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How To Wash, Dry & Block Woollen Garments
Posted By Tipnut On August 29, 2007 @ 6:59 am In Laundry | 1 Comment
Here are a few tips I’ve collected plus two full sheets of instructions from vintage Beehive knitting pattern books that detail how to wash and dry wool clothing.
The instructions are repeated a bit, but each set has some useful info that is unique.
Keep the garment supported by the hands whenever it is removed from the water.
Most washing troubles are caused by–too hot water, too much soap, too much rubbing, too little rinsing.
To Block & Press:
Place all knitted pieces on a pad, right side down, measure and pin them to size and shape using rustless pins. Cover with a damp cloth. Holding a hot iron close enough to the cloth to draw steam, smooth over each piece, except for the ribbed bands. Do not press the iron on the work at any time. Remove cloth and leave pieces to dry.
Source: Beehive for Bairns, Volume 3, Series No. 50A
Included below are two separate sheets of instructions:
The beauty of your hand knit wool garments can be easily retained after many washings, provided a few simple rules are followed.
Before washing, measure the garment and note measurements carefully.
Lukewarm Water and Good Suds
Wool and Silk Mixture
In case of woollen garments containing a thread of artificial silk, add a little vinegar to the second rinsing water.
Plain and Fancy Patterned Socks
Follow the same instructions. In the case of fancy patterns with various colours of wool add a little vinegar to the second rinsing water. Put on wooden stretchers. DO NOT HANG UP–dry on a flat surface.
To ensure the fullest benefit of increased wearing properties, it is recommended that these washing instructions be followed for garments knitted from PATONISED Shrink-resist yarns.
It is absolutely wrong to put woollen garments to soak: to use strong soap, soda, boiling–or even very hot–water, (or in the case of white garments especially, a dirty sud!), to let them lie in a wet state, or to hang them up to dry.
Remove all Soap. Remove all Moisture. After Washing Don’t Hang Up–Dry Flat.
CAUTION–We recommend good quality soap flakes without the use of water softeners. Use only lukewarm water. Rinse thoroughly. Dry quickly. Do not place garment on radiator. Never hang garment up to dry as this spoils shape.
Washing Garments Where White is Used with Colors
White yarn will tend to draw some color from most dark colored yarns in washing. This will not happen if the garment is thoroughly rinsed in two or three waters and all the surplus water squeezed out. The garment must be dried within two hours. If outdoor conditions are not favourable to quick drying–dry by artificial heat.
Pressing Finished Work
No garment made of yarn should ever be touched with a hot iron. This takes all the life and elasticity out of it. The correct method is to wet and wring out a clean cloth and spread on flat surface. Then lay garment flat, right side up, patting into shape. Pin firmly into desired shape. Cover with a dry cloth and allow to dry thoroughly.
Source: Loose sheets from Beehive Knitting Pattern Books, date and issues unknown
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