Superwash vs. Colorfast

As color-blocking in patterns continues to rise in popularity, it’s important to remember that just because a yarn is ‘Superwashdoes not mean it is ‘Colorfast.’

  • What does ‘Superwash‘  mean?
    • ‘Superwash’ wool is a wool yarn that is machine washable and, therefore, will not felt.
  • What does ‘Colorfast‘ mean?
    • The ability of fabric or other substances to keep the same color without fading or running even if washed, placed in harsh light, exposed to perspiration or treated with certain chemicals.
  • “If I make a project in red and white, will the yarn bleed, even if it’s ‘Superwash‘?
    • Just because a yarn is ‘Superwash‘ does not ensure it is also ‘Colorfast‘.
    • The only way to know for sure if bleeding could be an issue for your project is to swatch both colors together and test your preferred blocking method first.
  • Never blindly block your finished project (especially wet blocking) without first testing on a swatch. Doing so will ensure minimal heartbreak!
  • When in doubt, remember yarn is just like laundry! You would never wash your whites with a new red sock, right? Not unless you want pink shirts! Yarn is the same. Explore alternative blocking and laundering methods if you intend on using highly contrasting colors in the same project, such as:
    • Steam Blocking – This can be a great alternative!
    • Color Catchers could help prevent bleeding, but we still recommend testing on a swatch first.
    • Dry Cleaning – While this is a great option for projects that need to be washed (like blankets) on occasion, we still recommend having your cleaners test a swatch of the yarn FIRST, before getting it cleaned. All fibers react to the dry cleaning process differently.

The moral of the story is simple: do your homework! A lot of time and money are put into our projects, whether they are intended for yourself or another, so always make time to swatch, test, and know your project will live a lifetime of color perfection, just as you intended!