Many people enjoy crocheting, but what can you do to flatten your crochet projects when the edges curl? Can you use an iron on your crochet projects?
Never put an iron directly on crochet projects as the iron will cause the yarn to melt or burn. Instead use water, a towel, and pins to flatten crochet projects. If an iron must be used, place a towel between the metal of the iron and the crochet project. Use the steam function of the iron often.
Now that you know that you should not use an iron to flatten your crochet projects, you are likely wondering what methods you can use in order to do so. Keep reading to find out.
Why You Never Use an Iron to Flatten Crochet Projects
You should never use an iron by itself to flatten out your crochet projects because it will burn or melt the yarn that you used to create your project. All that hard work will be ruined under the direct heat from an iron.
If you used a natural yarn to create your latest crochet project that you want to flatten the edges of, an iron will burn the yarn, even if you have your iron on a low setting. If you wet your crochet project before you use an iron, the heat of the iron will cause the yarn to shrink slightly, and the edges will curl even more and you won’t be able to flatten the edges of the project.
If you iron a crochet project that was made with acrylic yarn, it will melt when the metal of the iron meets the yarn. Acrylic yarn is made out of a type of plastic that seems soft to the touch, but it is still plastic. When plastic meets heat (especially the malleable plastic that acrylic yarn is made with) it melts.
What is Killing Acrylic Yarn?
Killing acrylic yarn is a term that refers to what happens when you use an iron on an item made of acrylic yarn. The fibers of the yarn melt slightly, and most people don’t notice. When the melted fibers cool, they become stiff and locked into place. This usually ruins the texture of your crochet project.
Although you usually shouldn’t use an iron to flatten the edges of a crochet project, there are some ways that you can do this safely. Flattening the edges of a crochet project and generally making it look more refined is called Blocking.
How to Flatten Crochet Projects: Blocking
Blocking is how many crochet lovers flatten the edges of their crochet projects. Almost all blocking methods use pins, water, and towels, so keep them on hand before you start blocking. You can purchase a blocking board if you do it often and don’t want to pin your crochet projects to towels.
Listed Below are Blocking Methods to Use When Flattening Crochet Project Edges:
- Steam Blocking
- Wet Blocking
- Spray Blocking
Steam blocking can be done with acrylic yarn crochet projects. When you are doing this method of blocking, never let the iron touch the yarn or it will melt. (Source)
How to Steam Block Crochet Projects:
- Find an iron with a steam setting.
- Fill iron with water and set to steam. Leave to heat up.
- Lay crochet project down on a towel or blocking board and grab some pins.
- Pin the project down to the board so it has the desired shape. Pins will ensure the edges are flat.
- When iron is ready, hover it over crochet project until the yarn is damp.
Use this method if your crochet project is made out of a natural yarn. Acrylic yarn is quite water-repellent and dries quickly, so this blocking method won’t work for it.
- Sink or bucket of lukewarm water
- 2 towels or 1 towel and a blocking board
- Rust-proof pins
How to Wet Block Crochet Projects
- Fill your sink or bucket of water with lukewarm water.
- Fully submerge your crochet project in the water.
- Allow crochet project to soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Drain the sink or empty the bucket.
- Squeeze the water out of the project. Don’t twist project to wring out the water.
- Lay one towel out flat.
- Lay the crochet project on the towel.
- Roll the towel with the crochet project inside it.
- Gently press the towel to squeeze out excess water.
- Unroll towel and crochet project.
- Get other towel (or blocking board) and spread out the crochet project on top of it.
- Pin the corners and edges of project to the towel or blocking board. Stretch the yarn to where you want it to go to ensure the shape of your crochet project is what you want it to be.
- Let project dry completely.
- Remove the pins from the crochet project and show it to others or start using it.
If you don’t have a large crochet project that you want to flatten the edges of, you can just use one towel and skip the steps that have you roll the project in the towel. If you want to see some of this process in action, watch the video that is included below.
You can only use the spray blocking method if your crochet project is made of yarn with natural fibers. This method is the best one for projects that don’t need to be stretched much, and it can be done in a short amount of time. This is the easiest blocking method and is a great way to flatten edges of crochet projects.
- Spray bottle
- Towel or blocking board
How to Spray Block Crochet Project
- Pin crochet project to towel or blocking board in the shape you want. Ensure edges are pinned down.
- Take spray bottle filled with water (lukewarm or cold) and spray crochet project until damp.
- Allow project to dry completely.
- Remove pins and show project to others or start using it.
Is Blocking Necessary in Crochet?
Blocking isn’t usually necessary when it comes to crochet, but it does help you shape crochet projects and ensure that they look neat and clean. Blocking makes crochet projects look finished and more professional. It also helps you stretch out your crochet projects without damaging, shrinking, or melting the yarn.