We have a lot of customers who buy our alpaca yarn to make soakers - I always have understood alpaca to be the best, specifically because the alpaca neutralizes urine. Someone at the shop recently advised me that the yarn type is irrelevant, its the lanolin that does the neutralizing! Can anyone comment on this or enlighten us - we want to support parents who want to use natural fibers for soakers, so I just want to get my story straight and understand the concept here!
fibers for fanantics
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Personally I don't like alpaca for soakers because it has little fiber memory and doesn't hold its shape well in ribbing around the legs and waist. The drapiness of most alpaca yarns requires being knit at an even tighter gauge than its necessary with wool in order to get the coverage you need. It can also be itchy, depending on the yarn. Merino is also pretty wimpy. I like Bluefaced Leicester for its springiness, memory, and durability.
While all wool is beautifully absorbent, the added lanolin is the main factor in creating the water-resistant barrier and preventing odor. Soakers need to be treated with lanolin periodically: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/lanolize.htm
Don't know if you have stumbled across diaperswappers.com but there is a craft chat forum on that site that has loads of info about soakers and knitting/crocheting. Here is a link from their "stickies" section discussing Freq asked questions including what type of yarn is best to use
and here is a link to the craft chat sticky on useful craft chat threads - hope this helps!
i was about to embark upon making some longies so i did some research...
i did find out that superwash is NOT recommended, even if it's mostly wool! i didn't know that and would never have thought about it.
one pattern and info i found that i really liked said that mohair and alpaca are nice to blend and that it adds sturdiness. and of course, not a cotton blend or anything that absorbs...
i've also read that it's the lanolin and not the fiber... but a nice blend of alpaca wool might be just the ticket...
but i haven't actually made any soakers/covers/longies i just like to research first :)
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?