How is superwash wool made

FAQ: yarns

1) What fibers are DROPS yarns made of?

2) What is polyamide?

3) What information can I find on the sleeve of a DROPS thread?

4) What are the DROPS thread groups?

5) Can I use a different thread than indicated in the instructions?

6) What does "superwash" mean?

7) What does “Oeko-Tex® certified” mean?

8) Where are the DROPS yarns produced?

9) Why are DROPS yarns so cheap?

10) How exactly are the colors shown on the website?

11) What is a micron or micrometer? What does super fine / extra fine mean?

12) Why are the colors of my skeins of print colors different?

13) My shop is not the color I want, what can I do?

14) Where can I find a specific color part of a color?

15) Why is my yarn pilling / why is there fluff?

1) What fibers are DROPS yarns made of?

Yarn can be made from a wide variety of natural and synthetic fibers. DROPS yarns consist mainly of sheep's wool, cotton, alpaca, linen, mohair and silk. Each type of fiber has its own unique characteristics and they are often blended to take advantage of each type of fiber. Coarser yarn has the advantage that it is more durable and hard-wearing, while finer fibers offer more softness and comfort. Here is some information about the yarns in our range:

Alpaca:
Alpaca is a natural fiber made from the wool of the alpaca and has a similar structure to the wool fiber. This fiber is so soft because it is very thin, similar to merino wool. It is a soft, durable, luxurious and silky natural fiber. Both thick and fine yarns can be spun from alpaca, neither are prone to pilling or matting. Despite the similarities to sheep's wool, there are a few striking differences: Alpaca warms even more, does not scratch and does not contain lanolin - which makes it tolerable for people with wool allergies who are sensitive to it.

Mohair:
This fiber comes from the angora goat and mohair wool is considered a luxury yarn. Mohair is just as warm as wool, but it is much lighter and more durable. It can be colored very well and is not sensitive to matting. Mohair fibers have a wonderful sheen that comes from the reflection of light. Although it is a strong fiber, mohair is commonly spun into a fluffy yarn that makes for lightweight garments with a wonderful sheen.

Wool:
The wool fibers come from sheep and are relatively strong fibers. Due to its scaly surface, wool has two main properties: it is very warm and easy to felt. The appearance of the wool strongly depends on the breed of sheep.
The wool of the merino sheep is considered to be the finest wool, it is light and very finely crimped. All DROPS merino wool comes from South Africa and South America from sheep that have not been exposed to mulesing.
Virgin wool is made directly from the wool of living, healthy sheep, it is not recycled from existing fibers or clothing. Machine washable wool is chemically treated to smooth the rough surface of the fiber (see Superwash).

Silk:
The silk thread is a very long fine fiber from the cocoon of the silkworm. In contrast to the silk that comes from a silk farm, the wild silk or mulberry silk comes from free, uncultivated cocoons of the silkworm. The silk fiber is the strongest natural fiber and makes a very nice hand knitting yarn. Together with wool, it creates a wonderful mixture. Dyed silk impresses with its color intensity.

Vegetable fibers:
There are various plant fibers that are extracted from the cell wall of plants. Two of them are the most popular hand-knitted or tetil fibers: cotton and linen.
cotton is a fiber from the fruits of the cotton plant and consists of almost pure cellulose. The natural cotton fiber is white, but there are also green and brown variants. The fiber is mostly spun into a soft, breathable yarn that is ideal for summer clothing. The cotton thread is stronger than wool, but less strong than silk or linen.
Mercerized cotton is cotton that has undergone a mercerization process (treatment with caustic soda). This treatment increases the shine of the fiber compared to normal cotton. The thread is also more durable, absorbs the color better during dyeing (less consumption of dye) and does not fluff. The dimensional stability is also better and mercerized cotton does not shrink.
linen is extracted from the stems of the flax plant and is stronger and more durable than any other fiber. The linen fiber is relatively soft, smooth and has a matt sheen, and becomes even more beautiful over time. Linen is more comfortable to wear than cotton in hot temperatures, as linen absorbs moisture better and dries faster.

Other fibers that we use in our yarns are synthetic materials such as acrylic, viscose, polyamide (nylon) and polyester. These fibers are mainly needed to make a yarn more durable (like our sock yarn DROPS Fabel) or to give the yarn a special structure (like our blow yarn DROPS Air, which is made using a blowing technique)

2) What is polyamide?

The polyamide fiber, also known under the name nylon, is a very light, yet strong, durable and elastic fiber that is also easy to care for (machine washable and suitable for tumble dryers). This fiber is therefore perfect for increasing the durability of other fibers and is therefore often used in sock yarn.

Compared to polyester, polyamide is softer and more flexible, but it absorbs more water and dries more slowly.

3) What information can I find on the sleeve of a DROPS thread?

On all DROPS yarns banderoles you will find information about the composition of the yarn (wool, cotton, etc.), the weight, the length, care instructions and symbols (see explanation here), color number, lot number and information about the yarn group.

4) What are the DROPS thread groups?

