I successfully washed this fabric and even after multiple times it looks as good as new. Specifically, I used cool water, mild detergent with a gentle cycle, and only dried it for a few minutes in a cool dryer. For online ordering, I prefer to order a swatch first. Then I can see and feel the fabric and also test laundering before taking the leap and ordering a chunk of yardage. Remember “to test is best.” Here is my method, begin by cutting your swatch precisely in half. Then, select one half and wash and dry as recommended. I usually wash and dry two to three times. Remember you are going to launder more than once so you want to see how the fabric is affected by multiple launderings. For the final stage, compare your two swatches side by side and see how they measure up. Was the shrinkage moderate? Did the color change? Do the fibers look worn from being washed? Note that you will almost certainly see a bit of change. Examine the swatch closely and decide if the change is acceptable to you. My swatch passed the washing test with flying colors!
You could of course use standard dry-cleanable wool for this wrap. However, I prefer wash-ability for my casual wear clothing.
Wool is not the only fabric I considered for this piece. I settled on the wool because I liked the color and knew it would fringe well. I have another piece I plan to use for a similar wrap. It’s an odd rayon blend that ravels easily. If you are looking for alternatives for a wrap like this, I would suggest you search for a medium weight, even weave, woven fabric. Choose one that’s not too heavy and not too light, with a nice drape. Since the shape of this garment is a basic rectangle it should fall off the shoulder area and flow across the body without looking stiff. How do you know the fabric has enough drape? Wrap a length around your shoulders and go find a mirror. To find a good fringe candidate, walk down the fabric aisle in search of fabrics that look messy as they dangle from their cardboard sleeves. One of these “stringy” fabrics may be the perfect candidate for this style. In particular, the bargain section will often yield strange blends of rayons, linens and other “messy” fabrics that could turn out to be a treasure.
Lion Brand BonbonYarn