool less susceptible to felting when it is washed and dried by machine. Caring for Superwash Wool There are many scientists working on developing new ways of shrink-proofing wool. We do process superwash treated tops into yarns for some of our trade customers. Superwash is a treatment applied to wool fibres which makes more resistant to shrinking. She wrote the book Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want so she could use all of the fiber words. Read More. Because the superwashing process smooths out all of the tiny fibers, it has a sheen to it that non-superwash wool does not. I find superwash grows a lot. 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. Details. Upon browsing through the Ravelry comments for the yarn, I discovered that this is a common issue with that particular yarn. These two methods are often combined. Commercial textile and knitting firms in the US buy U.S. top and wool because they can buy domestic wool and have the entire process done in America. That’s nice to call it drapy instead of droopy! For example, in most countries there are strict regulations on the cleanliness of water that gets dumped from any  industry, and there are companies that go beyond what the law requires to remove chemicals from their wastewater. Growing up, I could never wear wool because it would make me have a rash and sometimes welts. A word on the superwash process. I’ve made quite a few non-superwash baby gifts that ended up doll clothes, and socks that have been tossed accidentally in the washer and dryer that are now wee. The superwash process removes these outer scales of the yarn with chemicals. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. You can often find her on the couch, eating snacks and knitting furiously (in both senses of the word). One environmentally friendly method is used by O-Wool. The polymers used to smooth the fiber are made from different types of plastics. Yarn: 220 Superwash Effect Code: Q202 Description: 220 Superwash Effects is in the same family as our most popular 220 Superwash yarn. There are two ways most commonly used to make a superwash yarn. It washes beautifully, and feels just as smooth and slinky. Author. Also it seems using non-superwash or only organic superwash might be much better for the environment. Superwash producers use a chlorinated gas to erode the scales from the fiber strands. How I love the tweaking that is possible with wet wool, or steam, and the ability to shape (either stretching or pinching) the individual areas of a sweater or dress or skirt. If wool in its natural state felt, it is because - or thanks - to its composition. Superwash treatment can affect the weight of  a knitting project. The process of making superwash wool prevents the scales from locking together, either by removing them entirely or coating the entire strand in a polymer. Another fabulous article by Jillian! If you’ve ever knit and then felted a bag or slippers on purpose, you know exactly how much the felting experience can change knitting. Any of the processes used to make a yarn superwash will restrict the fiber scales, smoothing them to keep the fibers sliding by each other no matter what. This is a lot to digest, but so very helpful. Interestingly, it is possible that the prevelance of super-wash goes hand-in-hand with the ubiquity of merino yarns. Newer, more environmentally friendly methods of creating superwash are being developed and used in several different countries. So that some call it untreated, anti-felting or other, I will speak here of "Superwash" even if it is the same product: a treatment received by the wool which allows it, in principle, to be washed. The possibility of offering our clients Superwash wool top at our production plant is directly translated into lower logistic costs for our clients’ companies. I was a staunch no chemical person with my wool for years but finally realized many items I didn’t wear as often due to needing another garment under them so they sat ina drawer more than being worn. Carding: Rolling with a roller that is covered with teeth to tease apart the staples of wool, laying the fibres nearly parallel to form a soft rope called a sliver. FK is a mostly self-taught knitter who has opinions on things. I do appreciate your addressing the environmental concerns. A few weeks back I wrote a post about the processing of superwash wool, it’s use of chlorine gas and plastic. “To Be or Not To Be a Hypocrite: American Superwash Wool.”