Washing Tips for Fine Fibers and Fabrics
To test for color fastness, place a swatch of the fabric in a jar with water and the cleaning agent you intend to use. Shake the jar and watch to see if the water significantly changes color. Alternatively, dampen an inside seam or small area of fabric; after a few minutes, blot with a white cotton cloth. If color appears on the cloth, use caution.
When you put your finished project in water and a good deal of that color ends up in the water it is called ‘crocking’ or 'bleeding'. While this can happen with any dyed item, it is typically more noticeable with hand dyes. We work very hard to ensure that our hand dyed yarns do NOT bleed, however, occasionally it will happen. If you have a garment that is bleeding, please contact us as we have a few methods to correct this issue.
With hand-dyed yarns especially, sometimes you will see some dye coming off a bit onto your hands and needles as you work. The colors which do this are typically the deeper, richer tones; for this reason, extra precautions such as rinsing yarn prior to knitting knitting with it is not unreasonable when these darker colors will abut with lighter colors in the finished object. It has been our experience is that the garment will wash fine and not fade. However, if your experience is different, please contact us.
If you are experiencing bleeding, typically a simple soak in warm water and mild detergent such as allure, followed by a rinse will bleed out all of the remaining color. If the color is still bleeding, perhaps the color did not set well during the dyeing process and you will need to wash and rinse again, adding a small amount of white vinegar and salt along with the detergent (we recommend 8 cups hot water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup table salt). We have never seen the yarn need more than this to correct the issue, however, your experience is different, please contact us.
In general, it is better to soak entire garments rather than just a specific spot unless you can first test the fiber on a swatch or seam; pre-soaking agents can cause dyes to run and should always be used with caution.
This is simple: NEVER use chlorine bleach on protein fibers.
Please, never use fabric softeners on quality fibers, hand knits, or delicate fabrics. Fabric softeners can make dyes run or leave a waxy residue on the materials. Many also contain bleach, whiteners or brighteners, which may cause unwanted changes in the colors and, in some cases, will damage fibers.
- Grease (includes butter, oil, polish, wax): Use a liquid detergent and neutralize with vinegar before washing. If using a spot remover, test on an inside seam first.
- Non-grease (includes alcohol, blood, tea, food): Some stains can be permanently set by heat, so be sure the stain is gone before washing/drying at hot temperature. Blot the stain or run cool water through opposite side of the stain. For stains on protein fibers, press liquid detergent onto back of stain and soak in cool water. On vegetable fibers, press in a paste of powdered detergent, soak in oxygen bleach and follow with a detergent wash. Blood usually responds to soaking in cool water; rubbing an ice cube over the stain is often effective as well.
- Other: Ink: use alcohol or hair spray. Nail polish: acetone remover. Grass: rubbing alcohol, but it may loosen dye as well, so use with caution. Mildew: soak in detergent and hang in the sun (not recommended for wool). Fresh fruit or fruit juice: place stained area over a bowl and pour boiling water through until stain disappears (use caution on wool).