Superwash wool question

Wool (very, very soft wool) is best for babies because it is fire resistant, and when it gets wet, it doesn’t stop insulating. But unless felting is your goal, hand washing wool is a pain and very unlikely for newborn’s mommies. (Hand-knit garment, meet heirloom box!)

So my question is whether wool that has been treated to be machine washable (superwash wool) is still flame retardant and insulating?

And if wool blend yarn contains a percentage of acrylic or nylon, those fibers will have the melting-into-flesh properties, not the flame retardant ones, correct?

And if superwash still retains its awesome wool properties, what’s your most favorite, softest, minimal pilling, minimal fading baby superwash wool yarn? (I prefer worsted weight, but will consider DK, too)

Okay, if that costs more than 10 USD per skein (or contains a ridiculously small amount of yardage,) what’s your favorite bargain alternative?

Thank you for your input!


Superwash wool is treated to remove the little fibers that cling to each other and cause felting. I don’t think it’s changed other than that. I made a sweater with Dalegarn Falk and it washes wonderfully.

I honestly never really thought about the fire-retardancy of yarn or the stay-warm-when-wet property of wool when considering a baby item. Hopefully the parents will keep the baby safe and dry.

A bigger consideration for me is, as you said, easy care. I use Plymouth Encore a lot for baby things just because of the washability, softness and color choices.

I’m a big fan of Knit Picks Swish - it’s washable merino; I normally use the worsted weight, and I believe they have dk too. They don’t have a huge range of colors, and I think a skein normally goes for $3.50 or so for 110 yards. I have used it for baby items, but haven’t done a ton of washing on them yet. I have heard it pills, but frankly, I enjoy working with it too much to worry too much about some nubbys. I would machine wash it on gentle and just let it air dry - which is doable for a mom - I’m overwhelmed daily with little people clothes, and I can still manage that:mrgreen:

I’m with Ingrid on the Encore, I’ve made tons of blankets, afgans, sweaters, toys with it. It has stood up to numerous washing, dragging, and pulling. It still looks awesome!

I am a big fan of superwash wools. Artyarns Supermerino is beautiful and soft, but a bit pricey. Moda Dea, sold at Joanns, has a superwash wool. With the coupons, it is a great deal. I made myself a sweater and it washes well and is soft.

I bought a bag (10 skeins) of Superlana superwash wool at Little Knits, but have not used it yet.

None of the ones I mentioned contain any acyrlic. I also agree that superwash for babies is a great idea.