Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Softening Acrylic Yarn... Can It Be Done?

Now, before I begin, I should say that I generally steer clear of acrylic yarn that is scratchy or otherwise unpleasant for my projects, even amigurumi. However, there are those times when you need a particular color that just can't be found in any other type than Red Heart Super Saver (for less than $way-too-much).

I've looked before and seen things like "run it through the washer/dryer with fabric softener" and "it can't be done!". I've tried the fabric softener trick and it made my project smell like fabric softener (bah) and didn't necessarily soften it much. Recently, I have encountered the suggestion of using shampoo and/or conditioner.

Fortunately, I found some Red Heart Super Saver that was soft enough (it does depend on the colorway and lot for some reason), but I intend to try some of the scratchy stuff I've received from friends & eBay lots and see how well it works!

UPDATE: I hand-washed a skein and a swatch of Red Heart Super Saver yarn in white with shampoo (Suave Tea Therapy or some such... cheap stuff I happened to have and not use) and conditioner (Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner 23 fl oz (700 ml)). The end result was significantly softer yarn. I'm definitely not saying it rivaled some of the softer yarn I've bought, but it did get rid of most of the crunchiness. The annoying part was drying it though. I ran it on medium heat in my dryer for about 45 minutes and it was still quite moist. Air drying is the way to go, I think.

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