Wool and playa dust?

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Wool and playa dust?

Postby Riv » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:34 pm

Has anybody brought stuff to the playa that was made of non-superwash wool yarn? If so, were you able to wash it successfully? I hear the dust is tenacious, and I worry that washing vigorously enough to get it out would cause the wool to felt. I'm thinking specifically of some wool shawls I've knit in the past and armwarmers I'm planning to knit this summer. I usually wash them by soaking in a tub with a bit of of wool wash.

(I hope this isn't a stupid question, I've done some googling and searched ePlaya and Ravelry.)
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby ygmir » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:44 pm

one great piece of advice I've been given:

Don't bring anything to the playa, you care about, or don't want lost, stolen, or ruined by dust.
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby TT120 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:06 pm

You will never be able to wash all the dust out. Anything you bring will get Playafied and never be the same. Dont bring your good stuff to the Playa.

You CAN have 2 sets of good stuff though. One set for defaultia and one for the Playa.
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:07 pm

But, I bring my best stuff to the playa! :P
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby Riv » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:35 pm

OK, yeah, barring glowing washing reports from other knitters, I'll plan to play it safe and bring only purpose-knit stuff that I don't mind potentially staying dusty, and experience firsthand what washing it afterwards is like :) I know about the "don't bring it if you don't want it to get ruined" principle, but there's a difference between accepting that something bad could happen and knowingly causing it to get ruined...
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby Eric » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:35 am

TT120 wrote:You will never be able to wash all the dust out. Anything you bring will get Playafied and never be the same. Dont bring your good stuff to the Playa.


I can't speak for knitwear (because I don't I've ever brought any to the playa), but the "don't bring good stuff" rule is a bit overdone. I've brought some of my best suits to the playa - lovely metallic sharkskins, 1960's suits, tails, things I wear in the City, and they've all been fine after dry-cleaning. 90% of my shirts/ pants/ socks/ etc are fine. The only thing clothing-wise that tends to get permanently playafied in my experience is white clothing (dirt, sweat, & sunblock tend to make white not look so good, but they're still good enough for playa-wear) & shoes. I've even been able to get most of the dust out of my night-time hats (the ones I'm not really sweating in).

YMMV, do a test first. My first year I brought secondary suits, realized they cleaned up fine, said "fukkit". Plus I won't die if somethings ruined...
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby BBadger » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:39 am

I wonder if the playa dust would make the wool any less itchy?
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:47 am

I wouldn't go with wool knits myself because that'd likely pick up lots more playa than other stuff... But for what it's worth the typical treatment to de-playafy your stuff is to rinse or soak in cold water mixed with vinegar (the vinegar neutralizes the alkali in the dust).

Yes, the alkali in the dust is a strong enough base to be corrosive, and would break down the fibers if you gave it a chance. It's like a mild battery acid, but on the opposite end of the pH scale. Hope that info helps!
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby aserendipity » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:23 am

and eventually all of your belongings may have come and so every time you move it
a puff of playa makes you smile

went to a serious event recently and everyone gasped as that occurred
saying "oh my God that went to Burning Man "

but some of the shoes are done in and after one season only
the soles separated from the excess
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby tamarakay » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:40 am

As a knitter I wouldn't bring all my good non-washable wool stuff. Maybe a couple as you do grow to love the smell of the playa and that random poof is wonderful. I am knitting a jacket out of recycled sari silk ribbon specifically to get it playafied so I can wrap it around myself during the year when I'm feeling low.

It is a quandary. I want to show off my art. I truly think of my knitting as an expression of art. But, some things are my art in defaultia too.
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby Riv » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:55 am

aserendipity wrote:and eventually all of your belongings may have come and so every time you move it
a puff of playa makes you smile

went to a serious event recently and everyone gasped as that occurred
saying "oh my God that went to Burning Man "

but some of the shoes are done in and after one season only
the soles separated from the excess


That reads like a poem to me :)
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Re: Wool and playa dust?

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:06 pm

I'm in the machine wash in regular detergent camp for everything I bring.

You can have your items commercially dry cleaned. The solvents are filtered between cycles, but I doubt the playa dust is removed, so it would fall into the category of "the solution to pollution is dilution" strategy. Solves your problem and shifts it to future customers of the cleaners.
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