Date: Wed, 03 Sep 1997 07:20:20 -0400 From: FiberArt (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: [BOND] Pressing and Steaming Matters There seems to be alot of information regarding steaming and pressing. I thought I would share my knowledge and experience on this matter. You can take anything I say with a grain of salt :-). WHY? When you knit you are forcing yarn into a shape of your own choosing. In order to "set" the yarn in this shape you need to block. If you have ever seen a finished lace garment it would give you the most obvious effect. It is lumpy and bumpy and not as smooth as it should look. Blocking "finishes" the garment. DIFFERENT METHODS There is wet blocking. This is where you pin out the damp garment into shape. Measure it to be accurate and let it dry in position FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS. It may feel dry sooner but leave it full the full 24 hours. This is a very good method for wool garments especially lace items like shawls. There is steam blocking. This is where you pin out the item. You then hit it with steam from either a steamer or iron. DO NOT TOUCH IRON TO FABRIC. You just use the hot steam. You then leave alone for 24 hours to completely dry. This is a very good method for most garments including fair isle and lace clothing. Some of you have mentioned ironing. The only time I have seen designers use ironing is when using chenille. They wanted to flatten and create that shine effect. This has been used for woven chenille, for instance. I would never use on my garments myself but if you are happy with the effect, go for it! Killing. This is when you oversteam to create a shinny effect. If you have ever seen those japaneese knitting books you will see they do this to their lace clothing. You use thin acrylic yarn, knit the garment, and kill the fabric. The end effect is a sheen to the garment and a very light drapey fabric. Others use for skirts and pants to "set" the fabric firmly so that it does grow a "seat" with wear. WHY YOU WOULDN'T BLOCK No reason really. I have seen wonderful garments with that "rumpled" look like they just came off the needles. Blocking only enhances the effect of all your wonderful work. Not take away. That's my sermon for today :-). Cheryl FiberArt@earthlink.net http://home.earthlink.net/~fiberart/ Come visit us in #KnitSpin -- the IRC chat channel for fiber lovers on DALnet
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Author : Steph Thornton.
Last modified on : 4th September 1997.