• Lisa

Finishes? Why Should You Care

Here's something I never thought to write about: finishes on fibers and fabrics.

I was showing a friend two skeins of the same yarn, one undyed and one dyed. She asked why the undyed skein felt heavier (it wasn't), and smelled different. I don't think about it much because I deal with this all the time. Have you ever noticed that new clothing smells different before and after that first wash?

It's because manufacturers often add finishes and coatings to fibers and fabrics for all kinds of reasons. You might be familiar with “stain-guard”, or “flame-retardant” finishes. That's not what I'm talking about. Most clothing and fabrics have finishes that give them a nice drape or “hanger appeal” in the store, and it usually washes out after a few laundry cycles.

Some of the fabrics and yarns I use have finishes, some don't.

The yarn I spoke of before, has a finish and won't take the dye unless the it is removed. It easily washes out with special detergents I use to prepare the yarn for dyeing. The used wash water turns yellow while the undyed yarn remains off-white. That yellow water is what's left of the finish.

There's actually a term in the industry for fibers and fabrics that have been prepared for dyeing. It's called PFD, (prepared for dyeing). Some companies will give you the option of buying fabric PDF. It's much more expensive. I just do it myself.

Why is this important? Some people are allergic to certain finishes. Finishes can also affect the way you clean your clothing. Some items have to be dry-cleaned or you will wash out a finish that is important to the appearance of the garment. Linen and silk garments usually have finishes that require dry-cleaning. There are other things like construction that dictate how are garment should be cleaned, but I'll deal with that in another post.

All Very Eclectic scarves and yarn are hand-dyed or painted by me, which means all the finishes have to be removed before they can be dyed. So they are all washable, and don't have finishes. It's a simple, good thing.



March 1, 2020

PS: I have two shows coming up and will post the info about them in a few days.

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