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Pookie
Chatty Knitter

255 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2002 :  09:31:06 AM  Show Profile Send Pookie a Private Message
I've read a lot of posts in this forum about people who are allergic to wool, but has anyone ever experienced an allergy to acrylic? A couple of years ago, a friend of mine bought a 100% acrylic scarf (a mass-produced-type thingy) and immediately developed hives around her neck when she put it on. I'm trying to knit something for her right now and found some nice yarn I want to use but it's acrylic. Before I proceed, I'm trying to figure out if she was allergic to something in that one specific scarf, of if there is such a thing as an acrylic allergy. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Pookie in Seattle

schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2002 :  10:14:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
I hate to wear anything acryllic. It makes me hot and itchy. It really bad on my feet! But I don't break out in hives. There are a lot of people who are having trouble after many years of exposure to things made from petroleum, and on one of the forums, someone mentioned that acryllics are a petroleum product. So, that may be the problem. Barb

"OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!"
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chris
Permanent Resident

USA
2463 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2002 :  11:06:29 AM  Show Profile Send chris a Private Message
It could also be that she is allergic to something that was used to "finish" the scarf. We had an employee once who simply could not have his uniforms washed by the commerical uniform provider we used. He broke out in hives every time. It turned out to be something they were using in the final rinse to give the uniforms a crisp appearance when they were pressed. His poor wife had to wash and press his...no mean feat since our work environment was so horribly dirty.

chris

Keep on knittin', mama, knittin' those blues away!
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marnita
Chatty Knitter

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2002 :  11:12:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit marnita's Homepage Send marnita a Private Message
I have a friend who has an allergy to acryllic. She says that it makes her very cold and itchy. Of course, she is also allergic to the rest of the world, but that is another issue.

It worked in my favor since I got to be the recipient of the clothes she couldn't wear.

http://marneysworld.blogspot.com
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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2002 :  11:36:29 AM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
I don't like acrylic for sweaters but it's okay for scarves because you want to be hot! I'd suggest more expensive acrylics. Cheap ones, in my experience, are scratchy and so are the metallics. I've made myself at least 12 scarves in assorted acrylics. Technohair by Gedifra, and Neige by Phildar are two really soft, fluffy acrylics. Stylecraft, Gedifra and Phildar do loads of gorgeous acrylics. You could make the scarf and then wash it in Zero or another soap for fine washables and that should take care of any itchiness.

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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2002 :  10:39:59 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Dear Pookie,

There are several commercial products that contain acrylic and/or polyester that make me feel very itchy when I touch them although it is not a true allergy. I find it occurs primarily in products that are 100% acrylic like blankets, scarfs, and winter wear. Acrylics are chemicals so it is possible for someone to allergic to them, however it is very rare. Most of the time it is an allergy to something on the yarn such as finishing agents, etc. We all know how yarn changes when it is knit and washed and finishing agents are one of the reasons for it. One of my most common allergies is to dust and pollen and yarn can be coated with it even when it is not visible. We never know what environment the yarn has been in or how long it has been there collecting dust before it got to us. Even if you break the seal on plastic wrapped yarns, you need to wait a day or two so that the confined chemical smell can disipate. I suggest 2 things--take her with you to pick out the yarn and see if she can tell which will bother her. (all I have to do is touch it or smell it to tell). The other is to knit a small swatch, wash it well in something you know she can use for laundry, and then ask her to wear it next to her skin for a while, either tape it to her forearm near the bend of the elbow or tuck it into her bra. Remember that anything that makes us feel hot and/or sweaty will feel itchy even though no allergy is involved. Without redness or swelling or sneezing, etc., you really can't call it an allergy but you may choose not to wear it. Don't forget the dyes, etc, used. One color may be okay and another one cause problems. Don't forget cotton yarn, I think Tahki cotton would be ideal to substitute for someone allergic to acrylic especially since cotton does wick away perspiration. People who complain of acrylic being cold usually are describing the fact that it does not wick away perspiration and feels clammy to them.

Fran

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Maxtish
Chatty Knitter

USA
190 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2002 :  6:26:51 PM  Show Profile Send Maxtish a Private Message
I have a friend who can't wear acrylics as she has a skin condition and the fibers are very hard on her hands. She does not have problem with nylon. So I try to make things from natural yarns for her and her young children.

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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2002 :  07:24:54 AM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
You know, acryllic is basically a plastic. Latex gloves are pretty similar to a plastic and people are allergic to them. It's either the material itself or a process it went through (I'm allergic to formaldehyde, which many articles of clothing bought are treated in). I don't find it strange... you should see all my skin allergies!

Amanda

quote:

I've read a lot of posts in this forum about people who are allergic to wool, but has anyone ever experienced an allergy to acrylic? A couple of years ago, a friend of mine bought a 100% acrylic scarf (a mass-produced-type thingy) and immediately developed hives around her neck when she put it on. I'm trying to knit something for her right now and found some nice yarn I want to use but it's acrylic. Before I proceed, I'm trying to figure out if she was allergic to something in that one specific scarf, of if there is such a thing as an acrylic allergy. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Pookie in Seattle





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