Acrylic yarn is a widely and generally used type of yarn by all needlecrafters, crocheters, or knitters. It has however become a subject of controversy in recent months because it is non-biodegradable and poses an adverse health risk. The yarn has a low chemical content making it safe for use.
It does make you sweat and this is because of its synthetic fiber nature and the process of twisting. The acrylic yarn holds water more than any natural fiber and fabrics or clothing items made with it are less breathable and hold sweat and body odors.
Why Does Acrylic Yarn Make You Sweat?
Acrylic Yarn is considered to cause you to sweat a lot and also poses several risks because of the following properties which are considered to be the disadvantages of using acrylic yarn.
1. It Has A Low Breathability
Acrylic yarn is different from natural wool. It obstructs the body from breathing and airflow and this is because it holds onto your sweat.
2. It Holds Onto Water And Body Odors
Since it has the strength to hold onto water, it also holds odors and until it is washed, it retains the smell.
For instance, if you are on acrylic wear and caught in heavy rain, you get to feel cold because the wear causes your body to lose heat faster as it can’t remove the water quickly.
3. It Is Flammable
The acrylic yarn has a high melting capacity and it shouldn’t be put near a fire spot. If put under a high heat temperature, it gets to melt causing skin burns if it gets in contact with the body.
4. It Is Not Eco-Friendly
Acrylic yarn is considered to be unfriendly to the environment with a carbon footprint from the chemical in the manufacturing process of acrylonitrile. There are also petroleum products used that pose risks with the product itself as carcinogenic.
5. It Is Non-Biodegradable
If the acrylic yarn passes its prime time, it cannot be recycled thus it spends several years in a thrash or waste system.
6. It Produces Results With Low Quality
Acrylic yarn tends to lose its place after being worked into any item and this is because of its twist and lumpiness making it produce low-quality projects.
7. It Releases Microplastics
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic released into the environment and as a pollutant, it is harmful to the environment. Microplastics are released each time item made from acrylic yarn is washed.
Why Then Do People Choose Acrylic Yarn?
Regardless of the disadvantages and effects it poses, people still tend to go for acrylic yarn. Do you wonder why? It is because there are also a few benefits attached to it even with the fact that it causes you to sweat. Let’s look through these benefits:
1. It Is Synthetic
Acrylic yarn is a synthetic fiber and doesn’t contain histamines that can cause allergies or irritations.
2. It Is Durable
Acrylic yarn is durable and many are machine washable making them the best option for items that require lasting yarn. They do not shrink or shed if washed with another laundry.
3. It Comes In Various Colors
Acrylic yarn is a human-made fiber that is easily designed to several specifications such as colors to provide a long chain of options and with new technology, they are color-fast such that they do not run or bleed. It also allows you a DIY dyeing process if you cannot find a desired or specific color shade.
4. It Is Budget Friendly
Acrylic yarns are popular due to their cheap rate. It is a budget-friendly option and with the new and advanced acrylic yarn made to be softer than the original ones. Their long life span makes them relatively easy to get. They do not fade or bleed. They are also widely used making them readily available.
5. It Is Hypo-allergenic
Acrylic yarn is a synthetic fiber considered to be non-allergenic. Unlike wool or cotton, it doesn’t cause skin allergies, sensitivities, or irritations.
6. Easy To Laundry
The acrylic yarn has the strength to be machine washed without it shedding, shrinking, fading, or bleeding, and thus maintains its shape after laundry. It is best to make items that require constant and regular cleaning such as baby clothes, gloves, blankets, sweaters, and more.
7. It Has A Warm Texture
The acrylic yarn has a warm texture which gives you warmth during the winter season. Items made from acrylic yarn however do not offer you shelter from the elements such as rain, sun, wind, snow, and others.
8. It Is Stain Resistant
Unlike cotton, acrylic yarn has low retention for stains which makes it one of the best choices for wears such as baby garments.
9. It Is Lightweight
Do you want to crochet or knit lightweight items? Your best option is acrylic yarn. It falls under the yarn weight #3 (Light/DK Worsted) category which allows you to feel much lighter.
10. It Has A Perfect Stitch Definition
Knitting or crocheting with acrylic yarn gives a visible and perfect stitch definition making it easy to see the direction of your stitches while you work and also a great choice for beginners. This is however true if the acrylic yarn is a light-colored one.
Is Acrylic Yarn Healthy?
Acrylic yarn is not 100% safe. It is best used for specific projects. Also, some acrylic yarns do contain carcinogens that can pass through the skin, inhalation, or ingestion into the body.
Acrynolite is the main component of acrylic yarn which is also known as vinyl cyanide. The carcinogen is capable of causing the following to the body: it causes lung, bowel, and brain cancer, and it also affects the central nervous system (CNC).
It is made from petrochemicals and is prone to harm the environment since and due to the plastic nature it is considered to be a non-eco-friendly type of yarn that is non-biodegradable unlike other plants and animal fibers. It also offers no airflow or breathability. It also releases microplastics into our water systems when the fibers are broken down.
The acrylic yarn is inflammable and melts at high heat temperatures. It is best advised not to be used in the kitchen due to its high connection with flame or high heat.
How Do I Care For My Acrylic Yarn?
Since sweating is inevitable from wearing an acrylic fabric or garment, it is best to have a proper way of caring for your wears to get rid of sweat and body odors to give them a fresh look and pleasant scents.
Before you decide what method to wash, it is best required that you check the fabric care label well and follow the instructional cleaning method and guide to know if it is hand-washable, machine-washable, or can be ironed. However, delicate and flexible items should be hand-washed and laid flat to dry to prevent them from stretching beyond their original shape or length.
1. To Hand-Wash Acrylic Fabric
Use a mild laundry detergent, soap, or liquid wash that is specified for flexible and delicate clothes. Then pre-soak the clothing items for about 20 to 30 minutes before you wash them normally. After, warm or cold rinse them but do not use hot water as this can cause the fabric to stretch.
2. To Machine-Wash Acrylic Fabric
The first thing is to pretreat the stains. This is done by spraying the stained spot with fabric stain remover. Then, scrub the spot lightly with a brush.
Then, load the washing machine: into the washer, put the clothes, and add an all-purpose of your favorite laundry detergent for acrylic fabrics and also your choice of fabric softener to the final rinse this is because acrylic fabrics tend to hold excessive static, the softener helps to eliminate all.
Lastly, wash the load: The wash cycle selected should be a permanent press and not washed with hot water. If the final cycle of the washing machine is a high spin rate, it is best to set it to a low spin rate.
3. To Dry The Clothes
Dry the washed clothes by hanging them, laying them flat to dry, or tumble drying them on low heat in the machine. Avoid drying in high heat as this tends to cause the fabric to stretch, wrinkle or damage. It is best to, however, hang dry acrylic clothing when they’re still wet.
4. Ironing The Clothes
However, if the clothes require ironing, iron at a low temperature using steam and a press cloth to prevent the iron from melting or burning the fabric and also protect it from getting shiny marks as this situation is irreversible.
Acrylic yarn is considered to be versatile and affordable with items made from it considered to be great ideas. The unfriendly process is however being reduced on regular basis with the advancement in technology of manufacturing and production.
Choosing acrylic yarn is based on the crocheter, knitter, or crafter and regardless of loving it or not, acrylic yarn is here with us and here to stay.