I wanted to share a neat trick with you guys today. Now, I’m sure that most of you know how acrylic yarn can be great because it’s cheap, it can be purchased in big skeins, the colors are endless, and there is just so much you can do with it. However, acrylic yarn tends to be stiff, scratchy and it can be hard to use for things like blankets and garments. Although there are several tutorials out there on how to soften acrylic yarn before you start using it, I didn’t find anything to help soften acrylic yarn after I had made the item. So, I tried some things out and I’m here to show you how to soften that yarn and save your project!
How to Soften Acrylic Yarn
What to do:
1. First, knit or crochet your project. I found it easier to soften the yarn after making the item because it took care of blocking at the same time. Also, I didn’t have to worry about pre-treating the yarn before I started, and I could just do it all at the end. The scarf I made here is one of the patterns in my free ebook The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet, btw.
2. Next, fill your sink or a bucket with warm water and submerge your item in it. The item will absorb water so add more if you need to in order to keep it submerged. Let it sit for a minute or two.
3. Add two or three pumps of hair conditioner to the water and mix it around to get it bubbly. Any conditioner is fine; I used whatever I happened to be using at the time, which was Pantene Pro-V, but it doesn’t matter. Massage the conditioner into the item like you would with your hair. It’s doing the same job, really, by adding moisture and softness into the strands. Then, let the item soak for another half an hour or so.
4. Rinse the item out with cool water, and gently squeeze any excess water out into the sink. Be gentle and work in sections to get as much water out as you can. Then, using a towel, go over it again. It should just be damp when you’re done.
5. Now you have two options: You can either lay the item out on a towel or a blocking mat and block the item to finish as you normally would, or you can dry it the rest of the way in your dryer. For items that you want to keep a certain shape, like sweaters or gloves, I would recommend blocking them. But for simpler items like this scarf, you can put it in the dryer without worrying about it becoming misshapen.
For the dryer option, throw the item into the dryer for 40 minutes on a low heat setting. You can also use a dryer sheet if you like. If the item isn’t completely dry in 40 minutes, you can dry it a while longer, or let it air dry the rest of the time.
That’s it! Your item should be soft and supple now and move the way you want it to. Although it takes awhile to get it soft like this, a lot of that time is spent letting the item soak or dry, so it doesn’t need much attention from you. This is the best way I’ve found to soften acrylic yarn, and it’s worked great on everything I tried it on. I hope this helps you out. If you liked this post, please share it!
The tasseled scarf I used in this tutorial is one of the 15 patterns in my ebook, so if you like it, be sure to subscribe and download it! The ebook is completely free and it’s full of patterns and tutorials to teach beginners how to crochet. You can also check out the 3-in-1 Infinity Scarf Pattern from the book over in my post from a few weeks ago.
See you all soon!