Blocking (textile arts)


Blocking (textile arts)

In knitting, crochet and other textile arts, blocking is a final stage of handmade textile production that adjusts the shape of the finished piece. Not all pieces need blocking, however blocking is standard for lace work, and is not uncommon in sweaters, socks, and other solid projects. Through heat and moisture, blocking sets the stitches and standardizes the final dimensions, and may enhance the drape. [Edie Eckman, "The Crochet Answer Book", North Adams, Massachesetts: Storey Publishing, 2005, p. 237.] Hand manufacture places natural stresses on fabrics that may result in deviations from its intended shape and size. Blocking is only effective on natural fibers. [Debbie Stoller, "Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker" New York: Workman Publishing, 2006, p. 89.] This degree of malleability is determined by the type of yarn used, with wool providing the most flexibility. For projects that are produced in sections, blocking is normally done prior to final assembly.

Blocking methods

Blocking can be done in several different ways. Depending on the method, the crafter may use rustproof pins, a steamer, or a steam iron. A stable flat surface and towels are standard. Fibers that tolerate water well may be wet blocked, shaping moist fabric into the desired shape and then allowing it to air dry. Cold blocking uses no heat and less water to achieve the same result by spraying water upon the material instead of immersing the fabric. Steam blocking uses a steamer or steam iron, but without applying direct pressure to the item. [Eckman, p. 238.]

References

External links

* [http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayArticle?articleNum=ae0079 Michaels.com explanation of blocking]


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