I like them for my grand kiddos garments…but I used a Superwash to knit Marie Greene’s Foxtrot KAL. Knit it too loosely, & yes, it will stretch. Good luck, and, Happy Knitting! Superwash yarn feels delightful; it’s smooth and supple. Trying to decide if that is a big mistake. Most of the wool comes from China where they process it into superwash using toxic chemicals to remove the scales, and resins/ plastics to coat it. I use superwash for socks and I will use it on every once in a while on shawls/mitts/hats (for the ability to wash and dry more easily), but for the most part I avoid it. It’s one of the few wool yarns I could wear next to my neck. They tend to be very silky and lovely to wear, although my experience was that they will pill. 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. Oh, what a enlightening article! So informative. If you are a lace knitter, particularly with a penchant for lace shawls, the smooth heaviness of superwash gives your piece swing. What do you look for if you don’t want yarn to pill? The longer the staple, the less likely the fiber is to pill. Sock yarn is almost always a mixture of acrylic for elasticity and superwash wool. My impression of superwash is that it is really stretchy compared to “regular” wool. With wool, staple length varies greatly, which is why some wool pills much more than others (another factor is the crimp or straightness of the fiber). Together with woo/acrylic blends, they’re hard to beat for children’s & young adult gifts. Purses, clothing patches, jackets, even pillows. Had NO clue at the time as to why. Superwash producers use a chlorinated gas to erode the scales from the fiber strands. It is the perfect combination of affordability, quality and versatility that can be used for a wide range of projects. Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted Superwash Yarn is available now at Jimmy Beans Wool with Free U.S. Flat Rate shipping for orders over $75, $5 U.S. Flat Rate shipping on all other orders! Color is always what always brings me to superwash yarn. Also, it seems to pill more. But I don’t like the softness. Let’s go! Specially the hats I don’t wet block because I don’t want them to get huge. Alpaca is supposed to be hypoallergenic as compared to sheep’s wool as it doesn’t have the lanolin sheep’s wool has. the wool itself does not come from China, but because of the rules of international trade its country of origin is listed as China if it has been spun, dyed, or superwash treated there. No one will be surprised that my gauge is different with superwash yarn. A compromise for the sake of convenience. To further reduce the “stickiness” of the fiber, the strands are sealed with a polymer or resin called Hercosett 125. Superwash is a process that makes wool less susceptible to felting when it is washed and dried by machine. I would appreciate any feedback. The superwash treatment makes the wool easier to wash, and it also keeps the yarn from expanding or blooming as much as it would in its natural state when wet finished. Local customers may select the Pickup option when placing orders online. Thanks! Similarly, a medium-high wool content and an admonition to handwash only in cool water means that yarn will probably felt if you encourage it. Love this environmently friendly wash cloth idea. 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. I, like many others who commented, prefer non-superwash outside of sock knitting and gifts for people who won’t hand wash. Great article. FK is a mostly self-taught knitter who has opinions on things. This results in a yarn that is generally stretchier than natural wool because the strands slide past, rather than cling to, each other. And pill. Superwash wool was the answer to our desire to machine wash and dry our knits. Instead I have a stash of polyester/acrylic that I use for hats and mittens etc for the family. Sign up for our weekly newsletter full of MDK fun, and you'll save 10% on your next order. Then I washed it and VOILA it stretched to the pattern! Even though most are machine dry, they often last longer if they are dried on a line (or laid flat to dry). The hand is how a knitted fabric feels. 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. Merino generally feels soft and stays together, whereas I find Mohair/Angora is generally itchy and sheds a lot so I breathe it in. Garments made with alpaca wool eventually will show some pilling, especially where there is a lot of friction, like underneath the armpits. So…..as beautiful as the yarn looks, I’m a non-superwash-lover ! My biggest complaint about the fibers I can use is that they tend not to have much spring in them. That’s why baby alpaca easier on my skin than standard alpaca; fewer of those guard hairs. So back to the drawing board. Share on Social. ? They say you can put superwash in the dryer(gasp) to get it back to size. Please let us know about them. ), but the recipients would not appreciate hand was or dry clean gifts. Swans Island has a sport, dk & aran. Do I lie in bed at night feeling guilty about this? I avoid Superwash if I’m knitting for myself or for somebody that I know I can trust to hand wash. I’d much rather use some lovely Shetland, Blue Face Leicester or alpaca yarn that mellows with age. When it comes to most sweater knitting I love a non-superwash wool if you/the recipient can handle the feel of it. I’m not a sock knitter but might consider using SW for that. If you’re choosing a pattern on Ravelry, I highly recommend looking through the projects people have made. The superwash process also makes the yarn that is slightly softer. As one who uses superwash for a lot of gifts, I have knitted a lot of samples (my word for swatch) to look at the colors and patterns. Double whammy! Superwash is actually more elastic than acrylic. I contacted my local, much loved woollen mills (Bendigo Woollen Mills ) where I buy a lot of knitting yarn to use in my weaving projects. Thanks. This yarn comes in 50g / 32m balls. So it is gonna get saggy and