by Janice Jones Published 06-01-2023
Superwash wool yarn is a type of yarn that has been treated to be machine-washable without shrinking or felting.
This innovative process involves coating the wool fibers with a polymer that prevents the scales on the fibers from sticking together and causing felting.
The result is a soft, durable yarn that retains the natural warmth and beauty of wool, but with the added convenience of easy care.
Superwash wool yarn is available in a variety of weights and textures, from sport weight to bulky, and from smooth to textured.
It can be used for a wide range of knitting projects, from cozy sweaters and blankets to stylish accessories like hats and scarves.
One of the main benefits of using superwash wool yarn is its durability. Unlike traditional wool yarns, which can felt and shrink in the wash, superwash wool yarn can be machine-washed and dried without losing its shape or softness.
This makes it ideal for items that will be frequently washed, such as baby clothes, socks, and everyday garments.
Another benefit of superwash wool yarn is its versatility. It can be used for a wide range of knitting projects, from simple stockinette stitch to complex lace patterns.
It is also available in a wide range of colors, from subtle neutrals to vibrant hues, making it easy to find the perfect shade for your project.
In addition, superwash wool yarn is often more affordable than other types of wool yarn, making it a great choice for budget-conscious knitters. And because it is widely available at yarn shops and online retailers, it is easy to find and purchase.
Superwash wool yarn is the perfect choice for knitting projects for several reasons.
First, it is soft and warm, making it ideal for cozy garments and accessories. It also has great stitch definition, which means that intricate patterns and textures will show up beautifully in your finished project.
Another reason superwash wool yarn is perfect for knitting projects is its ease of care. Because it can be machine-washed and dried, it is a great choice for items that will be frequently used, such as blankets and sweaters. And because it is resistant to shrinking and felting, it will maintain its shape and softness over time.
Superwash wool yarn is also a great choice for beginners, as it is easy to work with and forgiving of mistakes. Its softness and pliability make it easy to handle, and its durability means that you can rip out and re-knit sections without damaging the yarn.
Before we dive into the pros and cons of using superwash versus regular wool yarn, let's start by understanding what makes the two types of yarn different.
Superwash wool yarn has been chemically treated to remove the natural scales on the wool fibers that cause it to felt. This process involves coating the fibers with a resin or polymer that prevents them from locking together when exposed to heat, moisture, and agitation.
As a result, superwash wool yarn can be machine-washed and dried without shrinking or felting, making it easier to care for than regular wool yarn.
On the other hand, regular wool yarn is untreated and retains its natural scales, which allow the fibers to interlock and felt when exposed to heat, moisture, and agitation.
This property makes regular wool yarn more elastic and durable than superwash wool yarn, but also more difficult to care for.
While superwash wool yarn is easy to care for, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that it stays in great condition. First, be sure to follow the washing instructions on the yarn label, as different brands may have different care requirements.
In general, superwash wool yarn can be machine-washed in cool water on a gentle cycle, and dried in a dryer on a low heat setting.
Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the fibers. And be sure to store your finished project in a cool, dry place to prevent mildew or moth damage.
If you've decided to use superwash wool yarn for your next project, you'll be happy to know that there are many different types of superwash wool yarn available on the market.
One of the most popular types of superwash wool yarn is merino wool.
Merino wool is prized for its softness, warmth, and durability, and is often blended with other fibers like silk, cashmere, and nylon to enhance its properties.
Other types of superwash wool yarn include Bluefaced Leicester, Polwarth, and Corriedale, each with their own unique characteristics and benefits.
When choosing superwash wool yarn, it's important to consider the fiber content, gauge, and ply of the yarn to ensure it's suitable for your project.
Some superwash wool yarns are more suitable for socks, while others are better suited for shawls, sweaters, or hats. It's also important to check the yardage and weight of the yarn to make sure you have enough for your project.
Superwash wool yarn is available in a variety of weights and textures, from smooth to textured. Some popular brands of superwash wool yarn include Cascade 220 Superwash, Berroco Vintage, and Knit Picks Swish.
Cascade 220 Superwash is a popular choice for its wide range of colors and soft, pliable texture. It is available in both solid and heathered shades, making it easy to find the perfect color for your project.
Superwash 100% Merino Wool Yarn for Knitting and Crocheting DK weight comes a variety of different colors. Don't let the low price fool you though, check the quanity of yarn you receive. In this case, each ball is 1.8 oz = approx 115 yards. A great choice for small projects.
Knit Picks Swish is a budget-friendly superwash wool yarn that comes in a wide range of colors and weights. It is soft and warm, with great stitch definition for complex patterns.
While superwash wool yarn is easier to care for than regular wool yarn, it still requires some special attention to keep it looking and feeling its best.
To care for superwash wool yarn, always read the label instructions carefully and follow them closely. Most superwash wool yarns can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle using cold water and a mild detergent.
Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the fibers and reduce their softness. Once washed, reshape the garment or item and lay it flat to dry. Avoid wringing or twisting the yarn, as this can cause it to stretch or lose its shape.
It's also important to store superwash wool yarn properly to prevent damage.
Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture, and avoid storing it in plastic bags or containers, as these can trap moisture and cause mold or mildew to develop.
Superwash wool yarn is widely available at yarn shops and online retailers. Some popular online retailers for superwash wool yarn include Knit Picks, Webs, and Jimmy Beans Wool.
When shopping for superwash wool yarn, be sure to check the weight and yardage of the skein, as well as the recommended needle size. This will ensure that you have enough yarn for your project, and that you are using the correct needle size for the best results.
Superwash wool yarn can be used for a wide range of knitting projects, from simple scarves and hats to complex sweaters and blankets. Some popular patterns for superwash wool yarn include:
Flax by Tin Can Knits: a simple, top-down sweater pattern that is great for beginners.
Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann: a classic baby sweater pattern that is easy to customize and perfect for superwash wool yarn.
Clapotis by Kate Gilbert: a popular scarf pattern that features dropped stitches and a stylish, asymmetrical shape.
When knitting with superwash wool yarn, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure the best results. First, be sure to use the recommended needle size for the yarn, as this will help to maintain the correct gauge and prevent stretching or puckering.
In addition, be sure to swatch before beginning your project, as the texture and stitch definition of superwash wool yarn can vary between brands and weights. This will help you to get a better idea of how the yarn will behave and how it will look in your finished project.
Finally, be sure to handle the yarn gently when washing and drying, as rough treatment can cause stretching or felting. And when storing your finished project, be sure to fold it neatly and store it in a cool, dry place to prevent damage.
Superwash wool yarn is soft, durable, and easy on your hands while knitting or crocheting. However, no product is perfect and superwash does have it's downside:
If you love the thought of trying out superwash wool, but need a more economical solution, a blend made with with acrylic or cotton may be your best bet. Of course, the opposite is true if the blended yarn is considered a luxury item such as cashmier.
Superwash wool yarn is a must-have for any knitting
enthusiast. With its softness, warmth, and durability, it is the perfect choice
for a wide range of knitting projects, from simple scarves and hats to complex
sweaters and blankets. And with its wide range of colors and textures, it is
easy to find the perfect yarn for your project.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced knitter, superwash wool yarn is a great choice for any project. So why not give it a try and see for yourself why it is a must-have for your next knitting project!