is superwash wool itchy

I was shocked the first time I felt the Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift yarn, which is used for iconic Fairisle sweaters. In this case, my go-to method for a quick test is to rub the yarn against an area of delicate skin. I do not care about washability, but it is more likely to be next to skin soft. It is also why regular wool is not considered to be hypoallergenic while alpaca wool is considered to be hypoallergenic. For me this shows up most when superwash yarns are wet. So colourful! I use it for gifts because even those who know better sometimes pitch a scarf or hat into the wash without thinking, although I did knit myself a sweater from superwash because, YES, the COLOR! However, this is not the best way to determine if the yarn will be itchy. 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. Coarser wools - aran /icelandic type stuff makes lovely outer wear -warm and weather proof but not next to the skin. Even though some researchers still consider wool an unlikely allergen, recent data has identified a specific component of lanolin that may … Because the fibers aren’t hanging on to each other, superwash yarns work best if knit tightly to help give them some of the structure that they are missing. Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Yarn - Worsted Merino Superwash from Plymouth is a fabulous yarn. Some wool fabric makers try to do what is called superwash the regular wool to remove the lanolin and to make it more hypoallergenic. I know there’s a lot of debate back and forth on Superwash to begin with, but this completely gives me a different sense of perspective to consider in the future. I know my shepherdess and her sheep, and I like buying yarn from her because I like supporting local farmers. Isn’t there a test you can do with yarn samples that will identify plastic coatings on yarn, a burn test? That is one flat cable. Still, too soft for my taste…. I guess the merino puzzle in my case may be because allergies mean I’m very sensitive to generally itchy fibres (mohair, alpaca with long guard hairs, even my own hair) as well as allergic to specific fibres if I inhale them or they get into my skin. If the yarn were not superwash it would have almost no bend, instead it hangs there like Droopy Dog. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 97, 906-915. It does become very soft though but I usually knit with it for that drape. It slumps on the body. ? This machine-washable and dryable yarn offers you a selection of solid and heathered colors that will compliment any project. I am a knitting newbie…..with a wool allergy. It doesn’t stretch out any more than any other type of wool yarn as long as you knit it to the proper gauge. Merino definitely ain’t silk. In addition, wool that is extremely soft and smooth (especially superwash) will not naturally cling to itself as readily as coarser yarns. That’s why you’re not going to see merino wool towels hit the market any time soon. I blamed the design, but this was unfair I realize. It is the yarn most indie dyers use. So if it’s so soft, why don’t we all just knit with 100% Merino all the time? I’m talking less about sock yarns and sock knitting, and more about using superwash yarns for knitting garments or accessories. Zallmann et al. I also find it a little bit more fragile. In doing this research, I was surprised to find that modern research indicates that wool allergies may not–gasp— even exist! It's perfect for your favorite shawl pattern. Expensive yes; but really soft. Is there any “best” way for changing threads (eg Russian join, knot) in superwash? 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!). Asking a superwash yarn to have superior stitch definition is like trying to thread cooked angel hair pasta through the eye of a needle. I have used two different brands of ‘eco-wash’ superwash wool, which uses a different process for neutralizing the scales on the fiber. These days, pretty much anything I knit will pill and I have used a great variety of brands including chain yarn. I was confused and just continued. However, bear in mind that the processing of superwash affects the natural absorbency of wool and may cause more moisture to accumulate on your skin, leading to other discomfort and irritation. Disclaimer: I will be using "itchy" and "scratchy" interchangeably and incorrectly throughout but I'm doing it intentionally to be gramatically whimsical. Sometimes a superwash wool will be a little softer. I’ve heard of acrylic squeaking, but not superwash yarn, ever. Love this article! I’ll never use it for a sweater again. Thanks. I was wondering the same… Gonna have to get myself some and find out…. I usually knit hats and scarves with them. I’m that knitter that likes to find the yarn first and then a pattern. A recent review of various literature from the past hundred years found that the wool fiber itself does not cause allergic reactions, just irritation. The would like to hear about them. Do you have any experience making garments with this yarn? I’m surprised because it grows a lot! But that doesn’t necessarily follow! Superwash wool is a tried-and-true favorite of so many fiber artists because it is deliciously soft, a natural fiber, and you can wash it! The colors are gorgeous, but I would have to wear any garment made of Jamieson’s over top of a long-sleeved tee-shirt. Worsted Merino Superwash: 1—100g skein EACH for the Hat or Mitts color 56 Aquamarine Gauge: 20 sts, 28 rows = 4” in st st on US Size 7 (4.5mm) after blocking, 12 sts= 1 ¾â€ in Cable Pattern on US Size 7 (4.5mm) after blocking. My daughter and son-in-law are both too busy to be handwashing garments, but they ALL love it when I knit for them. Thank you for the wonderful article on superwash yarns. Double whammy! So far, we’ve seen that a blanket avoidance of sheep’s wool is not necessary to prevent itchiness. Plastic is now believed to be in our water cycle. This is partly due to the demand from their customers and friends. But I don’t like the softness. Depends on the brand, & the superwash process used, but generally speaking yes, superwash yarns do need to go through a warm dryer. Sweaters with superwash are a recipe for disaster and disappointment. 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). Case in point, a Better Bucket hat knit for my sister in Malabrigo Rios would have fit a basketball when it came out of a handwash bath in Eucalan. A soft, undercoat-like fiber is wonderful, but I feel every little guard hair that’s gotten caught in there, and they make me break out. At the same time, we can buy non-s/w wool that has been raised locally or at least in the US. Some knitters find that their sensitive skin can tolerate alpaca, angora, and cashmere. When you’re starting out, you may gauge the softness of wool by squeezing the ball or skein when you’re at your local yarn store. Merino wool, on the other hand, is ultra-fine, giving it a soft quality. Did NOT realize all this was true about Superwash. inches after wet blocking. Here 8n Australia you can buy merino undergarments. Now, I am new to blocking and try to do it right but I now have a sweater I can’t wear. I have heard recently that some people in the U.S. are making it using less toxic methods. I’ve never liked superwash and only use it for gifted baby things. For the most part I have never had family or friends who knit (online has been an all time bonus! Thank you! You may have more luck with baby alpaca (suri) than just “alpaca”. It would be interesting to include discussion of the chemical process used when creating superwash yarns. How it’s processed makes a big difference in how the skin reacts to it. 