Ecowash vs. Superwash

Wool is adorned with adjectives, each sexier than the last, to attract knitters: #overworkedparent #minister's agenda #hand wash? Can I churn my butter too? #knitting gift for muggles unable to find the delicate cycle.

In short, if the word ends in "Wash", my wool goes to the washing machine! It can save a couple...

I have a burning memory of a magnificent cashmere cardigan that disappeared... Then, found between two pairs of sheets, felted to the last degree and identified at first sight as a rat corpse... Thank you, Chéri.

The process generally used to create a superwash wool is, undoubtedly, very far from being “Eco-friendly”.

The scales that cover the wool begin to move and then tangle as soon as there is a little movement and heat. A little too much heat and movement and … they find themselves irretrievably glued together. The wool is felted and the process irreversible.

In order to discipline them, the textile industry exposes the fiber to “chlorination” using chlorine-based chemicals. This process is very unstable and can emit highly toxic gases (first chemical weapon developed during the First World War.) This step "erodes" the scales which will then be covered with a polymer, (or plastic for laymen) responding to the mild name of Hercosett 125. Thanks to this process, the wool absorbs the dye much better and the Hercosett 125 coating makes it very soft and shiny. But, can we still talk about 100% wool???

This highly polluting process directly affects the integrity of the fibre.

In recent years, with the growing demand for organic and environmentally friendly products, the textile industry has developed a new process to make wool “machine washable”. No more chlorination, the fibers are partially covered with a GOTS-certified organic compound that keeps the fibers in place. This process is generally found on organic wools in order to remain consistent with the ethics of the product.

Wool treated in this way retains a beautiful matte appearance and a more natural softness.

You can find Riverside Studio's sock wool in organic merino and treated with the Ecowash process HERE

Don't hesitate to get information in your favorite wool shops; )

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