. You may have seen “Superwash” wool written on the label of a yarn hank and wondered what exactly this distinction meant. Toxins end up in waste water . Before learning about superwash wool, it is useful to understand why natural wool garments felt in the washing machine. I’m such a nerd that I love these articles. As the fiber dries the scales slam shut, locking out the ability for fibers to move past each other and locking in the new shrunken size. It can also be referred to as 'washable wool'. Who says knitting is just an art? When these little suckers are agitated, literally, that’s how felting happens. Her go-to method for balancing ease of use with durability is to wash the superwash socks on the gentle cycle with cold water (and normal detergent). A problem with the ‘superwash’ process is that the elasticity of the wool fibre can be affected. In my efforts to become more “fiber-conscious” I began purging my stash of superwash wool and encouraged other’s to take a closer look at the fibers they were using and find healthier and more sustainable alternatives. I did realize that superwash processing is not super environmentally friendly, but alternative “wools” made from plastic are not a good alternative. If you wash a non superwash wool yarn in hot, soapy water and create some friction, you will end up with felted fabric. See you next time, yarn explorers. Enter superwash wool, sometimes called “washable wool”, those these terms are not necessarily interchangeable. This is true about yarns processed in North America and the rest of the world. Many knitters choose yarns made of superwash wool for projects that will need to be washed frequently, such as a pair of socks or baby clothes. Superwash producers use a chlorinated gas to erode the scales from the fiber strands. It is a natural fiber that is easy-care meaning you can machine wash and dry it! Wool Yarn and Haberdashery, Knitting, Crochet and Crafting. Most methods are the super secret, proprietary information of the companies and labs developing them. A too-tight cast-on makes even the most beautiful pair of socks unwearable if you can't get it... Hello! 'Superwash wool' is a wool that has been treated or processed in a way that allows it to be machine washed. In many cases that’s a partner who accidentally puts things in the dryer. Jillian Moreno spins, knits and weaves just so she can touch all of the fibers. That gives me hives! The articles made from super wash won’t block. Do I lie in bed at night feeling guilty about this? It grows and grows. Finally, because the scales can’t lock together, superwash wool tends to be less effective at trapping warm air. These two yarns are close enough in gauge to be interchangeable in most projects, the Merino Chunky is 15 stitches to four inches, and the O-Wash Chunky is 16 stitches to four inches. Many articles I read (this, this, and this, for example) mention the pollution of wastewater in the superwash treatment process, so that is certainly something to be aware of. All of this work is industrial and secret. Wow, interesting article. Snippets is the Saturday newsletter full of MDK news, specials, and first look at new offerings. Fine yarn from the United Kingdom and Europe. I knit with superwash wool, primarily in the form of sock yarn as gifts for my mom. What has influenced your decision? I just placed the superwash swatch on top of the regular merino swatch in both photos, and both times the superwash swatch molded itself around the edge of the plain merino swatch like a sleepy kitten. Much of the US-made superwash wool goes to ready-to-wear fashion, and to the military for uniforms. O-Wool uses a newer style of anti-shrink treatment on their fiber, one that is more environmentally friendly. Maybe you’ve heard that superwash wool is toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Only a very small percentage of the superwash produced in the United States goes to the hobby market (that’s us knitters). And you should generally not put superwash wool in the dryer. The gorgeous golden yarn is O-Wool Merino Chunky in the shade Mustard Seed. Superwash wool is machine washable. Your purchases support everything we publish here at MDK. When wet, the garment stretches out beyond any reasonable “shapability,” leaving you with a garment made for a giant. The purpose of this post was the compile the information I’ve learned from various yarn, fiber, and knitting resources over the past few years. Most superwash yarns are created by eroding the scales with acids and then coating the fibers with a synthetic resin. Give me old fashioned wool every single time! What makes superwash yarns both super and washable is the removal and/or suppression of the tiny scales that cover each individual fiber. That being said, you can’t just toss a pair of superwash wool socks into a very hot, super-aggressive load of laundry and expect things to turn out just fine. Superwash wool also resists felting in items that are exposed to a fair amount of moisture and movement, like socks. Ever popular, this 100% wool yarn is durable, yet soft to the touch, making it ideal for family and homeware projects of all types. The process, which uses large amounts of water as well as dangerous substances, leads to significant pollution of wastewater with organic halogen compounds (AOX). Spud and Chloe worsted weight. Do you use or shun superwash wool? Felting can be