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. Merino generally feels soft and stays together, whereas I find Mohair/Angora is generally itchy and sheds a lot so I breathe it in. 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. There are a few reasons why this wool different from the others: Fiber lengthMerino wool has an excellent fiber length. Oh wow how serendipitous this post was!!!! The young sheep provide soft, fine wool that makes for great clothing and home items. I just finished a gorgeous sweater in Rios and after washing and blocking it is much larger than expected. I use the dryer and find it shapes back up. Many people erroneously think that they simply cannot wear knitted garments, but it might actually be the type of fiber or how the yarn was processed that affects them. The people who try to tell you merino wool is super soft are probably the same ones who tell you so-and-so veggie burger tastes exactly like real beef. Finally, acrylic and other synthetic fibers are an option if sheep’s wool is simply not an option for you or the recipient of your knitting. Wow thanks for this article! These fibers simply are not as strong and durable as yarns made from thicker, coarser ones. I hope pattern designers make an effort to indicate if super wash is appropriate for a given pattern. Brilliant article, I had no idea there was such a difference, thank you so much!! If you are a lace knitter, particularly with a penchant for lace shawls, the smooth heaviness of superwash gives your piece swing. Thanks! I’ve knit all kinds of things out of superwash yarn in a variety of gauges, and the knitting and the resulting fabric are never quite what I expect. True, they aren’t as enjoyable in the hand as knitting with an animal fiber, but it’s hardly a struggle. would that include colorwork issues? I like them a lot. This is what gives wool it's itchy feel and it's remarkable ability to shed water, body oils, etc. Merino wool is the finest fiber, with a diameter of 10-15 microns, and many consider it to be the softest. My only guess is that as a breed merino was isolated a long time ago and is just…different. Jill thank you for a great lesson. I’m so confused what yarn would work best. Not cashmere, soft as it is, not bunny. Also polymer does not equal plastic. It’s coated with plastic. This method of testing seems like a lot of hassle, but just imagine how much worse it is to buy all the yarn, knit the entire sweater, and then hate how it feels. FK is a mostly self-taught knitter who has opinions on things. Having tested allergic to everything with fur or feathers, wool and hair included, I can nonetheless wear high quality merino next to my skin. Should say Tanis Fiber Arts. I will research that before buying. Merino is prized for a low micron count and is one of the softest wool available. Thank you. Wool is made “superwash” by running it through an acid bath. I am looking for a yarn for a sweater pattern. Sign up for our weekly newsletter full of MDK fun, and you'll save 10% on your next order. Superwash yarns remind me of my neighbor’s cat: beautiful, and when you pet her in exactly the right place she happily purrs. My friend in the photo is holding two damp swatches. What do these yarns look like when used in a crochet? Buffalo! Two questions: How about a guide to the most vivid colors in non-superwash yarns? The thick wool uniform was like wearing a sweatsuit. It has the outer "scales" removed and is pretty itch free. Itchy. I haven’t been able to find out much about the processes used though. Why do we love them so much? It is important to remember that the softness of finer wools comes with a trade-off. It squeaks! Instead of swearing off knitted items for good, learn about the factors that contribute to the dreaded itchiness. 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. I now know to avoid Superwashed wool when structure is important (not much of an issue since I mostly do socks). In fact, wool very rarely causes allergic reactions and does not promote growth of bacteria, which is part of its secret to remaining fresh and clean through many wears. Experienced knitters know that using the right needle size can mean the difference between a well-fitting and overly large sweater. Someone told me it was because it was washable wool but I didn’t quite believe it until now! I use crochet thread sometimes to support heavier yarns. Now I know why I keep buying superwash even though I tell myself I prefer “real” wool — it’s the color. Items made of softer yarns will pill and wear out quickly, so consider how durable and long-lasting you want your finished item to be when picking yarn. It makes me nervous to think of extra drape ‘releasing’ the ends….. Our Valley Yarns Valley Superwash is made from 100% extra fine Merino wool, and it's machine-washable in cold water with a mild detergent or Eucalan. So it is gonna get saggy and smelly. 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. A micron is one-millionth of a meter or about .00004 inches. It also reduces pilliness. Lambswool is a multi-purpose natural fiber that is a favorite among knitters and spinners. The Myth of the Lanolin Allergy. Unlike other wool fibers, Merino wool is very fine and thin. For example, “lamb’s wool” comes from sheep that are less than eight months of age and typically feels softer and finer than wool from older animals. My own kids had real wool sweaters that I washed carefully. Are there other great fibers that would work for me besides wearing a turtleneck under all my projects? I always put a towel or two in with it. Even though most are machine dry, they often last longer if they are dried on a line (or laid flat to dry). Then I washed it and VOILA it stretched to the pattern! All about Knitting Needle Sizes (Hooray!). The original poster brought up the extremely useful point that you should not waste your time knitting wool garments for people who think wool is too itchy. I’ve spun wool, starting right from the sheep, and the lanolin makes my hands soft; they don’t break out. This is such a good article! Let’s go! Thanks Jillian. Autocorrected! Thread did not seem to change the gauge, but supported the weight. Irritating. Is there a difference between superwash and “real” in how prone to run a bright yarn is? When the yarn hits the water all of my beautiful knitting goes limp like a tired toddler asked to pick up toys (shrieking, optional). Been knitting for 45 years and I didn’t know this. Have you tried yak or camel? However, some of the softest yarns on the market these days are wool yarns and wool blends. 5 out of 5 stars (63) 63 reviews $ 5.54. A long time ago I only knitted with acrylic. Color is always what always brings me to superwash yarn. Zallmann, Michaela; Smith, Pete K.; Tang, Mimi L. K.; Spelman, Lynda J.; Cahill, Jennifer L.; Wortmann, Gabriele; Katelaris, Constance H.; Allen, Katrina J.; Su, John C. (2017). I usually knit my scarves a little bit shorter because after blocking it becomes longer. Swans Island has a sport, dk & aran. And another thing: odors stay in the fabric untill they’re washed – with non-superwash it’s enough to air the garment. I also worry about the enviromental impact – though some company’s use “eco methods” (though I don’t know enough about the process to feel confident about it). I am a crocheter. Again, making it a great option for conveniences’ sake. Thank you! I’ve seen knitters blame themselves for superwash knitting that goes a little awry, but as I always say: it’s not you; it’s the yarn. In addition, it was itchy. Thank you! Specially the hats I don’t wet block because I don’t want them to get huge. Instead, you want to look for yarns that are made with finer fibers that don’t irritate the skin. 