Pondering over tuna tataki

Today over lunch, I was wondering.... is it just me or does 100% wool smell REALLY bad!!???
I finished my first lace project that needed to be blocked ( my baby blanket ) ... and I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING...
youtube helped =)

but once I took out my project out of the water.. IT SMELLED HORRIBLE''?? ...
anyone know why? or how to get that smell out? ...
If I block it and then take it to a dry cleaner, would i have to re block it?


Wool only smells bad when it's still on the sheep and it is wet.

Tallguy's picture

If the wool is not clean, it CAN smell bad. But that is why you need to wash it. I've never had a problem with wet wool smelling bad... once it is clean.

I've never had any good luck with taking anything to the cleaners to be blocked, and have heard some horror stories. They are just not prepared to handle real wool. If you know a cleaner, and can be there to supervise what they do, you may get a good job done. I'd rather do it myself -- because then I am in control, and I know what I am doing. It's really not that difficult to do yourself.

cheeseandstuff's picture

hmm interesting.... well.. like i mentioned, its my first time blocking.. and i panicked ... when i soaked the blanket in water it freaked me out because it became all soft and I had a really hard time washing it being EXTREMELY paranoid. It became all soft and squishy and I was afraid it would rip or something.

I am really confused though... I am using a 100 merino wool from debbie bliss... i would expect it to be cleaned well before bundled up.. ... Its a sort of expensive project so I DONT want to ruin it...

so should I wash it again and re block since it still smells?

Crafty Andy's picture

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Wool is clean, when you block it you sometimes block it by washing the garment, . Wool is hair, so you can condition it like hair. If you take it to the cleaners , cleaners can wash and block wool for you.

I will say that as far as I know 99% of commercial wool is clean, except Noro, Noro is clean but has some vegetable matter in it stillo. The way to block a project is by following the washing instructions, if it is a shawl, you may require to pin it down or block it with blocking wires. I would suggest that you google , ways of blocking wool and you may find lots of ways. I always block hatrs by wasghing them in Eucalan Wash, but any clear shampoo will do. At your yarn store ask them if they carry Eaucalan Wash. I sometimes put about 100 ml of white vinegar in projects with color, that helps fasten the color to the wool.

MMario's picture

I find the odor of wet wool to be HORRIBLE - even clean wool....likewise alpaca. People complain about wet dog - I think wet wool is as bad. But once dry the smell is gone.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

ronhuber's picture

I am a fan of soaking the article in shampoo or whatever and then soaking it in a good conditioner. The wool takes on the perfume in the condtioner and does become much softer. Wool become squishiy when wet but it is very strong and you can really give it a good stretch.
I certainly would not take it a dry cleaner. Would you want all those harsh chemicals rubbing against baby's delicate skin?

bobinthebul's picture

I usually do my first wash in a conditioner shampoo. :) But yeah, when it's still wet, it's a bit rank. It will go away as soon as the wool is completely dry, which you probably have noticed by now. (After all, it didn't stink while you were knitting it!) :)

2manyhobbies's picture

I don't really find the barn-yardy smell of wet wool all that bad in moderation (in fact, oddly I find it a bit comforting), but it can help once in a while to remember that we're knitting with the hair of a sheep. It's what separates the spinners from the knitters? :)

CLABBERS's picture

I think that silk smells really bad after soaking. I wrote a blog about it awhile ago. Thankfully, once it is dried, it's fine. I just consider how silk is made and it makes sense, in that it comes out from inside the silk worm. Anyway, if you go the link below, you can read all about that smell too.

Wet Silk Smells Bad

Have a great weekend, guys.


Crafty Andy's picture

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I know I went to a silk studio and I could tell , the overwhelming smell was from the silk. Is ok, there are worst smells out there lol