Is This Yarn Color Fast?

Our friends at Skacel sent out this reminder about yarn and colorfastness, and we include it here because we want to do everything we can to help avoid the “heartache” that can happen when colors run.  This is really only an issue with these high contrast projects; a little color bleed with a single color project is generally no problem at all.

color wheel designed & knit by artist Erica Dirks

color wheel designed & knit by artist Erica Dirks

“With the increasing popularity of projects which combine multiple colors in the same pattern, please encourage your customers to always test for colorfastness on a swatch before blocking their final garment.

Even yarns that are superwash have the potential to bleed when mixing high contrast colors such as whites and reds, whites and blues, and all light colors paired with dark/rich colors.  Remember, superwash prevents felting, not bleeding.

Yarn care should be thought of in the same way as sorting laundry.  If a red sock were to sneak into a load of whites, the likely result is everything transforming into a lovely shade of pink.  Have you inadvertently washed a new pair of blue jeans with a light colored garment?  Yarn is no different.

If your wet blocking swatch test reveals the potential for bleeding, consider the following alternatives:

·        Steam Blocking – This will greatly reduce the risk of contrasting colors bleeding.
·        A VERY brief wet blocking in plain, cold water.  Again, test this method on a swatch first.
·        Avoid detergents that can break down the fiber and lift color out of the yarn.
·        Dry Cleaning – Always ask your cleaners first to test a swatch BEFORE cleaning.
·        Color Catchers – While they can help prevent bleeding, it is not a guarantee.  Please make sure to test them with a swatch prior to using them with your finished garment.

By educating the end consumer on colorfastness and alternative blocking methods, we can help to prevent heartaches for countless handmade masterpieces no matter the yarn, brand, or craft!”