Keeping Your Acrylic Knits Fit
If you just shopped for this seasons sweaters or other knit garments? You have probably noticed that many of them contain acrylic. It is important that you are aware of the problems you may run into and how to care for them.
What is acrylic?
Acrylic is a fibre often found in sweaters, knit suits, pants, skirts and dresses. It is characterized by its ability to stretch and conform to the shape of the body and recover to its original dimensions.
Occasionally, these items may shrink during the care process. This is almost always a result of improper blocking or heat setting during manufacturing. An acrylic fabric that has not been properly stabilized will suffer drastic changes in shape from normal wear and care. The fabric can stretch during wear and shrink from cleaning - possibly as much as several inches after the first clean.
Unfortunately, there is no way to detect whether an acrylic knit has been stabilized to withstand a cleaning process. Once the shape of the item has been distorted, there is no way to restore the garment to its original dimensions. Acrylic knits that stretch or shrink in normal wear or care should be returned to the retailer or manufacturer.
Another problem with acrylics is their tendency to stretch when exposed to high temperatures. Any slight tension on the fabric while it is wet can cause permanent distortion. In some acrylic knits, especially those with loose and open knit constructions, permanent stretching and distortion can occur during normal circumstances of wear.
Some acrylic knits are bulky, and the knit is rather loosely constructed. These garments have a greater tendency to become snagged or pilled during normal use or to stretch and distort. Unfortunately, once an acrylic fibre stretches, it is usually permanent.
How can you keep your acrylics looking their best?