September 10, 2007

Working with Bamboo and washing!

Written by Fiber Rhythm

Just thought I would post a couple of comments about working with bamboo. I have worked with two versions so far. The Silk City Fiber’s “Bambu 7” (on cones) and “Just Bamboo” a ribbon yarn from Sirdar.

Both produce a really nice drapey fabric and ever so soft. The Silk City version is a bit softer because it has not been “ribboned” (if thats a word). The Sirdar one doesn’t tangle as much.

Washing them is very interesting, because the bamboo really, really, really soaks up the moisture. I have washed both sweaters in the washing machine and dried them in the dryer.

I don’t know about you, but if you don’t dry them in the dryer (and this includes cotton sweaters I have), you end up with a really stiff sweater. Plus I like to know my sweaters are wash-n-dry.

At any rate, washing the bamboo is rather scary. It is because it soaks up the water so well, it looks like you have totally ruined your knitting!!! The wet piece is MUCH smaller and denser than that lovely drapey fabric you just had.

Drying is key. Once the piece is thoroughly dry, it will be fine. “Trust me”. Mine turned out the same size after all was said and done. So no shrinkage.

I had to send my “Just Bamboo” knitted blouse through our dryer 4 times before it became thoroughly dry. (And the towels dried on the first go, so its not just my dryer).

I suppose you could get the same effect by laying it out flat to dry and leaving it for some really really long time, and then running for a partial run in the dryer to soften it up.

Just thought this might help someone else who wants to be able to wash/dry their bamboo knits.

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