Do you see the damage at the center of the motif in this picture? This is someone’s treasured heirloom crocheted piece. We all need to take care to see that our important crochet pieces don’t come to a sad end.
The information in this article relates equally well to all work we do with yarn. Many of us are fortunate to have true heirloom pieces, those wonderful garments, ornaments, or decor pieces lovingly made by grandma or mom. Age and use take their toll on our cherished heirlooms. Here is a lot of information that will make you aware of what can go wrong and how to prevent or fix it.
First is this helpful article by Jennifer Raymond of Tinking Turtle Designs. You may be familiar with her name from her designs you’ve seen published in some of our favorite crochet magazines. She will show you what to watch for in deteriorating vintage pieces. This is quite valuable.
Marlowe Leverette over at about.com gives invaluable information about how to launder your crochet. I am one who will not pay for drycleaning. First, it isn’t dry. Second, it smells awful. Third, it’s expensive. Most everything I own that is labelled as ‘Dry Clean Only’ has been handwashed or machine washed in cold water and mild detergent in my house. Then, they are typically blocked on towels on my large glass topped dining table under a gentle ceiling fan. I have yet to lose any piece labeled such. The exceptions I make here are items that require heavy ironing – like a wool blazer. Those go to the drycleaners. Everything else, wool, silk, cotton, highly decorated with beads, younameit, is washed by me and dried in my dining room.
Protecting our woolens (and wool yarns) from those predatory moths is essential. I have seen what a Harris Tweed jacket looks like after being neglected for a season! Half the jacket fell away into particles the size of house dust. Those critters are very efficient. Many modern woolens and wool yarns have been treated to make them moth repellent – but don’t trust that. use the information in this article to assure that all your woolens are safe for many years to come.