Ever pull your favorite shirt out of the washer or dryer, only to realize you’ve completely ruined it?

We’ve all been there.

Now, imagine that happening to your crochet projects.

Terrifying, I know!

Yarn is a material just like your clothes: cotton, wool, acrylic, bamboo…

And each type of fiber requires a specific maintenance routine, and set of care instructions, to make the fibers and fabrics last a long time.

When it comes to your crochet projects, do you wonder:

  • If your projects can go into the washing machine and dryer?
  • Should you lay your projects flat to dry?
  • Will your crochet projects shrink or stretch?
  • Does washing everything by hand make a difference?

I have some simple tips you can follow to get answers for any yarn you use, and any crochet project you create.

crocheted rectangles in different colors of yarn laying flat

My top 3 favorite laundry tips that you can apply to any crochet project are:

1. Follow the label

Just like your favorite shirt, your yarn comes with care instructions that you can find on the ball band (label). 

Look here for universal care symbols with valuable information in the following categories: Washing (type, temperature, cycle), Drying (type, temperature, cycle), Bleaching (type, do/do not), and Ironing (type, do/do not).

White yarn label laying flat on gray background, Bernat Roving yarn

Yarn Label

2. Make a swatch

Before you dive into your project (blanket, sweater, hat…) make a small swatch with your yarn and follow the care instructions indicated on your yarn label. 

Be sure to inspect your laundered swatch after it’s gone through the full care cycle to determine if any alterations should be made: is the fabric too stiff or soft, did it stretch or shrink, what does the color look like? 

You can even follow the complete care instructions a few times to check the endurance of your yarn, which can be very helpful for items that may need to be laundered frequently.

Not sure how to crochet a swatch?

Click Here to learn more, with examples, today!

Small swatch of puff stitch with cream yarn and blue crochet hook

Crochet Swatch

3. Take note

What worked best? After your swatch has gone through the complete laundry cycle, successfully, be sure to take notes about what worked best. 

For example, you might note that the sweater you’re going to make will be best laundered with: gentle wash cycle, fabric softener, mild detergent, tumble dry on low for 15 minutes, lay flat to dry completely. 

These are especially important if you’ll be making items for others (gifts, or for sale) so new owners will know how to care for their crochet project with success!

I hope these few tips will help you to decide how you can best wash and care for any crochet project you make.

If you prefer video, you can also watch my chat on this topic:

That’s it – all 3 of my simple tips!

When you follow these 3 laundry tips, I also suggest using project care tags to note the materials and best care instructions for your crochet projects. 

Care tags are especially helpful when you give projects away and want to pass along the best ways the materials and fabrics you make can be cared for, helping them to really last!

You can save, download, and print our handmade with love tags below.

handmade with love laundry care tag print out with a crochet circle chart in the background
handmade with love laundry care tag print out with yarn in the background

Now that I’ve outlined some tips to help you care for your crochet projects, do you think you’ll be able to apply this for your next crochet project?

Let me know in the comments, or Click Here to continue this conversation in our community!

Peace, Love & Crochet

Salena

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