Acrylic yarn is made from a synthetic, hypoallergenic fiber that is inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors, weights and sizes. It will not shrink or felt when washed, unlike natural fibers such as wool, and does not stain. It has good elasticity, resists mildew, and won't attract moths. In addition, knitters will find acrylic yarn particularly easy to work with since it does not need to be blocked.
We suggest you follow the care instructions specific to the yarn you are using and when in doubt hand wash in tepid water using a mild soap. Do not agitate or twist. Lay garment flat on a towel and roll it up like a sleeping bag. You can let that sit from 15 minutes to the following day to ensure the towel wicks out as much moisture as possible. Then unroll, place on a clean, dry towel, shape and dry flat.
Although many acrylic brands will suggest your finished projects can go in the washer and dryer, heat is the mortal enemy of acrylic. To save you grief later, make a 12"x12" swatch and put it through the recommended cycles / settings. Inspect the final product. If you find excessive pilling or a hardening (a type of melting) of the yarn, skip the dryer and wash on the coolest setting. Often times excessive pilling and / or hardening of the fibre can occur due to the heat and the agitation from machine laundering. Keep in mind that like most yarns, acrylic yarn will pill and you should expect this to happen over time regardless of how you care for your finished projects.