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SimoneB 04-11-2013 05:34 PM

Superwash laceweight
I have been looking at laceweight superwash yarns lately, and I find that sometimes the shops will put 'hand wash' under care even though the yarn is marked superwash. What is the reason for this? And what would be the point of the yarn being superwash if you can't machine wash it? I'm puzzled, and a little scared of accidentally ruining a project that I would have spent time and money on.

This is an example:


Lizars1735 04-11-2013 05:52 PM

Just a guess, but the yarn you linked to is part silk, which is probably the reason for the hand wash recommendation.

ArtLady1981 04-11-2013 08:43 PM

Boy, that is a real puzzle! I agree with your confusion. It's very weird. A total mixed-message. As Lizars1735 commented, maybe the socks will come out nicer with hand washing.

Superwash merino won't shrink, however, maybe the silk content will distort the socks. ???

Anyone else have ideas, or experience with this type of "superwash" yarn with a hand wash recommendation?

I'm gonna run over to Ravelry and type in the yarn type, and see what the knitters (who have projects using the yarn) have to say about it.

If I get any intel...I'll report back!

ArtLady1981 04-11-2013 08:49 PM

This is what the yarn says about itself in its Ravelry thing:

Theseus Lace is named after the mythical founder-king of Athens. Strong and hardwearing, the merino is superwash treated (not that you should be machine washing your lace!) and the silk lends heaps of extra strength. It is superbly glossy, smooth and soft.

The Rav projects seem to be mostly shawls. No one would toss a lace shawl in the washing machine anyway.

It sure is beautiful yarn, I'll say that!

If I was knitting socks with this yarn...I would hand wash them. Just sayin....

GrumpyGramma 04-11-2013 09:57 PM

My best guess: I've found that with many woven fabrics, manufacturers will err on the side of caution and say dry clean or hand wash when they can actually be washed and dried, no problem; but if you ruin it in the wash, they're off the hook. Shrinkage could be an issue with silk (?) but if you swatched and washed the swatch as you would like to do with whatever you make, you'd know if shrinkage or something else is the issue.

Let us know what you learn or do, please, as ArtLady's idea of socks is appealing but I don't do hand wash socks.

ArtLady1981 04-11-2013 10:14 PM

Oh Gramma, that's a great suggestion! (washing the swatch first!)

Why didn't I think of that?? :doh:

GrumpyGramma 04-11-2013 10:24 PM


Originally Posted by ArtLady1981 (Post 1374475)
Oh Gramma, that's a great suggestion! (washing the swatch first!)

Why didn't I think of that?? :doh:

You'd have thought of it, I just happened to have a different experience to fall back on. My DDs prom and other dance dresses were machine wash and dry because I prewashed and dried the fabric. That's what came to mind for me, and someone I worked with who refused to dry clean her silk tops because she figured they'd been using silk long before dry cleaning was invented.

SimoneB 04-12-2013 03:30 AM

Thanks everyone! Maybe the recommendation to hand wash can really be translated into "don't put your delicate lace shawl in the washing machine"? I think I'll probably risk the washing machine *after* I have tested it out on a swatch, as the project I'm planning is mostly stockinette.

And I can't believe how useful Ravelry is, hadn't even thought to look up the yarn there - I'll definitely be doing more of that in the future!

salmonmac 04-12-2013 05:34 AM

GG, I like your friends reasoning on silk tops. Silk is certainly washable although my only experience is washing it by hand. If it shrinks, it's not a appreciable difference.
I wash all hand knits by hand and they like it that way.

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