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Checking for Fiber Content

The first thing you need to do before laundering your knits is to check the yarn label for indications about laundering. Most hand knitting yarns can be dry-cleaned. Exceptions to this include some of the synthetic and/or metallic yarns, which could melt during the dry cleaning process.

If you don't have a yarn label and are unsure of the fiber content of the yarn, you can check to see if has synthetics by doing a burn test. NO, you will not set your sweater on fire: you will use a spare piece of yarn about 10" long.
1) Hold the yarn over the kitchen sink.
2) Light a match and hold it to the other end of the yarn for a minute. Watch your fingers!
3) Blow the match out.
4) Wait a minute until the yarn has a chance to cool.
5) Check the yarn end that you just lit. Does it crumble in your fingers like ashes? Then it is a natural fiber such as wool or cotton.
6) Does it seem to have formed a hard plastic ball? Then it is a synthetic yarn and probably should not be dry-cleaned.

Back to Knitting Tips: How to Launder Hand Knits