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2123 Frankfort Ave
Louisville, KY, 40206
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(502) 822-1315

Acrylic

Acrylic

Acrylic is lightweight, soft, and warm, with a wool-like feel.  It can also be made to mimic other fibers, such as cotton, when spun on short staple equipment.  Some acrylic is extruded in colored or pigmented form; other is extruded in "ecru", otherwise known as "natural," "raw white," or "undyed."  Pigmented fiber has the highest light-fastness of these.  Its fibers are very resilient compared to both other synthetics and natural fibers.  Some acrylic fabrics may fuzz or pill easily, though there are low-pilling variants.  Acrylic takes color well, is washable, and is generally hypoallergenic.  End-uses include socks, hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, home furnishing fabrics, and awnings.  Acrylic is resistant to moths, oils, chemicals, and is very resistant to deterioration from sunlight exposure.

Acrylic is a "workhorse" hand-crafting fiber for crafters who knit or crochet; acrylic yarn may be perceived as "cheap" because it is typically priced lower than its natural-fiber counterparts, and because it lacks some of their properties, including softness and propensity to felt. The fiber requires heat to "relax" or set the shape of the finished garment, and it isn't as warm when wet as alternatives like wool. Some hand-knitters also complain that the fiber "squeaks" when knitted, or that it is painful to knit with because of a lack of "give" or stretch in the yarn. On the other hand, it can be useful in certain items, like garments for babies, which require constant washing, because it is machine-washable, hypo-allergenic, and extremely color-fast.