Enough time has passed since I last considered the issue of shrinkage that I had to check to see if I’d written about it before. I have, here: Shrinkage — Beginner’s Corner.
I guess this post makes my second time approaching the subject. As I do more projects I’m thinking these little practice sessions will come in handy.
This particular yarn is Soie Naturelle 3-ply — 100% noil silk. It’s very nice yarn, slightly off-white with a hint of texture. This size gave me 22 wraps per inch, or 11 ends per inch, so my mini 31 x 31 loom (slightly smaller than a Weave-It) was required. (The 4-ply Soie Naturelle is a more Weave-It appropriate choice . It’s available in three weight choices, but here’s a link to the 16 ounce cone.) I’m really happy with Catnip Yarns‘ service and yarn choices.
As stated, pre-shrinking is not my area of expertise, so when I do it I go for the worst case scenario: your project is plunged into super hot soapy water and gets manhandled by a monstrous rubber-gloved hand. I left it to soak for 15 minutes since it was such a small piece. (I’d soak a large project for 30 minutes.)
I rinsed it in cold water to make sure the piece would have a true washing machine-like experience. Soaked for a really long time because I got busy, but 15-30 minutes should have been sufficient. Removed from water, squeezed-not-wrung, rolled in a towel, stepped on towel to remove excess moisture, put outside in desert atmosphere to dry.
This is the result.
As you can see, the weave tightened up via the shrinkage. In this case, that’s a desirable quality—the pattern shows up better. And the yarn feels softer now—also desirable.
I’m sure there’s a way to figure out the percentage of shrinkage that went on here—I’ll have my husband help me with that.
I’m planning a rigid heddle loom project with this yarn, so these samples will help me determine how much extra length and width I’ll need when I warp up. (To tell the truth, I’ll probably warp up the full width no matter what, but I’ll make sure to add x% extra warp length.) To be a really High Achiever, I should probably warp up a larger pin loom and make another pair of samples to see if I accurately estimated my shrinkage percentages. Yeah, not happening.
Just wanted you to know, pin looms make nifty quick sampler looms.
And sampling is important.
Please see Judie’s comment below for more expert commentary about shrinkage. Thanks, Judie!