Baa-Baa, Strange Smell. Does your wool smell too? :)

Hi there,

I decided to use more natural fibers and bought Patons Classic Wool in 4 colours. I touched them, smelled them and put them to my cheek to check softness and there were fine. Before leaving I picked up 2 skeins of white yarn but didn’t check them cause they were from the same line.

Well, the white yarn smells. Sort of like a farm (or a sheep, I guess, although I never purposefully smelled one) :slight_smile: I love visiting farms but when the farm unexpectedly visits me, I get alarmed :slight_smile:

So, I have a number of questions… Is it because it’s natural wool and not dyed? Will it go away/wash away? Can I do something about it?

Also, I use three colours for this sweater – white, orange and brown. When I washed an orange swatch in cold water with soap, the water became slightly orange. Could dark brown yarn colour white yarn when washed together?


If it’s white I think they have to bleach it or something so maybe that process made it smell funny? I know white doesn’t felt as well because of processing.

Some yarn does run and I’ve heard of other people having problems when they’ve used two (or more) colors. I think your best bet is to knit a swatch in the colors you want to use and then wash it to see what happens. Not all yarns react the same and two people with the same yarn can have different results. It could be the difference in detergent, water temp, etc.

I can’t wear most wools and I don’t use it for children at all other than occasional (washable) blends like Plymouth Encore so I don’t have a lot of experience with it.

Thanks, Jan. I will try the swatch.

I’ve never tried it, Olha, but on a thread somewhere I read about bleeding someone mentioned a product, I believe it was a sheet of some kind, that you could put in the wash with an item and it would absorb the dye in the water.

After a wash or two it probably wouldn’t bleed any more. Maybe you could wash the yarn before you used it. ??? :eyes: That would be crazy but possible.

I have never heard of or seen anyone else do this, and not sure if it’s recommended, but I have pre-washed a skein or two of yarn, to get a strange smell out.

I washed it just by hand in the sink, using a product called ‘Eucalan’ which requires no rinsing. I think it has eucalyptus essential oil in it and I don’t know what else, but it does smell rather nice, mild.

I then wrapped my skein in a towel, and stomped on it to get most of the liquid out…then left the skein to dry.

It did take many days to dry though, but the smell subsided or disappeared entirely. This was years ago, so I can’t remember exactly how long it took. If you have heat ducts in your house, you can place it atop a duct where air circulates. I think I put mine next to my woodstove. (we don’t have a furnace, so no ducts.)

I was thinking about washing the yarn, too. But it’s a big skein so it would take forever to dry… I am going to the yarn shop today and if I learn anything useful, I will let you know :slight_smile:

I think you can add a little salt to the water to prevent bleeding of the colors. A lot of wool yarn smells a little sheepy to me.

You could try good ol’ Febreze ™ if it isn’t a yarn you can pre-wash. I’ve done that with remnants and pieces I buy from Thrift Stores for salvage.

Thanks, but no thanks! :slight_smile: Not that it’s not a good option but I had a similar problem with something else and was anxiously smelling both the Lysol and the offensive smell (till hyperventilation) to make sure I [I]can’t[/I] smell anything :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Eww… Lysol and Febreze are not even close. Lysol smells like cleaning and hospitals. Febreze actually removes scents more than covers them in my experience with it.

May or may not work on your yarn though. It may only work on “added” scents like cooking, cigarette smoke, body odors…and not scents that are sorta due to the product natural odor. :shrug:

LOL! That particular Lysol smelled like fresh linen and won over Ferbeze but still – no matter what I do to mask any smell, it only painfully reminds me of it :slight_smile:

Well, I called Patons and was redirected to Ravelry :slight_smile: Sort of funny idea of customer service but probably the most helpful one under the circumstances – many people dealt with it before.

Also, as far as dye running goes I was advised to soak my sweater in cold water with some pickling salt and vinegar. Something from my previous experience was telling me that if I added dill and garlic, it would be a delicious sweater :slight_smile: