Acrylic Yarn is making my eyes red!

Help! I had read about how acrylics are hypoallergenic, but I am making a baby blanket from acrylic. It’s the first time that I’ve used it, and every time I knit (within about ten minutes) my eyes start to get red and itch. Has anyone else out there had this experience? Could it be the sizing or what it’s been treated with?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have 2/3 of the blanket left to knit, and it’s driving me crazy with the itching.

Acryllic is not hypoallergenic from my understanding. Much like latex and other synthetic materials, it is possible to have an allergy to the acrylic itself.

Good point, trvvn5. It looks like I may just be one of those people that have an allergy to acrylic! Interesting, since the main reason that I used it is that it’s highly recommended for baby products not only because of how easy it washes but because of the reduced allergic problems with it. My use of the term “hypoallergenic” is probably a misnomer.

you could have a latex sensitivity as well… are you rubbing your eyes or putting your hands near your face when you knit? is the yarn new or has it been stashed for a while?

It could also be something that was used to process the yarn. Maybe washing it see if it’s still a problem would help you figure it out. And/or try another brand or type.

I don’t think I’m rubbing my eyes (at least until after the irritation has started :). The yarn is brand new. Just bought it before I started my project.

Jan, have you ever washed your yarn before using it? Do you have any ideas about what would be the best way to wash without the yarn knotting up?

I did wash a hank of yarn, but I’ve never washed a skein. With the hank you can untwist it and hang it over the corner of a chair to dry, but I’m not sure how you’d do a skein. I think it’s been talked about before. Use the search and type in washing yarn and see if it comes up with anything. :think: Use the search right above the ad, not the one at the top.

I, too, and very sensitive to acrylic yarns. So I can sympathize. Be very careful not to touch your face when you’re knitting and to wash your hands after you’re done for a while. The ink they use in news papers causes my skin to bubble up and peel away. It’s very painful, so I hate Tuesdays and the ad papers for local stores. I really, really miss crossword puzzles.

Angela, I’m sorry you have the same problem, but I’m happy to hear that I’m not losing my mind and others have this problem, too. These allergies can be miserable things!

to wash a full skein i take a knee high nylon stocking and pull it over the skein (after removing the label natch) then toss it in the washer according to the washing instructions on the label followed by putting it on my swift and the hank to dry

Is it possible to be allergic to acrylic. I found out this is possible. I knew allergies arise after a sensitizing contact with a chemical. Now I know more about how, why, and most importantly how to avoid sensitization. I think the following site, though about acrylic nails, will be helpful.

Chemical Overexposure and Allergic Reaction

Now, is it the acrylic or something on the yarn (such as dust or other chemical from manufacture, storage, or transportation). Wash the skein to find out. I hope that will solve your troubles with acrylic yarn. I am sensitive/allergic to our cat but not our dog. I also found I am highly sensitive/allergic to newly hatched peeps (baby chickens). Oh I was sneezing for two days!

With a skein I would try to put the knee high nylon through the center as well as over outside of the skein. That might take two knee highs for larger skeins. My reasoning is to protect the inside of the skein from tangling with agitation in the wash. It might not be needed.

I often have to wash my face (especially my eyes) when my allergies attack me. My symptoms are itch and watery eyes with sneezing and sinus congestion. I am rethinking my use of OTC allergy meds in favor of eliminating exposure.

Good luck Crossed Fingers

D: Maybe you’re allergic to the dye?

It could also be minute particles of the loose fibers floating around irritating your eyes. Sorta like being in a dusty location. Washing might remove the floaters. Do you see any tiny pieces of yarn fiber laying on you after you have knitted/crocheted anything using this yarn?

That could be it too. Is it red dye? People tend to be very strongly allergic to red dyes.

I’m not allergic to acryllic yarn, but getting itchy just reading this. :eyes:

My eyes are not troubled by acrylic, but I am working with some acrylic yarn currently which leaves my hands feeling very tingly - either that or the plastic needles I am using with it. The yarn is quite soft and fluffy and bits of fluff keep coming off it. I have Raynaud’s Disease and I thought that was the cause of my sore hands, but they feel quite warm after working with this yarn for a while, albeit, as I already said, tingly.

I hope you manage to get the blanket finished without too much more itching.


more than likely there is formaldihide
spelled wrong
in your yarn and every item of clothing you buy
it is against the law in some places
it keeps color in the item even in white

I, too, have problems working with acrylic. My hands get itchy, but I don’t get a rash. It is worse with red or black yarn. I’m not sure if it is the fiber, or the dye, or both. So I just don’t use acrylic at all.

I’d try prewashing the yarn. The problem comes with the drying. You can’t leave the skein air dry or it might mildew. I wonder if you could wash in a bag & then toss the bag it into the dryer.

You are not alone. While it doesn’t itch me, it raises little red bumps on my skin when I wear it. Acyrillic is NOT hypoallergetic to me.