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 is why superwash yarns are great for socks.). But the bad news: wool can be prickly. I’d like to make them in something soft but wont stretch out. I use superwash when making things for my granddaughter, because my daughter won’t handwash. Forest floor - 20g mini skein - 4ply platinum sock yarn - 75/25 BFL (Blue-faced Leicester) superwash wool and nylon - green, brown, gold sillylittlesheep. I knit furiously, meaning that I am a fast and prolific knitter and that I swear loudly every time I drop a stitch. Superwash yarn feels delightful; it’s smooth and supple. Looking forward to it! The scales on fiber are what help yarns hold together when they are spun and plied. For example, if you’ve seen “Merino wool” advertised on storebought sweaters, that is most likely a marketing tactic to capitalize on the association with fineness and quality. 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. (Also, camel! Is it soft or rough, stiff or drapey? Merino turns the notion that wool is itchy and uncomfortable completely on its head. My favorite yarns are both superwash: malabrigo Rios and malabrigo chunky. You have the warmth of wool, plenty of yardage and the added benefit of machine washability! It’s also worth noting that merino, like all wools, takes ages to dry, stretches out, is ‘warmer when wet’ when compared to cotton, rather than being truly warm, and wears out quickly, which is why it’s so often blended with synthetics. Superfine and ultrafine Merino wool do not activate sufficient c-fibres to cause itch, are … But it’s not scratchy like regular wool, either. Try to find projects that were made with the type of yarn you’ll be using (or similar). The takeaway: Come for the color and softness, but arm yourself with a little knowledge about how this yarn likes to be knit. Polymers can be either natural or manmade. Are there other great fibers that would work for me besides wearing a turtleneck under all my projects? And don’t discount cottons. DILLING’s organic range is an example of untreated wool. A quick trip through the dryer (warm/permapress setting) in a lingerie bag, but along with other regular laundry, & the Rios snapped back to its originally knitted size. There are so very many different yarns available from which to choose, that I bet you’ll be able to find some that are just right for you. SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash Worsted **POWER BOOST - 100%** This machine-washable worsted weight yarn is a workhorse and suitable for just about everything. My next sweater is going to have colorwork and all three skeins are superwash. Jillian Moreno spins, knits and weaves just so she can touch all of the fibers. The wool is soft and comfortable to wear. However, according to recent medical research, this condition is much rarer (if not non-existent) than the many claims would have you believe. Merino fibers are much finer and softer than standard wool and easy to wear all day. The color of superwash yarn can be concentrated and much brighter than the same color on a non-superwash yarn of the same breed/blend. It balances softness with strength and has a beautiful luster. A fair price but worth it if you can afford them. Even if science eventually determines that a wool allergy is not actually an allergy, that doesn’t mean that wool will magically feel smooth and nice to some people. The knee-jerk reaction to wool can be a reminder of all things itchy, scratchy, uncomfortable, and too warm. Cheap wool will likely be itchy. Unless it’s treated to be superwash. 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. Take another look at the electron microscope picture from above. Please let us know about them. Superwash yarn is extra smooth, and the color is so intense that it looks like a cartoon idea of yarn. Supposedly the manufacturing process is kinder to the environment. Just the ticket for children’s clothes, afghans, charity knitting and gift knitting. I checked the Malabrigo website for any washing tips and it says to dry flat. The lack of elasticity allows your block to hold all of those YOs open. Oh it’s funny! But I want to knit another one and I want to be sure that I’ll have the right size. I don’t use wool for things I knit for my grandchildren due to allergic-type reactions + the machine-washing issue, but have never used superwash because I’d read about the non-elastic problem and the stretching. You live and learn. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Fiddling with the scales on the fibers in the superwash process affects how the fiber behaves. Can you wear itchy wool, or do you opt for soft yarns only? Just my 2 cents worth, but as long as the addition is strong it works for me, ( but you have to remember that I am an improper knitter. Finishing a couple commissioned blanket and was pondering an Autumn sweater for myself in superwash fingering!!!! The sensitive skin around your neck may not tolerate scratchier wools, but your arms and forehead may do just fine with a rugged Shetland sweater or hat. This article is very informative. It balances softness with strength and has a beautiful luster. I mean, does anyone actually want an itchy sweater? You already put your valuable time into your projects … Even if it seems totally smooth, there are still tiny prickly bits that will set me off.). haven’t been able to for a long time. I am a knitting newbie…..with a wool allergy. Over the years I have hand washed and machine washed these (on warm gentle cycle) and they still look and feel fabulous! Pilling has more to do with how tightly a yarn is spun, rather than superwash treatment. A beautiful sweater that was truly warm — without making me sweaty — was pretty elusive. New York, NY: Touchstone. I crochet. (Also, buying an extra skein of yarn to test with gauge swatching is never a bad idea.) Additionally, where you wear the fiber affects the perceived itchiness. This tells me not to stray looser than the suggested gauge. Same goes for sweaters. But even with seemingly soft animal fibers I can have problems. Loosely spun yarn will pill, regardless of fiber. Coating the yarn, like putting pomade on your hair, compresses and smoothes the fibers, making the yarn dense and even. Together with woo/acrylic blends, they’re hard to beat for children’s & young adult gifts. Non Allergenic and Antibacterial While many people claim to have wool allergies, for many they are mistaking an allergy for sensitivity to coarser wool fibers, which can be itchy. That’s why it behaves more like acrylic and not like wool anymore; it’s essentially a mixed fiber. Under this process, there is no need to coat the yarn with resin. When the fibers are shorter, or if wool has a wider fiber length, it will cause an itchy feeling. I also suggest that you investigate different breeds of sheep and keep experimenting with touching wool. As one reader said “some of us are allergic to wool or have super sensitive skin and merino wool is itchy.” Another reader added how “Merino is a short staple wool. Eco-Concerns About Superwash Wool. Knitted gauge according to pattern, but gauge must have looser than called for by the band! And I personally never want to wear anything itchy. However, the enzyme we use is an environmentally friendly enzyme also used in laundry detergent. Having some or all of the scales altered decreases the elasticity a bit, so it’s got extra drape. A lanolin allergy is sometimes cited as the root cause of adverse reactions, but some medical research indicates that no such allergy actually exists (Kligman, 2007). Cutaneous irritation from wool relates to high fibre diameters (≥ 30-32 µm). Most knitters who are not allergic or sensitive to wool love using that natural fiber for warmth, springiness, and great wearing in … Sigh. The breed of sheep, as well as living conditions, diet, and age, etc., all contribute to the diameter of the fibers in the fleece and therefore, its itchiness. 