Wet Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects
Wet blocking is a finishing step, recommended for most handknit items and is often used in crochet patterns. Blocking tremendously improves the finished look of the stitches and seams, as well as the overall appearance. It also ensures proper measurements, as some fibers tend to stretch or shrink after washing. Always block your swatch if the pattern gauge indicates measurements after blocking, as it will affect your finished measurements. You can find more information about importance of the GAUGE in this post.
In the photos shown below, I am wet-blocking my Crochet Giraffe Blanket.
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What You Need For Wet Blocking:
- Blocking Board or Interlocking Play Mat
- Rust-Resistant Blocking Pins (optional)
- Wool Wash (optional for delicate items)
- Cotton Bath Towel(s) – 1 or 2
- Utility sink or laundry tub
STEP 1: Soak your finished item in warm water using a laundry tub or utility sink. Soap is not required for wet-blocking, but a small amount of Wool Wash is beneficial for 100% wool items.
CAUTION – Do not use hot water!
- Wool fibers may shrink or felt at high temperature if agitated
- Cotton fibers may shrink at high temperature
- Acrylic fibers may lose elasticity at high temperature
STEP 2: Drain the sink and gently squeeze the excess moisture out by pressing the item against the sink edges.
STEP 3: Depending on the size of the item, prepare 1 or 2 large bath towel(s) on the blocking board (or interlocking play mat). Lay out your wet item onto the towels, being careful not to stretch it as wet fabric is heavy. Roll the item in the towel(s) to absorb moisture.
STEP 4: Remove towels and spread out the item on the blocking board, shaping it to the specified measurements.
STEP 5: Optional – Secure the item around the edges using rust-resistant blocking pins.
NOTE: Some lace items may require using blocking wires.
STEP 6: Rotate and flip the item periodically to ensure fast and even drying.