Friday, April 10, 2009

Dyeing, testing, dyeing, swatching

Each day this week I have dyed a few pounds of a 100% cotton slub in a light sport weight. I am in love with this yarn. It makes a nice casual cool soft fabric and is machine washable. It is a non-mercerized cotton so it needs to be treated with a little more delicacy than a mercerized cotton to keep from getting that sinfully soft halo that natural cottons get when they are machine washed. Wait, what's wrong with that? I am a fan of the sinfully soft cottons with a slightly worn-in look.

I imagine this yarn for light weight cotton cardigans, tank tops and baby garments. It is a heavy fingering to sport weight. Initial swatching revealed it knits well at 5.5 stitches per inch on a US 3. Further swatching reveals that regardless of what size I knit on I'm still getting 5.5 stitches per inch. Oy. More swatching will ensue before I begin labeling these.

The care instructions are to hand wash and lay flat to dry. I will keep those care instructions on the label, but this is cotton. Regardless of how soft it is it can handle the occasional hard treatment. I ran the swatch through a hot high washer and a hot high dryer to ensure maximum shrinking and it shrank to a comfortable 6 stitchs per inch with a nice, not too dense fabric. Further washing will be inside out on cool and any dryer time (if any) will also be done inside out just like a regular cotton knit shirt would be to discourage any fuzzing/fading of the fabric. If it makes the occasional trip through a hot dyer I won't worry.

The color is fast, meaning it won't fade although given the nature of dyeing cotton you may still have a tint to the water. There is a way to prevent this but I figured my customers would rather I not rinse their baby yarn in formehldehyde. :) I rinse my cotton yarns post-dye with synthrapol which discourages backdyeing, however after reading this thread I feel compelled to tell you that you should always always always wash your swatch if you are combining two colors and wash new solid colored items with like colors until you are certain it won't tint your entire load.

I am still playing with the prices but it will be less than $10 for 110g/340 yards. This is going to make a great lightweight summer yarn or baby yarn. If you all don't like this yarn that's okay. More for me. *grin*

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! If you included your email address in your profile, then I will respond to you soon.