Ever wondered if you need to block your acrylic yarn? Like some tailors wash and iron their fabric before sewing, it applies to yarns and Knitters/crocheters.
Blocking your acrylic yarn can take a bit of time, but I assure you that time is worth investing. Above all, securing your acrylic yarn can be a fun activity.
Do I Need To Block Acrylic Yarn?
Blocking your acrylic yarn is not compulsory. However, it improves the final look of your project, giving it a professional look. Blocking evens out all bumps and gaps in the stitches and bring forth the beauty of your project. Although blocking takes a little time, it is not a stressful process.
Instead, it is fun to do. If you choose not to clog your acrylic yarn, it wouldn’t hurt or make your final product less beautiful. But I assure you that you’re missing out on having a more crisp finish having the same size and shape as the product intended.
Another advantage of blocking is giving your garment an imprinted memory of shape and size. It will make it easier to maintain in the future. Get your blocking items and spend that little extra time needed for a better-looking project with a crisp finish.
What Are The Types Of Blocking For Acrylic Yarn?
The primary purpose of blocking is to soften your project piece or to shape them before seaming together. It makes the seaming process more accessible, giving your final product a crisp and professional finish. There are three types/methods of blocking for acrylic yarn. They are wet, steam, and spray Blocking. Now let’s look at each technique;
1. Wet Blocking
Wet blocking is soaking the excellent piece in an entire basin of water. Using a towel, you remove the excess water from the fabric.
After removing all the excess water, pin it down to the blocking board using your rust-free pins. This method can be complicated if you work on a more significant piece.
2. Steam Blocking
This blocking is done with an iron or a clothing steamer. Using iron means extra caution and care to avoid touching and burning the material at times. Using just the steam, you move back and forth the entire fabric.
You can manipulate the fabric during steaming by stretching out the curled edges. This method of blocking softens your yarn and product in general.
3. Spray Blocking
Spray Blocking is easy. You need a bottle filled with water at average room temperature. Spray the entire project piece till it gets saturated. Once you are done, wait for it to dry by placing it on the blocking board.
It takes a longer time to dry because the saturated piece is allowed to dry on its own without squeezing or wringing. If you squeeze or wring the piece, it will shrink and lose shape.
Of the three blocking methods, steam blocking is best for softening your project, while spray and wet blocking maintain a project’s measurements, shape, and size. You can choose from any of the blocking methods depending on what you want for your project.
What Are The Tools Needed For Blocking Your Yarn?
To have a successful hitch-free blocking experience, you need to have specific tools. Some of the tools required for blocking your yarn are:
1. Blocking Board
The blocking board is used to lay your piece on the board flat. The board should be big enough for the project to fit on. No piece should be left hanging at/over the edge.
Your board should be placed on a surface where it would not be disturbed to avoid shaking. In the absence of a blocking board, an ironing board is a good alternative.
2. Spray Bottle
A spray bottle is needed, especially if using a wet-blocking method. This method is for all fabrics that appreciate submersion. Instead of washing the piece, wet it using the spray bottle.
This way, the material is not completely drenched in water. After soaking the knitted piece, avoid wringing it and place it on the blocking board.
3. Steamer/Steam Iron
A steamer/steam iron is used in dry blocking. Steam is only used for fabric that appreciates it. The steamer or iron is not used in pressing the piece; instead, it is placed an inch away from it.
Move the steamer iron around the fabric while ensuring it doesn’t touch the project. The main aim is to steam with heat and not to apply it directly. After some time, you allow the knitted piece to rest undisturbed until it gets dry.
4. Rust Free Pins
Pins are essential tools to fasten the knitted piece to the blocking board. All curls’ edges are straightened, then pinned down to hold them while steaming and drying. Make sure your pins are rust-free.
If possible, use pins made from stainless steel so you can reuse them over and over without the need to buy need pins as a result of rusting.
5. Yarns Label
The yarn label is vital to keep for various purposes. Some yarns have a specific temperature of heat they can take, which is mainly written on the yarn label. With that, you can easily regulate the steam in case you are using a dry-blocking method.
Other harmful materials do not appreciate being immersed in water. The label will guide you to alternate with using a spray bottle. With these five tools, you will have fun and easy blocking to get that clean finishing for your acrylic yarn project.
How Are Acrylic Yarn made?
There are vast choices to make when trying to buy yarn. Whether you’re buying from the market or an online store, you have various options. While some threads are made from natural fibers, acrylic yarns are made from acrylic fibers (synthetic fibers).
Natural yarns are made from wool and cotton, which are more expensive to produce. Acrylic yarn is a budget-friendly yarn made from treated petroleum and coal-based chemicals. Unlike some acrylic yarns produced back in the day, those produced recently have a softer feeling.
Acrylic yarn is produced from the synthetic polymer acrylonitrile. The dissolved polymer makes as hell, which is then sprung to smaller fibers via spinnerets (an extraction method). After they are sprung, they are stretched and washed, turning them into acrylic yarn. It is an intense process (chemical).
There are other artificial fibers which include Nylon, made in a similar way to acrylic yarn. Rayon yarns mix natural and synthetic fibers, Gorton, from bamboo, cotton, and wood cellulose. Lyocell and Viscose are other types of rayon made from plant cellulose. Viscose was first produced in 1883.
What Are The Factors To Consider When Buying An Acrylic Yarn?
Acrylic yarns are suitable for almost all projects, excluding those exposed to high heat. When making a summer piece, acrylic yarn may not be the best because it doesn’t breathe. It is a good choice for people with sensitive skin, unlike wool. Check the label to ensure no wool is blended in if you have sensitive skin.
Some factors to consider when choosing the best acrylic yarn for your project. These factors are
- Your yarn needs the care to maintain its shape. Always go for a yarn that is easy to care for. Always check the label for washing, drying, and other recommendations. These will help you make an easier choice for you to take care of. Some acrylic yarn may have instructions on the washing soap or detergent to use. Always read the label carefully and choose an adventure with simple and easy care.
- Acrylic yarns have come a long way. There are more affordable options that are of excellent quality. There are a lot of options to choose from that are pocket friendly. Depending on the number of yarns you’ll need, you can choose a more affordable option.
- The type of item you are making will determine the weight of yarn you will use. Acrylic yarn is made with pretty much every weight. You have no worries; choose a yarn with a weight that works with your project.
- When buying your acrylic yarn, ensure there is enough availability of it Incase you get replenished and need to buy more.
Blocking your acrylic yarned project is not compulsory. Some Knitters and crocheters have a clean finish without the need to secure their pieces. However, there is always a difference between a blocked piece. It has a more defined, clean finish, which is smooth and bump-free. Depending on the type of blocking method you use, blocking can help soften your yarn or maintain its shape.
You can choose from any of the three ways depending on what you hope your result will be. Using a spray bottle to saturate your piece and rust-free pins, you can easily fasten your knitted project to your blocking board.
Use a cloth steamer or an iron to steam at least an inch away from the piece, following the direction on the label. With that, you’ll get a beautiful final result that is crispy, neat, bump-free, and in the right shape.