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How do you make yarn feel softer?

January 26th, 2010 · 8 Comments · How To Choose Yarn

I bought some Red Heart yarn for crocheting and I now want to knit scarves with the yarn but it feels too dry. How would I make it feel softer/less dry?

Red Heart is an acryllic yarn and there isn’t much you can do to change its texture. Washing it may help, but putting it in the dryer, softener sheets or not, changes it permanently and it loses its hand, because the heat causes it to lose its *memory* or spring. It is this way with all acryllic yarns. While it will feel *softer* it also will not bounce back when stretched and will be limp. Your recourse here? Either return it and save the money for a different yarn, or use it for an afghan rather than scarves.

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sparkle // Jan 26, 2010 at

    I used to by Red Heart b/c it’s cheap but I never did like the rough nature of the yarn. I think after you wash it the dry, rough feeling will lessen but it will not go away. I but Carron Simply Soft now (it’s just as cheap but much softer, however, there aren’t as many colors as the RH super savers).
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  • 2 wife2denizmoi // Jan 26, 2010 at

    Washing it after you do your project will remove some of the stiffness….also over time it will soften. For scarfs, try a chenille…..if you are making them for Christmas, search lionbrand yarn for a boa pattern. Its easy, quick and makes a really nice gift or scarf for yourself.
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  • 3 J/C // Jan 26, 2010 at

    yed heart is mostly acrylic some people are sensitiveyou can get a plastic bag and put a snuggle sheet in the bag good for the yarn and smell
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  • 4 taekwondoboy94 // Jan 26, 2010 at

    try putting the yarn that is still in the ball or roll, however you buy it, put it in a mesh bag, and put it in the laundry dryer with softener sheets…hope it works for you.
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  • 5 mickiinpodunk // Jan 26, 2010 at

    Red Heart is an acryllic yarn and there isn’t much you can do to change its texture. Washing it may help, but putting it in the dryer, softener sheets or not, changes it permanently and it loses its hand, because the heat causes it to lose its *memory* or spring. It is this way with all acryllic yarns. While it will feel *softer* it also will not bounce back when stretched and will be limp. Your recourse here? Either return it and save the money for a different yarn, or use it for an afghan rather than scarves.
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    I have been knitting for 53 years.

  • 6 princesschavak // Jan 26, 2010 at

    The problem with red heart yarn is its great acrylic mind. This makes it really good for soft form, aminigrumi, and craft projects. The problem begins when you try to soften it the memory goes away.
    The one time I accidentlly made a garment out of it I laughed for about an hour because it really did stand up on it’s own. I did however discover that if you get that "Dry clean" kit they sell in the stores it helps alot!!! The kit is usually found in the laundry section of Stop and Shop near me so I would guess any grocery shop would have it. The kit allows you to turn your dryer into a dry cleaner, I found that this help the yarn hold most of its shape but soften.
    The other option is time consuming but if you get a felting mat and rub the inside a.k.a. wrong side of the piece it helps breakdown the stiffness but in the future if you are looking for a worsted wieght yarn that is less expensive I would recommend lion brand woolease.
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  • 7 Shelly J // Jan 27, 2010 at

    red heart softens up A LOT after being washed. Wash with a little bit of fabric softener (a little, maybe half what you would normally use) and it gets even softer. While you are working with it, it will still feel rough. Some people have had luck with washing the entire skein in a pillow case before using it. I tried that once and it tangled too much.

    In the future, try Caron Simply Soft. It’s about the same price and it is very soft from the very begining.

    If you’re not sure about the Red Heart, make a sample square and wash it and see if you like how it comes out. If not, maybe you can return the skeins you haven’t used yet.
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  • 8 Tootsieroll // Jan 27, 2010 at

    I use Red Heart for a lot of my projects and I find that giving the finished project a deep steaming works for me. I use a white pillow case sprayed with warm water placed on my ironing board surface, then place the items on top of it, spray the items, cover them with another sprayed pillow case and steam, steam, steam. Let them dry without moving them and it works. Sometimes I’ll repeat the process if I want more softness. I’ve been crocheting for over 60 years and right now I’m making caps for newborns at our County Hospital. Some of the caps are Red Heart and they’re just fine. Good luck.
    Tootsieroll
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