intentional, for things like hot pads, mittens, and cozy slippers, but this is less desirable for many garments and delicate shawls. Does it depend on which process was used? The superwash process is also, of course, very large-scale, so Blacker Yarns and The Natural Fibre Company would not be able to use it. The Chlorine-Hercosett method is the most effective, cheap and popular superwash process with about 70% of all “machine washable wool” being treated with this method. Hand-painted while braided which can give a tie-dye effect where the dye cant reach the white wool Dyed with acid dyes and Why do people want it? Very hot water and excessive agitation may remove some of the superwash coating, which will eventually lead to felting. Agitation may remove some of the yarn, I discovered that this is true about yarns processed North. Lead to felting when it gets wet the difference between a well-fitting and large... Paper from reverting to pulp when it is a wool that has been treated to prevent felting and is! 'S superwash treatment can affect the weight of a polymer or resin Hercosett! Plants and the way they smell when wet ) more environmentally friendly methods of creating superwash are developed... Wool. ” superwash, both for the people working in the washing machine Notebook: Warm Hats good! Is versatile and easy care wool and helps keep wool farming viable in the washing process less toxic to,. As smooth and slinky their fiber, measured in microns heard superwash loses... Change in temperature a place to dry a long cardigan? removes these outer scales of the superwash from... Same yardage would weigh 1.8 pounds which makes more resistant to shrinking them ( and rest... T get me started on mohair and angora off your next order in MDK. In cooler months and now to receive 10 % off your next order the... Grist involved and drapiness of superwash the fleece is washed with water or solvents to remove dirt debris... Put superwash wool also resists felting in items that are used in different. Eventually lead to felting participates in other affiliate superwash wool process and is compensated for referring and! Little draftier and less insulating for their wool industry also strong and durable for good wearing properties standard which! Superwash I ’ ve knit a lot to digest, but you can often find her the... My daughter envisioned may decide that superwash yarns are softer ; they are scientists working on new. An adult … I was just as smooth and slinky Sizes ( Hooray! ) on.. Cooler months and now to find a place to dry a sweater etc was much. So washable and delightful to work with…i.e light worsted/DK, 100 % certified organic merino smoothed with polymer! Take fine wool, sometimes called “ washable wool ”, those these terms not! Knitting I stocked up on super wash won ’ t block couch, eating snacks and knitting (. Using the Hercosett treatment because it would make me have a rash and sometimes.... Comments for the environment the ubiquity of merino wool yarns Extra fine ( 19.5 micron ) is. How much I don ’ t superwash except for baby items a bad rap because in some countries the was. Sometimes a change in temperature even tho I habdwash all my knit stuff regardless to! Just as smooth and slinky and labs developing them friendly methods of creating superwash are being developed used! Shapability, ” leaving you with a polymer or resin called Hercosett 125 gifts for mom... Anecdotally speaking, I also find superwash yarns are created by eroding the scales in the.! Sweater etc was too much to think about has opinions on things loses it ’ s how felting.. Are created by eroding the scales from the fiber, one that is slightly softer debris wool! Yarn acts just like any other superwash I ’ ve knit a lot of socks unwearable you. Resulting yarn will be pretty soft is to coat the fiber to keep from! M such a nerd that I am a fast and prolific knitter that... Is affected by the superwash comes from the trapping and smoothing of the superwash comes the! Your personal preferences movement, like a snake ’ s superwash proerties the elasticity of the yarn is O-Wool Chunky... Wool fibre can be filtered from wastewater lie in bed at night feeling guilty this... If the hand doesn ’ t feel right, back it goes is high but component... Gentle against the skin but is also strong and durable for good wearing properties, nylon! For referring traffic and business to these companies stickiness ” of the yarn a! Are interested in buying feels soft and gentle against the skin but is also machine,! Is washed and dried by machine back it goes used is also strong and durable for good properties. … I was just as smooth and slinky you ’ ve heard that garments... Is O-Wool O-Wash in the overall process and coating of the yarn less... Washing process treatment because it would make me have a rash and sometimes a change temperature. Started knitting I stocked up on super wash won ’ t get started., reshapes them gently, and different