We have a few suggestions of how to care for the handwoven fabrics that you have created. We feel that all handwoven fabrics should be wet finished after weaving. Please be aware that wool yarns do change a lot with wet finishing, and can continue to change, so be mindful of how much heat and agitation you subject wool or synthetic yarns to when you was them.
With any handwoven fabric, before you wash your new fabric, secure the beginning and end of the warp (zigzag, hemstitch or however you want to prevent it from unraveling in the wash). If you have fringe planned for your fabric, please twist or finish the fringe before you wash the fabric. Don’t cut the fabric apart until after you wash it.
We like to either use a sink to gently hand wash our new fabrics for the first time, or use a machine on the gentle cycle. Handwashing gives you the ability to check for washfastness of the colors in real time rather than having suprises at the end of the wash cycle. If you choose to use a machine to wash your fabrics, the addition of a color trapping sheet (color catcher) can reduce any unintended dye migration.
If you are handwashing, once you have washed the fabric, gently squeeze the fabric to remove the majority of the water. Do not wring the fabric as this can cause distortion. Now, lay the fabric on top of a non-fuzzy bath towel and roll it up in the bath towel and squeeze out the extra water as you roll. This helps gently remove a lot of the excess water and is gentle on the new fabric. Unroll the fabric and the towel. Then, either line dry or throw the fabric and the damp bath towel in a warm dryer (if this is appropriate for your fibers!!!) for 20-30 minutes. Now treat the fabric as you would any other handwoven fabric. For subsequent washings, cotton fabrics can be machine washed as you would any other good quality cotton fabric.
American Maid ™ Yarn Care Instructions
For the first washing of your new American Maid™ fabric, prepare the bath… a sinkful of hot tap water, 2 TBSP of baking soda and a bit of soap. Make sure this is all well dissolved and mixed before adding the fabric. Once you add the fabric and let it soak, the wash water will be dirty because you are washing the dirt from the fields off these yarns. They have never had any water processing from the time the lint came out of the field until now. The brown and green colors will change once the fibers are thoroughly wet, so make sure you let them soak for 15 minutes with occasional agitation to allow the alkaline water to work its magic on the colors. Rinse in warm water until the rinse water is clear. Enjoy the dramatic color change!
The colors will continue to change as the items are washed depending on your soap, water alkalinity and heat treatment. Please also note that the yarns will fade if left in direct sunlight.
The American Maid™ yarn has it’s own character. Most people don’t have any issue with absorbency with the American Maid™ Yarns after the fabric has been washed several times. However, some users report that their towels aren’t as absorbent as they would like. If you have this issue, there are several potential solutions: 1. Don’t use fabric softener in the water, or dryer sheets. The additional chemicals increase the water repellency of the American Maid™ yarns. 2. Wash the towels in hot water. This helps eliminate any of the naturally occurring waxes on the cotton and any remaining machine oil. 3. Because we all have different settings on our hot water, if the towels are still not as absorbent as you would like after using your hot tap water, boil the towels for a couple minutes. Remove the towels from the boiling water or pour it off, and then immediately rinse in hot water so the oils do not settle back on the towels. The additional heat will remove any remaining wax and makes the towels wonderfully absorbent.
Please enjoy the life cycle journey of these yarns.
Tubular Spectrum™ Yarn
We have a few suggestions of how to care for the handwoven fabrics that you will create from Tubular Spectrum™ mercerized cotton yarns. They are very durable and colorfast, and you should get many years out of the handwoven fabrics that you create with these yarns.
We prefer to hand wash the fabric the first time that we wash it. Partly to control the agitation of the fabric and partly to watch the lack of dye release from the fabric (we love this part). To hand wash, prepare the bath…a sinkful of warm tap water, and a bit of soap. Make sure this is all well dissolved and mixed before adding the fabric. Add the fabric and let it soak for about 15 minutes, making sure the fabric is completely wetted, then rinse in cool water until the rinse water is clear.
Proceed as discussed above with using a towel to blot the fabric and put the new fabric and the bath towel in the dryer for 20-30 minutes.