- Superwash wool can be hand or machine washed on the gentle cycle in cold water.
- Regular wool or wool blend yarn must be washed by hand in cold water or it will felt and shrink. This also goes for Alpaca, Llama, and Buffalo...(yes there is such a thing as Buffalo yarn!)
- Cotton, linen and ramie yarn can be washed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle using either cold or warm water
- Acrylic and other synthetic yarns can be washed and dried in with your regular laundry as they do not shrink.
- Unknown fiber content items should be hand washed in cold water and laid flat to dry....that way you can't go wrong!
- There are several options for cleaning your knit garments. My advice is to use a very mild detergent that is specially designed for hand knits. Specialty detergents containing contain lanolin are available, such as Kookaburra Wool Wash. Lanolin is a natural oil produced by sheep and helps preserve wool fibers and increases the natural property of water resistance of wool. You can find some very gentile cleansers here at Knit Picks that will be wonderful for your garments.
- If you are on a budget, a nice baby shampoo or gentile shampoo will do the trick!
Hand Washing Tips
- Gently agitate the knitted item in the water. Never wring or scrub.
- Drain the sink and add fresh, cold water for rinsing. Repeat this process until all the water is clear and free of suds.
- Gather the garment together in a towel or support it underneath with something so as not to cause it to stretch while you transfer it to the drying area.
Reshape and Dry
- Lay a dry bath towel on a flat surface large enough to hold your garment with arms extended if appropriatSqueeze out the excess water and lay item flat on a dry towel and roll up in the towel. Press firmly after rolling up...I usually jump on the towel to remove the excess water!. Place the knitted item on the dry towel and reshape into its original shape. Pat it into shape; avoid tugging or pulling. Gently push the ribbing together at the neckline, wrists and waist. At this time be sure to pat the collar in shape, as well as fastening any buttons.
- Allow the item to dry for 24 hours. If the garment hasn't dried completely flip it over and reshape gently and allow it to dry for several more hours.
- Once its dry, fold the garment and put it away. Never hang a garment that has been knit or crocheted as it will stretch it out of shape.