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I simply and wholeheartedly appreciate your posts. Is that true. The reintroduction of the superwash process and the Buy American movement has increased the interest and commitment of the American wool-sock industry to buying American wool. Toxins end up in waste water . In the 80's superwash treatment got a bad rap because in some countries the effluent was not recycled. Don’t they all break down eventually and end up in the environment as pollution? Thank u so much for this as I have been in a dilemma over superwash. Superwash producers use a chlorinated gas to erode the scales from the fiber strands. 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. Sign up now to receive 10% off your next order in the MDK Shop! Very hot water and excessive agitation may remove some of the superwash coating, which will eventually lead to felting. (I won’t use it). A big reason is washability. Dyers and knitters also love the intense color produced by dyeing on superwash. Or the thought of finding a place to dry a sweater etc was too much to think about. What a great explanation- especially regarding the grist involved and drapiness of superwash. Spud and Chloe worsted weight. This will come as no surprise, but you can wash superwash wool in the washing machine! That thing where it stands away from my skin just a little and gives me breathing space? Why do people want it? 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). Once the conversation turns to superwash yarn it never seems to stop. That’s nice to call it drapy instead of droopy! Finally, because the scales can’t lock together, superwash wool tends to be less effective at trapping warm air. Disturbing no? Thank you for another very informative article. It seems to be a hot-button issue in the knitting and crafting industry, with many strong opinions about avoiding anything plastic. Agitation makes the fibers scootch closer together so that the scales hang on to each other. Even tho I habdwash all my knit stuff regardless. “To Be or Not To Be a Hypocrite: American Superwash Wool.”. Snippets is the Saturday newsletter full of MDK news, specials, and first look at new offerings. How I love the tweaking that is possible with wet wool, or steam, and the ability to shape (either stretching or pinching) the individual areas of a sweater or dress or skirt. If you’ve ever removed an impossibly tiny, shrunken sweater from the washing machine, you know that most wool does not fare well in the laundry. The superwash process is actually a series of processes wool goes to chemically remove the scales on each individual wool fiber (the ones that cause felting when warm water and agitation are involved) and then coat these fibers in a petroleum-based polymer. I am so seduced by the superwash colors but then end up frustrated when it doesn’t have the bounce and body of non-superwash wool. I'm the Furious Knitter (FK), and I write KNIT FURIOUSLY to share what I've learned from over 15 years of knitting. Their O-Wash superwash yarn acts just like any other superwash I’ve used. There are very strict rules on processing the fibres and the treatment is a resin rather than a plastic which bonds permanently with the wool fibre and biodegrades along with the wool. There are two ways most commonly used to make a superwash yarn. Growing up, I could never wear wool because it would make me have a rash and sometimes welts. Also it seems using non-superwash or only organic superwash might be much better for the environment. Knitters should be made aware of this if it is. I knit furiously, meaning that I am a fast and prolific knitter and that I swear loudly every time I drop a stitch. A word on the superwash process. The other is to coat the fiber to suppress the scales. The superwash process is also, of course, very large-scale, so Blacker Yarns and The Natural Fibre Company would not be able to use it. I’m so happy to have superwash in my life and I am glad they’re making waves in discovering new ways to make it more friendly to the planet! I did realize that superwash processing is not super environmentally friendly, but alternative “wools” made from plastic are not a good alternative. How about you? One is to strip or dull the scales of a fiber, then fill the irregularities left behind with a polymer to smooth the fiber. Now, I’m more aware of the intrinsic qualities of super wash and regular wool thanks in large part to knowledge gained from articles written by experts such as yourself. One of the pleasures of knitting with wool is its ability to stretch and then recover to its original shape. Any of the processes used to make a yarn superwash will restrict the fiber scales, smoothing them to keep the fibers sliding by each other no matter what. The process of making superwash wool prevents the scales from locking together, either by removing them entirely or coating the entire strand in a polymer. 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. Both the hand and the grist are different. I find superwash grows a lot. If you’ve ever knit and then felted a bag or slippers on purpose, you know exactly how much the felting experience can change knitting. Details. Superwash wool also resists felting in items that are exposed to a fair amount of moisture and movement, like socks. These two methods are often combined. The articles made from super wash won’t block. There are many scientists working on developing new ways of shrink-proofing wool. Absolutely not. FK is a mostly self-taught knitter who has opinions on things. Maybe you’ve heard that superwash wool is toxic and should be avoided at all costs. It feels soft and gentle against the skin but is also strong and durable for good wearing properties. The smoothness of the superwash comes from the trapping and smoothing of the scales in the O-Wash process. Your beautiful knitwear is now smaller, stiffer, and not so soft. Also receive daily new post notifications, Knitter’s Notebook: Warm Hats and Good Friends. It, the strands are sealed with a polymer or resin called Hercosett 125 variation that 's sure please. 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Also love the intense color produced by dyeing on superwash it just reminds me of how much I ’! Removes them from the other is to coat the fiber to suppress the scales interlocking!

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