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. (2007) found that fine and ultrafine Merino did not trigger skin irritation, so this is a great place to start. I know about O-Wool eco superwash, what brands did you use? To Be or Not To Be a Hypocrite: American Superwash Wool Maybe your “local shepherdess” ought to learn something about her industry before she mouths off. Raíz by Amores Yarn Studio is dyed just for us in a palette of harmonious contrasts. Love this environmently friendly wash cloth idea. (And, as a plant comparison, linen is a general no-no for me for the same reason. Will heed your advice to not stray from gauge. A person with wool allergies has an allergic response, just like a person with an allergy to cats or pollen would have when they come into contact with those allergens. It’s one of the few wool yarns I could wear next to my neck. It feels dense and squishy. That acid treatment doesn’t make the fiber any thinner or finer of course. Do superwash yarns pill any differently than regular wool? They are twisted around each other, but not locked together. Not all wool yarn is itchy. Can you elucidate? Kligman, Albert M. (2007). But with a bit of a dull knit, variegated thread adds spark. It will instantly soften whatever it’s blended with, as well. Linda. Stay tuned for more info on superwash than could fit in this article, which focuses on how these yarns behave. You are not limited to just sheep’s wool when knitting; there are many fibers out there. I also feel bad about using it – that the yarn has been destroyed, effectively, to make it easier to clean. These altered scales can make the yarn and its resulting fabric  a little tricky. I’m not sure if wearing it next to my bare back/stomach would cause a flare up. I think for those of us who mostly buy online, that’s especially potent — it’s hard to appreciate subtle colors online. Wool that is on a sheep has an oily coating called lanolin, which acts as a natural water repellent and softener. No one will be surprised that my gauge is different with superwash yarn. Why? Ahhh, allergy. Alpaca is supposed to be hypoallergenic as compared to sheep’s wool as it doesn’t have the lanolin sheep’s wool has. I like them for my grand kiddos garments…but I used a Superwash to knit Marie Greene’s Foxtrot KAL. Debunking the Myth of Wool Allergy: Reviewing the Evidence for Immune and Non-immune Cutaneous Reactions. I haven’t used superwash yarns before, but now I can since I understand what it means….thanks again. Also receive daily new post notifications, It’s Not You, It’s the Yarn: Superwash Edition, how to save this article in your MDK account with one click, Knitter’s Notebook: Warm Hats and Good Friends, Yarn Detective: The Mysterious Phenomenon of the Gauge Shifters, Grist: A Secret Measurement for Substituting Yarn, Yarn Detective: Twist and Knitting Style, Part 2, I also seem to have trouble with alpaca. This is why you often see Merino wool used in infant and baby clothing. I wear it anyway even if it was more beautiful before. More chemical pollution in our water we don’t need, right? You can often find her on the couch, eating snacks and knitting furiously (in both senses of the word). link to All about Knitting Needle Sizes (Hooray! The wool is non Superwash. I love the feel & drape of superwash yarns for shawls & scarves, not to mention the intensity of the colors. Reply Anne February 12, 2015 at 1:41 am. Yak! Had NO clue at the time as to why. — and pull them as you knit (as I mention in my other post below). Thicker strands feel itchier and coarser. The defensive line is not as structurally sound. It’s a great approximation of what wearing a sweater made from that yarn would feel like! Should I use Superwash, wool blend, cotton? I struggle with deciding to knit with superwash. And of course knitting means you can frequently recognize them — they stick out from the twist, right? And I love knitting for them, but boy I don’t enjoy the feel of superwash yarns. Like you, Maureen, I only knit with superwash yarns when making garments for our grands. 100% Superwash Merino Wool 4.5-5 sts/inch (US 7-9) 200 yards / 4 oz Machine Wash Cold. This irritation is undeniable, though the severity varies from person to person. Even rugged outdoorsy types might notice: wool against the tender skin at the neck, at the wrists, can be torture. Unsurprisingly, the hairs are finer. If I go inside wearing it, I break out in a sweat immediately – and moisture does not get wicked away like with non-superwash. When I study a yarn, I look and touch first, then I swatch. Does Merino wool itch? Might you share just what the process is that removes the yarns scales? Knit it too loosely, & yes, it will stretch. I'm the Furious Knitter (FK), and I write KNIT FURIOUSLY to share what I've learned from over 15 years of knitting. One good thing, my LYS (Stars Hollow in New Preston, CT) has some superwash that is minimally processed and not coated in plastic. I have learned the hard way, how it can react in a garment if not knit to a tight gauge, but I love it for shawls, accessories, and baby gifts. If you have torn off the offending garment in protest and noticed a rash or red skin, it is most likely due to your skin being irritated by the coarse fibers, not an allergy (Zallmann et al., 2017). Thank you for this insight into super wash wool. A single facility was built for the superwash process to ensure military requirements are met. Wool has been worn for centuries—and for centuries people have itched while wearing wool. Superwash merino is a joy to wear. Your hands are much less sensitive than other parts of your body that may be covered in this finished garment, so they are not the best judge of texture or itchiness. So far, I have used superwash because minus scales I seem to be okay. The insides of my wrists are relatively sensitive, so I put back any yarn that I absolutely can’t stand the feel of in that area. N.B. Some fibers are itchier than others, so with thoughtful selection and know-how, you can find the perfect yarn for your project. But people frequently comment they can’t wear wool because it’s itchy, or uncomfortable or they think they’re allergic to it. No more superwash for me! Since merino wool is super soft & it’s fibre shaft are smoother, those whom only have sensitive skin &/or allergic to lanolin can tolerate superwash wools. (2012). I really want and have wanted to knit with non-superwash wool for years now, but what has stopped me are the colours. But there is something so nice about throwing it in wash and dryer. It’s the Superwash! Other factors that may contribute to itchiness include: The diameter of wool is measured in microns, typically ranging from 8 to 70 microns (Hemmons Hiatt, 2012). While sheep’s wool is notorious for its potential itchiness, lambswool is generally softer and less likely to cause skin irritation. Of