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How to block acrylic blends?


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How do you block projects made with acrylic/wool or acrylic/cotton blend yarns? Can you wet block them if the percentage of acrylic is low enough, or do you have to steam block them like you would with 100% acrylic?

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IMO there is never a reason to steam block acrylic; .  This 'deforms' the acrylic, and changes it's properties.  It ceases to act like a lovely soft stretchy crocheted thing and acts more like non-stretchy woven fabric, and the texture is sort of crunchy (some describe it as soft, I don't agree).  IMO you would never want to steam block a garment that needs to stretch to fit you.

I have made a ton of acrylic pullovers, and all I do is wash and lay them flat to dry (I don't put them in the dryer) and that's all it really needs, it's not like it gets wrinkled.  There really isn't any reason to block a blanket if it comes off your hook looking like it's supposed to.

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1 hour ago, Granny Square said:

IMO there is never a reason to steam block acrylic; .  This 'deforms' the acrylic, and changes it's properties.  It ceases to act like a lovely soft stretchy crocheted thing and acts more like non-stretchy woven fabric, and the texture is sort of crunchy (some describe it as soft, I don't agree).  IMO you would never want to steam block a garment that needs to stretch to fit you.

I have made a ton of acrylic pullovers, and all I do is wash and lay them flat to dry (I don't put them in the dryer) and that's all it really needs, it's not like it gets wrinkled.  There really isn't any reason to block a blanket if it comes off your hook looking like it's supposed to.

Thank you for your answer. I was planning to make a lace shawl that needs to be blocked to show the lace work better with yarn that is mostly wool but it has some acrylic in it. Do you think I could water block it if the percentage of natural fibers is high enough?

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I think that should work perfectly, and it wouldn't hurt to try.  If you decide to pin it to help with the lace,  DO get rust proof pins, I think I got mine at Walmart but I'm sure fabric or craft stores should have them too.  

I have read about purchased 'made for this purpose' blocking wires for shawls, to make nice straight edge-lines; I haven't used these.  I'm not sure why you couldn't use white sewing or doily thread and run it thru the straight edges of the shawl, and tie the thread to pins at each corner; this seems reasonable in my head but not sure about real life.  (some dyed cotton threads bleed if you look at them funny, which is why I suggest white). 

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I appreciate your advice, thanks!

7 minutes ago, Granny Square said:

I think that should work perfectly, and it wouldn't hurt to try.  If you decide to pin it to help with the lace,  DO get rust proof pins, I think I got mine at Walmart but I'm sure fabric or craft stores should have them too.  

I have read about purchased 'made for this purpose' blocking wires for shawls, to make nice straight edge-lines; I haven't used these.  I'm not sure why you couldn't use white sewing or doily thread and run it thru the straight edges of the shawl, and tie the thread to pins at each corner; this seems reasonable in my head but not sure about real life.  (some dyed cotton threads bleed if you look at them funny, which is why I suggest white). 

 

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I usually do a small swatch to test out how blends will block.  Then wash again and see what happened to the blocking/shape.

 Sometimes a wet and stretch will work. 

Sometimes a stretch (dry fabric) and hover steam will work. 

Steam blocking with a block cloth will likely kill the acrylic permanently, but may only block the wool until the next wash.  So you risk a wonkier shape.

Cottons rarely block permanently and are somewhat difficult to stretch into a shape. 

BLOCKING WIRES: if you have a real hardware store near you, you might find a display of piano wires.  These come in different diameters.  They are long straight and strong wires.  I find them stronger than the old wire coat hangars.  At any rate, these are a cheap way to acquire blocking wires.  There are Etsy sellers who make them from welding wires and these are good as well.  Really speeds the time.

del piano.JPG

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Mary Pat, I'm guessing you haven't had any issues with rust?  I have had a couple of nasty incidents with rust in the past that ruined the project, and not from with wet things while blocking, just from humidity in the air and leaving my needle in my embroidery fabric.  I think if I tried something not deemed rust proof I'd spray paint it with a few coats of clear paint first (can't hurt).  And maybe accelerate the drying process with a hair dryer.  That price is right, tho!

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Genuine piano wiring is treated for rust and corrosion prevention.  Can't have pianos with rusting wires around..😄

The price may be right, but the shipping costs could be atrocious.  My local hardware store (not Lowes or Home Depot) sells these for closer to $1.50 each. 

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