Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Killing Acrylic Yarn

Donna had a question about the acrylic yarn I was using. She explained that the yarn she has used does not result in a very soft fabric even when woven in twill. I don’t think it is the brand of yarn that is the real issue. As a point of information, however, the yarn I have been using is 2/14 Kitty by Tamm. My source is the KnitKnack Shop The yarn is designed for the knitting machine but it work very well on the loom. Because it is designed for the knitting machine, the yarn has a kind of oily finish to enable it to go through the machine easily. That oily finish washes out just fine.

I suspect that the real issue involves the finishing of the fabric. I killed mine. I suspect she did not. Killing? That is the term for pressing/steaming acrylic yarns. This creates a very soft fabric which drapes nicely. But it no longer feels quite like wool. And the effect is not reversible. If you do not like it, you cannot undo the effect you achieved with the iron. It is permanent. You may decide that instead of feeling soft, the fabric feels limp and you just don't like it.

Warning: washing it again will not undo it, hence the term “killing.” So my advice is to “kill” a sample first to see whether or not you like it.


Donna said...

Peg, what you say about "killing" the acrylic yarn is quite true: it does make it more drapable, and it is not reversible. It managed this with a set of blankets that were subsequent to the one I mentioned, because I did not want them to be stiff or scratchy. The process worked but in addition to soft and drapery, they were a little too "slippery" (folding was like trying to hang on to satin). The yarn used in these blankets was of a different brand, a completely more satisfactory yarn. the previous blanket of the scratchy yarn didn't "die" before going to its final resting place; perhaps that process would have rendered it softer, too. I'll remember your input for the next go-round.

Leigh said...

Very interesting. I'm going to have to try this. Maybe on one of the log cabin scarves I wove awhile back.