smelly. Most knitters who are not allergic or sensitive to wool love using that natural fiber for warmth, springiness, and great wearing in garments. I am fading away from the “superwash”. I haven’t used superwash yarns before, but now I can since I understand what it means….thanks again. Thank you for the eye opening article on Superwash yarns! ), but at the same time, can affect the ability for those stitches to hold their shape, and – most frustratingly – shows off inconsistency (boo!). the wool itself does not come from China, but because of the rules of international trade its country of origin is listed as China if it has been spun, dyed, or superwash treated there. But then, so will untreated wool. The removal and coating of the scales also affect how superwash wool takes up dye. What has influenced your decision? Supposedly the manufacturing process is kinder to the environment. This article is very informative. My goodness… I bought Cloudborn superwash yarn and the crochet stitches were tighter than what was projected on the pattern. It feels heavy for merino yarn, but it’s a languorous heft. (And yes, I raise alpacas). And you should generally not put superwash wool in the dryer. Now I know not to block like I would other yarn. ), had a worsted & a dk weight (Luna & Selene) and they both were wonderful. Superwash wool also resists felting in items that are exposed to a fair amount of moisture and movement, like socks. I like them a lot. When you have a wool garment that pills, there are also several reasons why this happens. I’m not an expert by any stretch, but I’ve read that there is concern about the large amount of chemicals that are flushed into the waste water during the superwash treatment process. Is there any “best” way for changing threads (eg Russian join, knot) in superwash? Oh wow how serendipitous this post was!!!! All about Knitting Needle Sizes (Hooray!). Is that a good combination? I do not care about washability, but it is more likely to be next to skin soft. My favorite yarns are both superwash: malabrigo Rios and malabrigo chunky. I’d appreciate a piece clarifying and comparing the environmental costs of non-fuzzy animal choices (superwash, synthetics) and maybe others as well (cotton, bamboo, linen must go through some processing as well). It’s coated with plastic. N.B. I breakout in a lovely rash. I am a knitting newbie…..with a wool allergy. However if the garment is likely to be machine-washed (mainly for babies and children with very busy parents), I use a yarn that will stand up reasonably to the process, either Superwash wool, cotton or a mixture like Baby Bamboo. Did NOT realize all this was true about Superwash. A long time ago I only knitted with acrylic. I have had eczema all of my life, and one of my triggers is definitely guard hairs (not sure what they’re called with fiber animals, but that’s what they are on dogs!). There are the very occasional stiff hairs, but those are easy to pull away as you knit. I made a second sweater “Roger”, but this time a little tighter tension and have not blocked yet. Weight: Bulky (5) Contents: 100% Superwash Wool Skein Weight: 3.5 oz. It doesn’t stretch out any more than any other type of wool yarn as long as you knit it to the proper gauge. Superwash yarns, especially superwash merino, are some of the most loved yarns in the knitting world. In this article, I’m going to attempt to outline what superwash woollen yarn is in a factual manner. Felting is a natural but sometimes unwanted property of the wool fiber. My only guess is that as a breed merino was isolated a long time ago and is just…different. If I go inside wearing it, I break out in a sweat immediately – and moisture does not get wicked away like with non-superwash. 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. Should say Tanis Fiber Arts. Pictured above are three superwash merino yarns, from the top: Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Sock (shade: Hampden), Malabrigo Rios (shade: Apple Green), and Fiberstory Core Bulky (shade: Flutter). You may have seen “Superwash” wool written on the label of a yarn hank and wondered what exactly this distinction meant. The sweater pattern was knit with a merino, alpaca, silk blend. Superwash wool refers to a type of yarn that has been treated to prevent felting and therefore is … Absolutely not. Without prior knowledge even researching the ‘ingredients’ isn’t easy. It is your go to yarn if your punch needle project will get a lot of wear. but it is plasticated! Tania Fiber Arts have a non-superwash washable yarn and so do Rosy Green Wool. Pilling has more to do with how tightly a yarn is spun, rather than superwash treatment. That’s easy: washability (duh), softness and color. 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. Some types of fabrics are typically made out of shorter wool fibre. So I began to stabilize the ‘samples’ I made with whatever I had on hand: I added thread for light yarns, usually in an matching color to make it invisible. This yarn contains: Superwash Wool (68%), Alpaca (29%) and Polyester (3%) This yarn has more drape. Is there a difference between superwash and “real” in how prone to run a bright yarn is? Do you use or shun superwash wool? If you take fine wool, like merino, and superwash it, the resulting yarn will be pretty soft. This post provides an overview of superwash wool and how to treat it, as well as a few things to consider before purchasing it. Characteristics of wool also vary greatly among breeds. One is to strip or dull the scales of a fiber, then fill the irregularities left behind with a polymer to smooth the fiber. Knit it too loosely, & yes, it will stretch. Sigh. It does become very soft though but I usually knit with it for that drape. I also seem to have trouble with alpaca. My friend in the photo is holding two damp swatches. I don't notice any difference from regular wool. These articles are fascinating; opening up a new world of knowledge for me. Thank you! YES!! I have heard people complain