All DROPS yarns are divided into 6 different yarn groups (A to F) depending on the thickness of the thread. The yarns in a yarn group have a similar gauge and can therefore be interchanged, but the run length can be different. If you want to use a different thread from the same thread group, you always have to calculate how many meters are needed for a model and convert this into the number of skeins of the alternative thread.

5) Can I use a different thread than indicated in the instructions?

Yes, as long as you achieve the same gauge. It is essential to knit a sample, the number of stitches must exactly match the instructions in the instructions in terms of width and height.

Please note that yarns with different structures also look different. The run length can also be different, so always calculate the total run length in order to determine the yarn consumption.

You can find out more about the calculation of yarn consumption for an alternative yarn and how you can e.g. replace 1 thread of one thread with 2 threads of another thread here.

6) What does "superwash" mean?

"Superwash" describes a special treatment of the fibers that makes the wool machine washable. If you use "superwash" treated wool, the garment will not shrink or become matted. (1)

7) What does “Oeko-Tex® certified” mean?

The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s in response to the demand for textiles that were not harmful to health. Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a globally uniform test and certification system for raw materials, intermediate stages and end products. The test for dangerous substances includes substances that are prohibited or restricted by law, chemicals that are harmful to health, and parameters that are included as a precautionary measure to ensure health.

For more information, go to www.oeko-tex.com

8) Where are the DROPS yarns produced?

You can find this information on the respective color card and in the price list.

9) Why are DROPS yarns so cheap?

p> DROPS is Northern Europe's largest brand for hand knitting yarns and designs. This gives us unique opportunities to get the best raw materials cheaply - and we pass these savings on to you. Therefore DROPS yarns are 20-30% cheaper than comparable products!

10) How exactly are the colors shown on the website?

We try to depict the colors on the color card as faithfully as possible. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that this will also be shown on your computer. The colors appear differently on each screen, some colors appear darker depending on the screen setting, others a deeper hue, etc. If you find that some colors on your screen look different from the original, you can change the screen settings.

11) What is a micron or micrometer? What does super fine / extra fine mean?

The thickness of yarn fibers is measured in micrometers (also: microns), i.e. one thousandth of a millimeter. Alpaca superfine has a thickness of 26-28 micrometers. Merino fine is thinner than 21.5 micrometers and Merino extra fine is thinner than 19.5 micrometers. The fewer micrometers a fiber measures, the softer and more delicate a yarn quality can be, and the more micrometers a fiber measures, the more robust the yarn quality becomes.

The reason why the strength of a yarn fiber is important is what the yarn is intended for later on. Whether delicate or robust - this partly determines the purposes for which we use the yarn. We therefore recommend the softest yarns (such as DROPS Baby Merino) for baby clothing, whereas a sturdier and thicker yarn fiber such as DROPS Snow is very suitable for seat mats and slippers.

12) Why are the colors of my skeins of print colors different?

There are the following reasons why two balls of the same print thread look different: 1) both balls do not belong to the same dye lot (i.e. from the same dyeing process); 2) the balls have been dyed using a technique called "Magic Print" (this technique is used for DROPS Delight, for example). This gives each ball unique color shades and soft color transitions, which also means that lighter and darker variants can occur within a color batch. This is not a fault or disadvantage, but is part of the typical character of this yarn.

13) My shop is not the color I want, what can I do?

If your DROPS shop does not have the thread color you want, the best thing to do is to contact a DROPS Super Store (these are the shops with the golden emblem) - you can get the color there, even if the shop does not have it in stock Has. Here you can find a list of all DROPS stores.

14) Where can I find a specific color part of a color?

First get in touch with your DROPS shop. If the color section you are looking for is not there, we recommend asking other knitters and crocheters in the DROPS workshop on Facebook or at Ravelry, maybe someone has the color section you are looking for and is ready to hand it over.

15) Why is my yarn pilling / why is there fluff?

Yarn fluff or pilling pods form because the twist is not strong enough to hold all the fibers together. There are loose fibers in every yarn (production-related), which can emerge as individual fibers, fluff or "knots". Depending on how the yarn is spun, more or less fibers will loosen. Brushed yarns like DROPS Melody have more loose fibers than other yarns and therefore also fluff more. How strong a thread fluff or pilling also depends on what is worn under or over the garment and how strong the friction it creates. It is therefore not possible to guarantee that a yarn will not shed or pilling.

Here are a few tips to get the best result with fluffier yarns:

  • When you have finished knitting or crocheting the garment, shake it out before you wash it for the first time so that the loose fibers fall out directly. PLEASE NOTE: Do not use a lint brush, lint roller or anything similar that will pull on the yarn fibers.
  • Put the item of clothing in a plastic bag and then put it in the freezer - the freezing temperature means that the fibers do not stick together and loose fibers come off more easily. After a few hours, take the garment out again and shake it out again.
  • Follow the washing instructions on the thread banderole. Garments with fluffier yarns usually need to be fluffed up after drying to straighten the fibers and allow loose fibers to fall out.