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Fabric Care Tips

Fabric Care
We get several calls a week looking for fabric care advice- for the majority of our fabrics, fabric care is dependent on what you are making. 

For cloth diaper makers- wash hot, rinse cold and dry on medium-high until dry.

For garment makers, wash cool, rinse cool and hang or lay flat to dry. Really care is up to you, the more gentle you are with care, the longer your garment will stay looking great.

 

Fabric Care- All fabric is best suited to a cool wash, gentle soap, no bleach or optical brighteners. Hang or lay flat to dry.

Wool Felting for diaper covers* Wash no more than 8 yards at a time. Five is a good amount. * Warm wash, cold rinse and dry on second hottest setting. * Repeat. You can wash with a regular mild laundry detergent but will get better results from a wash formulated specifically for wool. You can expect a 25-35% shrinkage in the feltable wools. Once your wool is felted, you can cut and sew. Wash on cold and air dry to prevent further shrinkage. This process applies to both 100% wool and to wool blend. Though the wool blend should be able to be washed gently after felting. Wool Dying When I dye wool, I felt it first then dye it. That is just my preference. In a top load washing machine wash warm, rinse cold and dry hot. Do that twice. The blend will shrink a lot. Like about 13" to the yard. If you are using a front loader try adding more water to the machine. A front loader will not felt the same as a top loader. I put the pot of water on the stove and add the dye. Stir in the dye and let it go a bit. Then I toss in the DRY wool. Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Really, a boil. You don't have to stir a lot while waiting for the boil. I stir now and then, but nothing wild. Once it is boiling, I add 1 cup of vinegar, while stirring like mad. I stir about 5 minutes and then see if there is still color in the water. I take out a clear measuring cup full of hot water to see if it is clear. If it isn't, I add more vinegar, stirring like mad again. It should clear after 5-10 minutes. If not, more vinegar. After I am satisfied I throw it in the washer just to SPIN. Spin it out and toss it in the dryer for 15 minutes. This is for top loading wash machines only. Wash mashine dying is a little different but the principles are the same. I first prepare the dye bath. I like to use the wash machine, so I run nearby water to get it hot, then fill the washer to the desired level with super hot water. A lot of times I will turn up my hot water tank so that the dye will set well. Ok, now that the washer is filling with hot, I get my powdered acid dye and add 1/2 teaspoon dry powder to the water. Let the machine finish filling and then agitate it for about 2 minutes. This distributes the dye, and makes sure all the clumps of dye are broken up. I add the fabric to the machine while it is agitating and let it agitate about 5 minutes. At that point I check the wash to be sure everything looks ok. I then add 1 cup of vinegar, and reset the timer to run another 12 minutes or so. I let it agitate 10 minutes, and then reset and let it agitate some more. After the time has elapsed, I spin the water out and put it right into the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. This helps set the dye, and finishes felting the wool. I DO NOT wash or felt the wool prior to dying. I also DO NOT use any soap in the dye bath. I was doing this before and I got a lot more streaking than I do by omitting this step.