that cotton is stiff or hurts their hands, but the ones I’ve used don’t really bother me. Some people told me to knit the small instead of the medium and other people told me to keep the size but decrease the needles. (Superwash yarns therefore are not candidates for gauge shifting.). link to All about Knitting Needle Sizes (Hooray! There are some wonderful cottons out there, and I’m currently making myself a cotton pullover that I can use to transition into fall. Because more dye makes a deeper color, and altering the scales on the fiber allows for increased absorption of dye. I’m so confused what yarn would work best. (Many acrylics can pill, too.) When it’s knit looser than suggested gauge it really doesn’t hold the shape of the stitches well, dry or wet. Why does wool pilling occur? Still, too soft for my taste…. So colourful! So they may be better for accessories than a hard-wearing sweater. Anecdotally speaking, I also find superwash yarns to look a little bit shinier than those made of natural wool. I use superwash when making things for my granddaughter, because my daughter won’t handwash. Thank you! And yes, dearies, there is always silk, and then linen, bamboo, cotton, hemp and other scrumptious fibers. I usually knit hats and scarves with them. But I still prefer good old wool. A beautiful sweater that was truly warm — without making me sweaty — was pretty elusive. / Superwash Yarn. Experienced knitters know that using the right needle size can mean the difference between a well-fitting and overly large sweater. Here are some helpful tips when washing 220 Superwash®: I have heard recently that some people in the U.S. are making it using less toxic methods. Over the years, I’ve knit a lot of socks for my mom, mostly out of superwash wool. Superwash wool refers to a type of yarn that has been treated to prevent felting and therefore is machine-washable. She also mentioned how it squeaks when knitted, and how it stretches out. Organic cotton and linen are MY current favorites. I made a Boxy Pullover out of Superwash Malabrigo Rios and it seems to pill. A single facility was built for the superwash process to ensure military requirements are met. BTW…can’t get Anny Blatt in Australia any more…. Keep up with her exploits at jillianmoreno.com. They also work just fine for mitts & hats as long as you pay attention to your gauge. While it was blocking my cat pulled two very long strands out from the front panel. I was confused and just continued. You can often find her on the couch, eating snacks and knitting furiously (in both senses of the word). The fibres will also be entangled because of curly fibre. Ready to knit from outside of the ball! 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. There are many wonderful things about superwash merino wool but it wouldn’t be fair to tout its benefits without sharing its drawbacks. The wind blows right through the fabric although it’s knit really tightly so I get cold. It is jamieson and smith for me all the way now . Shorter fibres have the tendency to create pills. On the other hand, I don’t think that it is necessary to feel ashamed by your knitting purchases either. Those scales are the main factor behind felting -- as the scales are rubbed together, they interlock with one another. I knit furiously, meaning that I am a fast and prolific knitter and that I swear loudly every time I drop a stitch. Thank you for this insight into super wash wool. Loosely spun yarn will pill, regardless of fiber. I’ve heard of acrylic squeaking, but not superwash yarn, ever. If the yarn were not superwash it would have almost no bend, instead it hangs there like Droopy Dog. I’m surprised because it grows a lot! I’ve learned to be extra careful wet blocking superwash garments, and I expect them to take a little longer to dry because of the density of the yarn. Same here. The yarn cannot be trusted over that weight of fitted fabric. I am terribly allergic to non-superwashed 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). That is one flat cable. If your choice is for "Superwash" wool, it is important to remember that it is more elastic - making a sample is necessary. Autocorrected! Started using super wash wool this past year for baby things and went on to make a crib blanket in it and was generally disappointed. Two questions: How about a guide to the most vivid colors in non-superwash yarns? Coating the yarn, like putting pomade on your hair, compresses and smoothes the fibers, making the yarn dense and even. Why? I encourage you to read up about it and make the decision based on your personal preferences. Reason #3: Curly fibre. Purchasing is, at a very small level, voting with your money. Depending on your personal tolerance for plastic, you may decide that superwash wool is not something that you are interested in buying. The stuff is just no longer “wool” as you do well describe. Why does knitwear pill? Hi! I usually knit my scarves a little bit shorter because after blocking it becomes longer. I want to make these great slippers I found on YouTube. The yarn compresses since some of the structure is missing. Shorter staple fibers tend to create a halo around yarn, which is quite beautiful, but encourages pilling … A compromise for the sake of convenience.”. I'm the Furious Knitter (FK), and I write KNIT FURIOUSLY to share what I've learned from over 15 years of knitting. But choice is useful. So far, I have used superwash because minus scales I seem to be okay. The hand of the fabric and stitch definition are often the spots where love either blooms or dies on the vine for the knitter considering superwash yarn for projects that are not socks. I always need to have a good woolly project going at the same time to cleanse my pallet after all the slickness of the superwash. But then, so will untreated wool. Merino definitely ain’t silk. But that doesn’t necessarily follow! If the scales can’t lock together, then the knitted item can be tossed into the washing machine with reckless abandon (sort of).