What are MicroFibers?
I've been asked to tell about Microfibers - what they are, what they do and how to treat them.
Microfibers are extra-fine fibers of nylon, acrylic or polyester. The incredible fineness of the fibers changes the properties of the regular sized fibers and makes them have a wonderful hand and drape. In spinning, the multiple microscopic size filaments or fibers have more motion and allow the fibers to move shift lightly in the spun yarns for a more drape and a very soft feel and prevent loss of their yarn structure. The resulting knits do not sag or droop. They also absorb and wick moisture better and seem to breathe. Microfiber knits feel more like natural fibers and feel less "clammy" in warm weather than regular synthetic yarns.
To compare with familiar fibers: microfibers are 1/2 the diameter of a fine silk fiber, 1/3 the diameter of cotton, 1/4 the diameter of fine wool, and 100X finer than human hair. This superfine quality means the softest feel against the skin.
One warning about microfibers is that they are more heat sensitive than normal diameter fibers because they are so fine the heat penetrates more quickly. They should not be pressed with a hot iron and the should NOT go into a hot clothes dryer. This is the reason we had 'hand wash' on Kiddo yarn - we were afraid it would accidentally go into a dryer and be ruined. Actually, Kiddo and Bunny Hop can both be washed on gentle in a machine in cool water and then dried flat.
I am recommending to knitters that hand knit items with microfibers be washed by putting them into the mesh "wash bags" for longest life of garment. This would not be a bad idea for any Machinewash or Superwash knits, even if not microfiber. The agitation and rubbing of a washing machine is greatly reduced by using a mesh bag and keeps the knits looking fresh longer.
Ask at your local knitting shop to see if they stock them, or go to www.google.com and put "wash bags" or "lingerie washing bags" in the search and you will find some online sources. Check local Target type stores, too.