Cotton Crochet Work Buying

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Sizes & Care of Crochet Cotton

Far too often I've noticed over the past 20-ish years is that some, not all, but some, sellers on different internet sites, who sell handmade cotton crochet work, do not state what size cotton they have used with their new work piece. 

The sizes of crochet cottons vary greatly just as wool & yarn sizes do. Something that buyers need to be looking for is the stated size of the sellers crochet cotton. The higher the number within crochet cottons equates to the more fine & delicate it is. What looks like a nice small size cotton in an items photo, could very well turn out to be much thicker than a buyer wanted & more suitable for a cotton bedspread or clothing, which can be a let down to the buyers online purchasing experience.  There is also the mercerised, metallic & soft cottons, which are all used for different effects, different projects & have different textures.

Crochet cottons can vary from 4 ply as the thickest, then #8, of which both can be great for thick cotton bedspreads, cushions, clothing plus the ever popular & age old tea towel edgings with the hanging up feature seen in some kitchens. Anyone from the 1950's  onward's may remember the bikini's & one piece swim wear made with these cottons, some of which is still made today. Most can be machine washed with regular setting, but lacy work is best on gentle setting & buyers choice of placing into delicate's bag or not, providing it fits. 

#10 cotton is commonly used for thinner lacy bedspreads, some table decor like place mats, drink coasters, face washer borders, doilies, top bed sheet decorative top edge border with matching pillowcase trims, bath towel sets border trim across one end, table runners & table cloths etc - pieces that are commonly used by the owners, (the bed sheets with matching pillowcases & bath towels make nice gifts). Larger items can be gentle machine washed, smaller items can be placed in a delicate's bag & washed with regular machine setting in a normal load of laundry.  

#20, #30 & #40 size cottons are most popular crochet cottons with hand crochet crafts people for doilies, table runners, lamp shade lace decor (not draped over the globe though ok!), handkerchief edgings - even the rare nice lacy bedspread etc. Many crochet patterns require these size cottons. These are finer cottons that suit quite beautiful lacy items, hence popular with crochet craft workers as they can have many uses, still be durable but generally won't take months to finish smaller items.  These can be placed in a delicate's bag & machine washed on gentle setting for best care.   

Myself, I've only used #60 size cottons a few times for customers requirements, though I don't list works with that fine a cotton. I haven't come across many patterns requiring this size cotton either. Washing would most likely be by hand. 

#80 & #100 sizes are extremely delicate & absolutely fine, petite cottons that are very very time consuming for even a small size piece but suit very delicate lacy work that must be cared for very carefully & gently with cleaning. I've yet to see a brand new handmade item listing with that fine in cottons over the past 20 years. #100 size cotton is the absolute finest. These items are generally stored safely away from moths & silverfish, brought out for special occasions & must be very gently hand washed.

Going off track a bit > Some hand craft workers become disillusioned in any handmade work across the many different crafts that can sometimes be similar to this example:- some years ago I had asked a supposed hand craft worker at a market if their $30AU beanie (the daughter loved it on the spot & had to have) was genuinely  made in a local town that their large stall sign claimed for all of their handmade work - of course the seller said "yes"....some hours later at home, the daughter brings the beanie out to show me the tiny, hard to spot 'Made In Nepal'  interior tag in it, that probably cost that seller $5-10 for that beanie in total & most likely made by machines, which cheats honest hand craft workers for the time they spend on making genuine handmade items. If anyone is thinking they can create a large cash flow making new crochet work, don't quit your day job alright, but if you don't have one, it might ease your boredom & give you something to do, learn or get frustrated with, but be prepared to spend a fair bit of time with it.  

I might cover other areas on crochet at a later date, but this review is mainly information on the crochet cotton sizes & care for a buyers  guide, which I hope can help people out. Have a good one, cheers. :)
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