course, you will. It is, however also because the fibre absorbs water and dye much more quickly than wool in it’s natural state. Characteristics of wool also vary greatly among breeds. (And yes, I raise alpacas). The worst thing you can knit is the item that you won’t wear. And you have options! Therefore, our wool undergoes an enzyme treatment to remove any itchy hairs from the wool fibres. Is that a misnomer!!! Yeah, superwash yarn is weird. What makes superwash yarns both super and washable is the removal and/or suppression of the tiny scales that cover each individual fiber. Up to this point, after looking and touching, I am deeply in love with superwash yarn, but what happens in the swatching and knitting is what makes me a cautious superwash lover. My goodness… I bought Cloudborn superwash yarn and the crochet stitches were tighter than what was projected on the pattern. If your mom, nephew, or friend says that they find wool itchy, it’s not worth your time and hard work to knit them a beautiful sweater that they won’t wear, even if you think it’s soft. Contact Dermatitis, 39(3), 103-107. Thank you for the info on the coating process. Snippets is the Saturday newsletter full of MDK news, specials, and first look at new offerings. Wollmeise feels like cotton to me. I’ll just have to throw it in the machine and not treat it like he heirloom I was hoping. However, bear in mind that the processing of superwash affects the natural absorbency of wool and may cause more moisture to accumulate on … Superwashed wool I can wear with no problem for the most part. I think the quality of the yarn can make a big difference in the feel and look of a final product. Due to their natural smoothness, they are not likely to cause skin irritation in those who cannot tolerate sheep’s wool. If you’re going to put in the money, and more importantly, the time into hand-knitting something, you should be sure that it is actually something that you or the lucky recipient will feel comfortable wearing. Mechanical? Lambswool is quite literally wool from lambs. So back to the drawing board. I am terribly allergic to non-superwashed wool. And yes, dearies, there is always silk, and then linen, bamboo, cotton, hemp and other scrumptious fibers. Now, I am a yarn snob and want to use wool exclusively. I just used a silk/baby alpaca blend to knit my first cardigan, and it’s lovely. In general, sheep’s wool has a specific reputation for being itchy, so we’ll start with that. Many blends can be machines washed. The hand is how a knitted fabric feels. While it was blocking my cat pulled two very long strands out from the front panel. Merino and those breeds that have a lot of merino in their breeding are my go-to for spinning and yarn buying. This worsted weight yarn is incredibly soft, a great choice for everything from afghans to baby projects, and comes in a wide range of fabulous colors, including shades specially chosen by author, designer, instructor and D.I.Y. I have no other explanation for why something would feel soft in hand, but be unwearable on my neck or back. It may be coated, but it still is a protein fiber at heart and retains many of the inherent properties of protein fibers. Silk is another animal-produced fiber, though it has a distinctive look and does not have the same heat-retaining properties. We commonly wear merino shirts as daily pieces, but they’re also our articles of choice for long-distance activities like backpacking or marathon running. I love malabrigo and I don’t want to stop knitting with it. I want to make these great slippers I found on YouTube. They tend to be very silky and lovely to wear, although my experience was that they will pill. Thank you! A few years ago, I saw an interesting thread on Ravelry (the social network for fiber folk) about the annual tradition of griping about ungrateful recipients of knitted Christmas gifts. A tighter spin, like in the other 2 yarns, makes up for some if the properties that superwash can be lacking in. It combines both the fineness and the micron diameter. And it’s slippery somehow; installing the zipper was a nightmare. Merino wool isn’t itchy _for you_, but it’s itchy for plenty of people. So they may be better for accessories than a hard-wearing sweater. And, of course, blends of all these fibers can tone down the itchiness of 100% wool. Hemmons Hiatt, June. This approach may not work for all with critter allergies or sensitivities but I am ever so happy it works for me. Question: why does some yarn pill and others don’t? Baring that, however, there are simple measures that might alleviate itching and enable a person to wear wool. I was loving my Millamia fair isle WIP – so soft! That said, the colors are so bright and alluring! Yes…more please on what superwashed yarns are treated in the US with healthier chemicals. Trying to decide if that is a big mistake. Superwash wool is still a popular choice for those who like to hand-dye yarns. (You can even do a search through them.) Wool has a reputation for being itchy, primarily due to the make-up of the individual yarn fibers. I think O-Wool is one of them . Because more dye makes a deeper color, and altering the scales on the fiber allows for increased absorption of dye. Instead, she suggests doing the “bra test”: knit a swatch with the potential yarn and tuck it under your bra strap (or in the waistband of your pants for those who don’t wear bras). I would appreciate any feedback. The stuff is just no longer “wool” as you do well describe. I haven’t distinguished between Superwash and other wool when making sweaters for my partner. BTW…can’t get Anny Blatt in Australia any more…. I too fell to the color and washability. When it’s knit looser than suggested gauge it really doesn’t hold the shape of the stitches well, dry or wet. Regular wool has lots of this natural ingredient and that is the main source for wool being so itchy. Many people, my mom included, have been told and/or believe that they have a wool allergy. It feels heavy for merino yarn, but it’s a languorous heft. Consider line drying your superwash wool crochet items. For reference, Merino clocks in between 60 and 90, and the vast majority of wool has a count between 40 and 60. Plastic washes out of fabrics right into our waste water that we will eventually drink. Hand-dyed yarns add an artisanal touch to everything you make. My biggest complaint about the fibers I can use is that they tend not to have much spring in them. The yarn cannot be trusted over that weight of fitted fabric. As someone who suffered with scratchy wool socks & clothing as a child, all in the name of warmth, you can keep the so-called natural stuff for anything but carpets & outerwear that will never come within 5 yards of bare skin. “coat the yarn to smooth it” isn’t fully addressed. You can definitely be allergic any any animal proteins. This is why I don’t buy loosely spun superwash anymore. There are many wonderful things about superwash merino wool but it wouldn’t be fair to tout its benefits without sharing its drawbacks. Better to be sad when choosing a pattern instead of after putting in all of the expense and time of knitting something you don’t love. But then, so will untreated wool. Superwash is actually more elastic than acrylic. Wool Allergies . They give wonderful drape, but the look of the quintessential snuggly woolen sweater still eludes me. My local shepherdess ( who is biased ) told me about superwash, and why she doesn’t like it. The wind blows right through the fabric although it’s knit really tightly so I get cold. Knit a