Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Washing Tencel

Here are some answers to the question: How do I launder my tencel weaving?

The first answer comes from Diane of Just Our Yarn.

I usually fill the washer for a small load (cool to warm water) and put the piece in and agitate on the
delicate cycle with a little soap (usually ivory but anything works) I don't usually let it go the full
cycle--just 2-3 minutes. spin, rinse, spin, rinse with fabric softener, spin, rinse again and spin out.
The fabric softener will make a big difference in the hand. Then I usually throw it in the dryer for a
few minutes taking it out when it's slightly damp. Give it a hard press with lots of steam and it'll be
even more beautiful.

The next answer came to the previous blog entry by BJGVET.

I have woven extensively with Web's 8/2 tencel. I always finish (based upon their recommendation) with a hand wash in warm water with mild detergent, rinse, then roll in a towel and hang to air dry. Once dry, I steam iron the piece with a moderate plate temp (lower end of the steam zone). I have had excellent results, never any bleeding or puckering, and absolutely no loss of its beautiful light catching sheen. Barbara Elkins (of Webs) also says that Tencel tolerates very hot water well, and recommends washing in the hottest tap water you have if you have had problems with pulled threads during wear you are trying to coax back into position, or a slightly looser sett than ideal. This will cause some shrinkage, but it is even, and causes no damage to the actual fiber. I have also tumbled my already dry Tencel pieces in a warm dryer with a sheet of fabric softener to further soften the drape with very good results. Dry cleaning is also an option if you want NO CHANGE whatsoever in your finished piece, but I have never tried it.

The third answer comes from a book on wet finishing handwovens by Laura Fry by way of Laritza.

It is fiber made from the wood pulp in a more environmentally friendly process than Rayon.
Finish Tencel with warm water, light soap of detergent, agitation and hard press. This will give it a lovely sheen and drape.
That is all she says.


Peg in South Carolina said...

Hard pressing really brings out tencel's shine, just as it does with silk. And if you work really really hard pressing down on that iron, it makes a thinner, finer fabric as well.

Bonnie said...

I will surely hard press! Suddenly I have so many other "more pressing" things to do I haven't had time to start twisting fringe which has to happen before laundering.

Lynne said...

I'm in the 'hard press' camp also. I've done quite a few tencel pieces recently, using it for warp and weft and as weft over cotton, and hard pressing transforms it in terms of both drape and lustre. I admit to being a bit of a scaredy-cat, however, in that I use a dry cloth between the fabric and the iron.