Care instructions for an old blanket

[COLOR=“DarkOrchid”]Okay, here’s the deal:

I have a crocheted blanket that my mother made many years ago. I don’t know what type of yarn it is, it feels like acrylic and isn’t very soft. Seeing as she passed away nearly 20 years ago, the blanket is very important to me and I want to take care of it but it needs to be washed since it’s been living in a garage in Queens for many years.

Should I just be safe and hand wash it in the tub with laundry detergent or pop it in the washing machine on a delicate setting. It seems very sturdy, and can take pictures if necessary for you to make an assessment.

Many thanks![/COLOR]

If it’s in good shape and you’re positive that it’s acrylic, I would probably put it in the washing machine on a delicate setting–and check it every few minutes to make sure it’s okay. However, if you’re not sure about the acrylic part, you’re probably better off hand washing it.

If it’s wool, you’ll probably see little white sheep hairs sticking out of it. If your mom made it while you and your siblings were little, it’s probably acrylic for easy care. In the 70’s, very few knitters and crocheters used wool. It was mostly acrylics because they were cheap. They would have gone to dime stores like Woolworth’s and SS Kresge’s, the parent company of Kmart, and Kmart. I saw an old retro tv show with a yarn advertisement on a billboard. Sayelle yarn (which may be what this is because it’s scratchy) was 74 cents a skein!

I’m probably too late with this, but always use a front-load machine for crocheted, knitted, quilted blankets and comforters. Agitator-type machines, even on gentle, will cause deterioration.


I agree. I’d hand wash with a mild soap (like Ivory dishwashing liquid) rather than laundry detergent. You can rinse it well and put it into the spin cycle of the washer for several seconds to spin out most of the water and then dry flat.

Since acrylic is plastic, it melts with heat.

If you can pull a few loose fibers from the blanket, you could try applying heat and see if it melts like plastic.

Use tweezers to hold the fibers, to protect your fingers from the heat source.

Avoid open flame.

Sources of heat for testing:

Clothes iron on high, no water
Curling iron or flat iron for hair
Soldering iron

Maybe I’ve just been watching to much TV (Bones, series) and am starting to think like Hodgins. :wink:

I wash all my washable handknits in a top load washer on the delicate setting in cold water. The washer has the option of “slow wash and slow rinse”, so I use that as well. They have all survived just fine, with no damage at all. I dry most of them in the dryer on the delicate setting.