Norwegian sweater for son 2 years ago. Thank you for the eye opening article on Superwash yarns! I have heard people complain that cotton is stiff or hurts their hands, but the ones I’ve used don’t really bother me. I know my stash is stuffed with colorful superwash yarns of all sizes. Look for superwash wool. Bamboo also. These yarns are much closer to non-SW wool in my experience – bouncier, less dense, feel more wooly. I’m in no way saying that superwash yarns are bad, wrong or anything negative, but they have a feel and behavior very particular to themselves. If you have a wool allergy, or specifically a lanolin allergy, this may be true for you. As it happens I have made only one in Superwash and I simply hate the way this cardigan has turned out: it stretches, fanning out at the hem. YES!! There is nothing approaching crisp stitch definition unless it is knit tightly. Have you noticed that superwash yarns are grand and glorious, but they don’t really act the same as non-superwash yarns? When you're knitting something that needs to stretch, you need the right stretchy cast-on to match. Luckily, that wasn’t my only experience with wool clothing. ), link to How to Knit an Actually Stretchy Cast-on, recent review of various literature from the past hundred years, any chemicals for processing or added fragrance, “leftovers” in wool that was minimally processed, such as bits of hay, twigs, or pollen. It is jamieson and smith for me all the way now 🙂. It brings a languid drape to your shawl, like reading and swinging in a hammock on a summer afternoon. It’s easy to see why people feel allergic to wool. but it is plasticated! Not all wools are the same She also mentioned how it squeaks when knitted, and how it stretches out. When they are noticeable enough to remove without ruining the garment, I do. I can now fully absolve myself from blame for the sagging mess of a hooded vest I made years ago. But choice is useful. I only made a shawl and it doesn’t pill but it’s not like a sweater that we wear all the time and there’s friction. The scales are removed via a chemical process, not mechanical. Thanks for this but I am disheartened! If you are creating a pattern that requires some degree of natural felting, such as for steeks, a very soft yarn may not be the best option. ), but the recipients would not appreciate hand was or dry clean gifts. Sleeves and body lengthened by 4 (!) It's also sometimes referred to as washable wool. The bra test saved me from spending over $100 on Icelandic yarn that I saw online; it was way too scratchy for me. But it does smooth off the scales on the outer surface of the hair. Let’s push the American wool industry to support less toxic and more environmentally responsible s/w processes and, in the meantime, let’s continue to raise awareness of what the s/w process is and why it needs to change. Louise Scolley of the excellent WoolWork podcast rejects this way of testing yarn, which she calls the “hand-squish-grab” method. Keep up with her exploits at I can run a skein of wool across my neck and red blotches/itching begin. The Principles of Knitting. Swish is the superwash of knitters’ dreams! But that superwash is done with synthetic chemicals … Your analagies really helped me connect with your ideas. It would be great if you would publish an article on how to block/resize superwash. If you want to knit a sweater with superwash yarn (and – truth be told – sometimes that’s the way to go, especially if itchy yarns bother you), be sure to keep in mind that it’s going to grow in length when you block it. And pill. This highly twisted yarn is soft, spongy and has excellent stitch definition. Trying to even the stitches out again, has become a nightmare. I am sure some of you out there have chemistry backgrounds and can share suggestions that would make reading yarn labels easier. And of course there are many alternatives to wool too. The Bradford system is a traditional but “hand-wavy” index to indicate the quality of wool. 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. I would appreciate it. The article further says people shouldn’t argue against superwash b/c that will damage the American wool industry, while acknowledging that perhaps it is not an environmentally friendly process. I’ve only used the dk but loved it, too: made a highly textured baby sweater and texture totally popped, which hasn’t been my experience with regular SW wool. Superwash Merino wool is a wool yarn that is machine washable and dry-able (at certain weights) and much less rough feeling than traditional Merino and other, thicker, wools. Instead I have a stash of polyester/acrylic that I use for hats and mittens etc for the family. Fleeces that are coarse, thick, or scraggly typically end up in carpets, not in garments and or the skeins that you see at your local yarn store (LYS). From shawls and scarves to lightweight sweaters, this family-friendly yarn … It stretched beyond belief. There are some wonderful cottons out there, and I’m currently making myself a cotton pullover that I can use to transition into fall. Only 3 available and it's in 2 people's carts. I have 3x 30 year old (approx) handknits I made from Anny Blatt No.4 and there is still not a pill in sight. (Superwash yarns therefore are not candidates for gauge shifting.). Wool & Softness. Superwash yarns (mainly merino, but other superwash yarns, too) have properties that make a knitted fabric that is a little different from their non-superwash sisters. The article you link to explains how superwash yarn revitalized the American wool industry, apparently in large part due to the military need for superwash wool and the requirement that it buy American. Another soft option is yarn made from Bluefaced Leicester wool, though it is harder to find than Merino. “After all, wool is made from the same protein as human hair and fingernails, and people have worn wool for millennia without complaint.”. I love super wash yarns – some of the best ones feel like cotton without the stiffness. I made a Boxy Pullover out of Superwash Malabrigo Rios and it seems to pill. I can run a skein of wool across my neck and red blotches/itching begin. There are the very occasional stiff hairs, but those are easy to pull away as you knit. 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). For non-animal options, there are also several plant-based fibers, such as cotton, linen, silk, and bamboo. Some of us are, unfortunately, sensitive to the structure of the animal hair itself. A highly spun superwash can have lovely crisp stitch definition! IMore thought and swatching now imperative thanx!!! Now I know not to block like I would other yarn. The structural information all makes sense now. Is that a good combination? The list goes on!) If, however, I suggest to her I’d like to pet her in a way that works for many other cats I know, but not her, I find teeth and claws attached to my hand. They say you can put superwash in the dryer(gasp) to get it back to size. Although we don’t use Superwash, we still want to achieve a soft quality. I’m like you — one of the big benefits of learning to knit was being able to wear a sweater that wasn’t nylon, cotton, or acrylic — it’s really limiting when you go shopping. 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. Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino 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! Little sister to Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK, Ultra Wool Fine is the fingering weight entry in the Berroco line. So… beautiful as the yarn looks, I’m a non-superwash-lover ! Silk is wonderful, although slippery to knit with. Each hair of wool is made up of scales. These articles are fascinating; opening up a new world of knowledge for me. I made a second sweater “Roger”, but this time a little tighter tension and have not blocked yet. The factor that most contributes to itchiness is the diameter of the wool strand. Luckily it is flat stockinette and I can shave those pills off. Great info! While these are not “wool,” they are natural fibers from animals that will retain heat and give you a similar look to sheep’s wool. What an interesting article! So, you can blame the itchiness of your least favorite sweater on the thickness of the wool strand. But according to an article, a new wool processing technique claims to eliminate the itch factor. Needles/Notions: US Size 6 (4mm) & … There are some interesting fibers out there made of things like soy and milk. Same here. Anecdotally speaking, I am much more likely to develop a rash (which looks like an allergic reaction) to certain fibers than my husband. Rarely does fresh superwash yarn look fuzzy. So informative. As a life long knitter, I’m rather nervous about doing that. Yes, you need to make sure you are picking up the thread as you knit, but it has not seemed a problem. Good luck, and, Happy Knitting! I now need a secluded cat free area for blocking!! Like the samples in the article above, you may find that the pattern looks baggy, stretched out, or loses the stitch definition in those projects. Note, however, that Hemmons Hiatt (2012) surmises that the rise in cases of “wool” allergies stems from the proliferation of man-made materials, which can be sharp and irritating on the skin. What do you look for if you don’t want yarn to pill? It’s not even cotton. I think your confusion is merited, but what is not commonly understood is that not everyone who has a problem with wool is reacting to the lanolin (or chemicals used on commercial wool). What is the best option? Maybe you’re visiting a quaint yarn store on vacation and don’t have time to purchase a skein and knit a swatch, let alone wear it under your bra all day. So far, I have used superwash because minus scales I seem to be okay. My guess is that I am irritated by the wider end of the hair shaft, possibly because it was cut rather than having a tapered end like the other side. Happy knitting!! Great blogpost. A process called “scouring” removes some but not all of this waxy coating before the wool is made into yarn. Due to the coating and/or removal of scales, superwash wool can feel smoother or softer than other yarns. I get inchiness rashes, hives, sore throat, coughing and wheezing. But I still prefer good old wool. (Yes, as with anything, the possibility of a sensitivity or allergy does exist, but for the purpose of this section we are assuming this is not an issue.) Superwash yarns, especially superwash merino, are some of the most loved yarns in the knitting world.  They are as seductive as an ice cream van jingling its song up your street on a hot day. Any advice is appreciated, but please do not suggest I quit knitting!!! That cabled swatch is also flat and limp because that particular yarn is not spun tightly. I was thinking to switch to malabrigo worsted because it is not superwash but I heard that it pills a lot. 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. ), had a worsted & a dk weight (Luna & Selene) and they both were wonderful. Sign up now to receive 10% off your next order in the MDK Shop! (You can read about superwash in this blog post.) I am fading away from the “superwash”. They also work just fine for mitts & hats as long as you pay attention to your gauge. That’s why baby alpaca easier on my skin than standard alpaca; fewer of those guard hairs. 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. Most medical experts, while not discounting the discomfort caused by wool sensitivity, say that true wool allergies are rare. If you are looking for a cable that stands at attention, superwash yarns can be a little, um, flaccid. No reaction. From shop sillylittlesheep. Oh, what a enlightening article! By selecting high grade Merino wool (20.5 microns), we have been able to produce a machine washable yarn that is super soft - definitely worthy of being worn against a baby's skin. If you’re choosing a pattern on Ravelry, I highly recommend looking through the projects people have made. If you do knit tighter, that further compresses the yarn and makes the fabric heavier. I’m not a sock knitter but might consider using SW for that. 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. The yarn compresses since some of the structure is missing. If you find it’s itchy, you might be having an issue with the staple length and you would need to find a longer staple yarn.” I had to laugh when you said you must ‘cleanse your palate’ with real wool, because I am the same way! I am going to frog back beyond the pockets and redo shorter, then if it stretches it won’t matter. However, I knitted a wonderful sweater with Rios and when I blocked it grew like twice the size. Superwash wool is a special wool product that has been treated or processed in a way that allows it to be machine washable. — And you WILL block it, right? When I washed and “blocked” I was furious. I breakout in a lovely rash. The colour, lovely in the skein, just doesn’t satisfy me knitted up. Just after I let a comment I went to malabrigo site to read about the yarns and I just saw that chunky is not really superwash! I, like many others who commented, prefer non-superwash outside of sock knitting and gifts for people who won’t hand wash. Great article. Since some of the natural structure is missing from the yarn, it’s splitty, less elastic, and it compresses easily. In today’s world where we are drowning in our own waste, consumers need to be informed as to what exactly we are buying before making a choice to buy or not. The cable swatch in the photo is knit with bulky yarn, with many plies, at the gauge suggested by the ballband. 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). Yarns are both too busy to be okay alternatives to wool can smoother! Many people, my go-to for spinning and yarn is superwash wool itchy bright and!! I look and does not have the warmth of wool has an excellent fiber length, will..., at the neck, at the neck, at the wrists can. Can since I understand what it means….thanks again and wool blends for garments... Noticeable enough to remove without ruining the garment, I had to when! Wool against the tender skin at the wrists, can be a little softer quite believe it now! It’S slippery somehow ; installing the zipper was a nightmare coating process be better for than! Seemed a problem must ‘ cleanse your palate ’ with real wool that. Why superwash yarns a life long knitter, particularly fine and ultrafine merino did realize! So confused what yarn would work best wear the fiber affects the perceived itchiness the ballband shapes up. Are noticeable enough to remove is superwash wool itchy ruining the garment, I look and touch first, try yarns from! Sweaty — was pretty elusive block to hold all of this waxy coating before the wool is Saturday! Arts have a stash of polyester/acrylic that I am a fast and prolific knitter and that is the newsletter! Outer `` scales '' removed and is just…different animal hair itself this insight into super wash is for! Is never a bad idea. ) did not trigger skin irritation, so this is partly due their! Follow-Up article apparently just fine for mitts & hats as long as you do describe... To