Sunday, March 2, 2014

Washing the White Wool

Today, I washed the white wool fabric that I am going to use for my Vendel period shift.  I washed it in the washing machine, on cold water on the "delicate" (<i>i.e.</i>, slowest agitator setting).  Now it is hanging as best as I could manage in my basement to dry.

The fabric feels nearly dry to the touch already, and does not seem to have shrunk noticeably in size. Unfortunately, due to the geography and condition of my basement, I cannot stretch the fabric out fully to dry, so I will probably have to iron it when it is nearly dry to smooth it out for cutting my shift.  But so far the experiment seems to have been a success.  It would be great if the washing also has the effect of making the fabric less itchy against my skin; I'll find that out as I progress.

EDIT:  (3/3/2014)  After I wrote my post, I got a brainstorm.  I set up the ironing board and spread the fabric out carefully across it.  As a result, it is now quite dry and also almost as smooth as if I *had* ironed it.   I haven't made any measurements, but I don't detect any significant shrinkage and although the fabric feels a bit thicker, the weave is still visible. Success!  Next, I have to find a few moments to cut my pattern pieces out; then, I'll be able to work on the stitching whenever I have a spare moment.


  1. I got three weaves of wool for hedeby apron dresses (flat, twill, and diamond twill) with coupons from JoAnnes (so nothing fancy, but all started about the same weight). I washed each in really hot water (and dryer!) because I wanted them to shrink- my thinking was I could then manipulate the fabric to be more stretchy to give me that BAMF shape (and if the finished garments accidentally got put in the washer on hot, they wouldn't shrink much more?). It ended up an interesting experiment; the diamond twill hardly changed, the twill shrank by about a quarter, and the flat by nearly half! I am lucky, though, in that I have an outdoor clothesline :)

    1. ... the diamond twill hardly changed, the twill shrank by about a quarter, and the flat by nearly half!

      Interesting. Very interesting! Thanks for the comment.

      I'll add that right now it is winter here, and bitterly cold. Yesterday was in the 30s (Fahrenheit) but raining; now it's more like 18. Not the best of weather for using a clothesline even if I had one. :-)