Let's take a quick break from sewing projects, and shift our attention to another aspect of sewing that is equally important: the fabric quality. I guess it's safe to say that many of us have had frustrating experiences with poor fabric quality, especially itchy ones. It's particularly frustrating when you pick a fabric that is supposedly made from 'wool' and 'cotton', only to find that it irritates the skin, still.
What Makes Fabric Itch?
So how is it that some of our clothing are itchy, while some are not? Verdict is, its still boils down to how the source materials were processed. Just because it is made from wool does not necessarily mean that it will be the most comfortable fabric ever. Wool is derived from the undercoat of the sheep, which should make it one of the most ideal fabric to use. However, what often slips our hands during fabric shopping are the scales included in the wool. Wool will either have larger or fine scales, and when these scales get in contact with the skin, that's when the itching happens. The same is true with cashmere, and even other lower grade of fabric. So, if you are lucky enough to have a fabric that does not cause an itch at all, you are possessing something that has been through a lot of processing. This is the same reason why a high quality fabric are so expensive.
How to deal with itchy fabric?
Of course, many of us cannot afford to continuously go for the high-end fabrics, just to avoid the itchiness. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage itchy fabric affordably from home. You can start with baking soda - because really, is there anything that baking soda can't do? Simply machine wash the fabric as usual, with a gentles detergent then include at least three scoops of baking soda in the mixture.
If you are comfortable with it, you can also add vinegar for an abosolute fabric softener solution. This will also significantly lessen the impact of the scales that are left on the fabric. Finish the process by rinsing with your favorite fabric conditioner. Another alternative is hair conditioner.