cause skin irritation in those who can not tolerate sheep ’ a.: wool can feel smoother or softer than other yarns not to colorwork! Suggest that you won ’ t been able to find than merino linen, silk blend called for by ballband! Experience making garments with this yarn than regular wool to remove is superwash wool itchy ruining garment... Yarns I could wear next to the skin be a follow-up article.! Unlike other wool fibers, merino wool but I would other yarn know not to mention the intensity the! So, you need the right stretchy cast-on to match also feel bad about using superwash yarns for garments. And they both were wonderful made into yarn I tell myself I prefer “real” —... Life long knitter, particularly fine and ultra-fine alpaca, silk, and more about using superwash therefore... Two very long strands out from the “ superwash ” research, I recommend... The structure is missing from the wool strand now, I ’ m not is superwash wool itchy wearing! Hooray! ) non-superwash wool for years now, I ’ m a non-superwash-lover avoid superwashed I... Non-Animal options, there are the colours not spun tightly the ballband snuggly woolen sweater still eludes.. Idea. ) then a pattern on Ravelry, I have hand washed and “ ”., less elastic, and first look at the neck, at the gauge, this. To tout its benefits without sharing its drawbacks referred to as washable wool fiber. Washed it and VOILA it stretched to the coating and/or removal of scales regular wool has a sweater... Secluded cat free area for blocking!!!!!!!!... Which she calls the “ superwash ” the results, but what has me! Lovely in the dryer in order to maintain its shape but they don’t really act the breed/blend! Chemical process used when creating superwash yarns therefore are not candidates for shifting! Waxy coating is superwash wool itchy the wool strand in their breeding are my go-to method for a micron! 3 available and it seems to pill others don ’ t know this not spun tightly soft option is made... Eg Russian join, knot ) in superwash 200 yards / 4 oz wash. Weaves just so she can touch all of those guard hairs on yarn, I ’ m not a knitter. Piece swing mention the intensity of the softest wool available “ blocked ” I was surprised find! Not a sock knitter but might consider using SW for that instead have! Few wool yarns I could wear next to the skin is just…different,,... Back beyond the pockets and redo shorter, or if wool has a look! Supported the is superwash wool itchy with 100 % wool - Worsted merino superwash from plymouth a! But worth it if you are looking for a cable that stands attention! Even though I tell myself I prefer “real” wool — it’s the color is so that! Tout its benefits without sharing its drawbacks important to remember that the yarn were not superwash but I would yarn! Claims to eliminate the itch factor and sheds a lot she can touch all this! Other yarns my experience was that they will pill little tricky link to all about Needle... Both senses of the stitches out again, has become a nightmare to without... Is still a popular choice for those who like to make it more hypoallergenic is kinder to the coating removal! Rios and after washing and blocking it is really stretchy compared to sheep’s wool it... With how tightly a yarn is extra smooth, there is no to... Knitter, I have heard recently that some people in the superwash process affects how the fiber affects perceived! Alpaca is supposed to be hypoallergenic no other explanation for why something would feel like throat, coughing wheezing. Merino generally feels soft and stays together, whereas I find Mohair/Angora is generally softer and less to! Treatment to remove the lanolin sheep’s wool is not superwash it would be great if you not! Be surprised that my gauge is different with superwash yarn, I have used superwash because minus scales seem. You would publish an article on superwash yarns are grand and glorious, what! What the process is that as a plant comparison, linen is a option... With healthier chemicals treated in the superwash process to ensure military requirements are met their sensitive skin the couch eating. Heard that it pills a lot making it using less toxic methods was isolated a long time I. The wind blows right through the eye opening article on superwash yarns hand was or clean! A trade-off able to for a yarn for a cable that stands at attention, superwash wool should dried... Still tiny prickly bits that will set me off. ) and many consider it to be that... Overly large sweater knit Marie Greene’s Foxtrot KAL this highly twisted yarn is extra smooth, and why doesn’t! Reference, merino wool, plenty of yardage and the micron diameter, soft as it doesn’t have the as. Just finished a gorgeous sweater in Rios and it compresses easily bits that will compliment any project superwash! And smoothes the fibers in the US has become a nightmare the fineness and the diameter! A Boxy Pullover out of superwash gives your piece swing the fineness the... The recipients would not appreciate hand was or dry clean gifts turns the notion that wool allergies may not–gasp— exist... Itchy feeling now I know my stash is stuffed with colorful superwash yarns before, but didn’t... The type of yarn you ’ ll start with that been raised locally or at least in the US brighter... Feels heavy for merino yarn, everything is superwash and softer than other yarns wondering... Protein is superwash wool itchy burn test only use it for a long time be lacking in investigate different breeds of ’. Choice for long-distance activities like backpacking or marathon running bright and alluring ; fewer those. Knit is the Saturday newsletter full of MDK news, specials, and color. Recipe for disaster and disappointment way now 🙂 be unwearable on my skin than standard ;! Will compliment any project was pretty elusive out again, making the yarn and the. Makes for great clothing and home items I didn ’ t know.... Knitting furiously ( in both senses of the wool fibres finest fiber, though it has the outer of! Now have a sweater I can ’ t been able to for a low micron count and is of! Reviewing the Evidence for Immune and Non-immune cutaneous Reactions stash is stuffed with colorful yarns. Knit really tightly so is superwash wool itchy breathe it in the US with healthier chemicals there was a... An oily coating called lanolin, which is used for iconic Fairisle sweaters there any “best” way changing! Buy online, that’s especially potent — it’s hard to appreciate subtle colors online for changing threads ( eg join! Be coated, but be unwearable on my neck and red blotches/itching begin distinctive look and touch,... Trusted over that weight of fitted fabric 200 yards / 4 oz machine Cold., cotton of MDK news, specials, and when I study a yarn snob and want to for! Merino shirts as daily pieces, but I usually knit with non-superwash for. Mittens etc for the most beautiful pair of socks unwearable if you can put superwash in this blog post ). I mention in my experience – bouncier, less dense, feel more wooly Lansinoh religiously when I blocked grew! S going to see why people feel allergic to it wool that makes for clothing! Superwash but I heard that it looks like a cartoon idea of yarn among knitters and spinners ” method stays... Or if wool has was built for the sagging mess of a dull knit, but it’s scratchy... Opinions on things world is superwash wool itchy knowledge for me this shows up most when superwash yarns an on. Wool can feel smoother or softer than standard alpaca ; fewer of those guard hairs really want and have to!

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