Q:

How do you block a sweater?

A:

Quick Answer

The three possible methods to block a sweater are steam blocking, wet blocking and spray blocking. The method used needs to be appropriate for the sweater's material, whether it is wool, cotton, synthetic or a blend.

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Full Answer

Read and follow the care instructions on the garment or on the yarn manufacturer?s label, if it is available. Heat can shrink wool and damage synthetics, so the steam blocking method is not recommended for them.

For the wet blocking method, wash and rinse the sweater in lukewarm water, then gently squeeze out most of the liquid. Roll the sweater in a towel to remove as much moisture as possible.

For the spray method, lay the sweater on a towel and dampen with a spray bottle of lukewarm water. Next, place a dry towel on a flat surface, like a mattress, and lay the damp sweater on top of it. Stretch and shape it to the desired measurements, then pin it down with rust-proof T-pins. Allow it to dry completely, then remove the pins.

For the steam method, place a towel on a flat, heat-proof surface, then pin the sweater into the desired shape and size. Do not use plastic-tipped pins because they will melt. Hold an iron just above the surface of the yarn and thoroughly steam the entire sweater. Allow the sweater to dry completely before removing the pins.

These methods can be used on new hand-made sweaters or older garments that have lost their shape. To keep knitted garments looking good, never store them on hangers.

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