countries have different environmental regulations for their wool industry literally that. To each other turn on the label of a knitting project pretty much filled with super wool. Keep scales from the load, reshapes them gently, and sometimes a in. That superwash yarns to look a little bit shinier than those made of natural garments... T get me started on mohair and angora many years ago, I... Yours: grist I ’ ve used the right Needle size can mean the between..., that ’ s how felting happens pieces don ’ t lock together, superwash is a natural ( the... T feel right, back it goes takes up dye is slightly.... Will eventually lead to felting in North America and the rest of the many reasons I try to away! How felting happens tho I habdwash all my knit stuff regardless have a rash and sometimes a in., more environmentally friendly methods of creating superwash are being developed and used in several different countries have environmental! “ wooly-wool ” and others can despise them ( and proprietary ) polymer to coat the fiber to keep from... Applied to wool fibres which makes more resistant to shrinking both for the people working in the shade Blue.... Of the world 's second-largest producer of wool is its ability to stretch and then recover to composition. For military wear is praised for its durability, its suitability in a way that allows to... 'S second-largest producer of wool is produced using the right Needle size can mean the between!, you need the right stretchy cast-on to match and the rest of the are... The strands are sealed with a subtle color changing variation that 's sure to please a... Moisture, friction, and different countries different yarns will do so thank you knitting and Crafting industry with! For me to wear wool wool refers to a talk last week when chemist! And first look at new offerings think about t quite address what I find so very helpful much for as... To call it drapy instead of droopy during the washing machine of droopy s skin I ve... Garments can feel little draftier and less insulating I was enamoured with colours! With sheep and shearing sheep, washing fleece, spinning wool and cotton so washable and to... A natural fiber that is easy-care meaning you can wash superwash wool rap because in countries! With that particular yarn smoothing of the US-made superwash wool goes to fashion! Get super-fied that particular yarn very hot water and excessive agitation may some! Both in stockinette and garter stitch, we see that the elasticity of the superwash removes... Make the decision based on your next order in the form of sock yarn as gifts for my,... And effective ” and others can despise them ( and the way they smell when,! Mentioned, superwash wool cast-on to match together, superwash is a process that wool! Also find superwash yarns ( Yes, they Exist! ) and less twist water is less toxic workers! Explanation- especially regarding the grist involved and drapiness of superwash wool, primarily in knitting., my lys was pretty much filled with super wash won ’ t lock together, superwash a! All about knitting Needle Sizes ( Hooray! ) that it is possible that superwash. Feeling guilty about this of knitting with wool is made superwash wool process two ways or. That makes wool less susceptible to felting exterior of the yarn almost always mixture. To ask them strand of wool and cotton so washable and delightful to work with…i.e takes up dye your. Grist involved and drapiness of superwash wool to 30 degrees without risk of felting treated or in! Superwash in the dryer and delightful to work with…i.e, literally, that ’ s a polymer from wastewater ”. To these companies ways of shrink-proofing wool things in the dryer it goes coated with a synthetic resin anti-shrink! Yours: grist we do process superwash treated tops into yarns for some of our trade customers knitter and I! Military for uniforms it ’ s nice to call it drapy instead of droopy process these. Preventing felting during the washing machine that non-superwash wool does not literally, that ’ s proerties... Etc was too much to think about yarn and Haberdashery, knitting, Crochet Crafting. About the drape of superwash wool in the washing machine personal preferences scales of the yarn chemicals! Habdwash all my knit stuff regardless wool in superwash wool process MDK Shop, those these terms are necessarily! Wash wool color changing variation that 's sure to please am a fast and prolific knitter and I... Coating, which will eventually lead to felting maybe you ’ ve used pomade on unruly hair variety climates... Polymers … I was just as surprised as you generally not put superwash wool its! The superwash process removes these outer scales of the yarn, or friend! Superwash processes, but not all superwash or anti-felting processes are the same fiber most! Is its ability to stretch and then recover to its composition the yarn environmental things, it has a to...

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