This guide has been provided by J C Rennie to thousands of professional knitting customers whom use professional equipment. There is no reason why you cannot achieve the same results at home though care must be taken.

Finishing is an art, and the methods you choose will depend on the type of handle you want to achieve. Water type (hard or soft water etc.), water quantity, your chosen scouring and finishing detergents/conditioners, the equipment you use, temperature and time will all have an effect on your knitting project. We advice you to experiment first with knitdowns until you are totally satisfied with the results before you start scouring and finishing your first knitted project.

Note that professional knitters usually have fully programmable washing machines and tumble dryers. If your washing machine is not programmable you may have to visit your washing machine quite a few times to do the steps manually!

Also, most professional machine knitters use trial and error to customise their own secret scouring/finishing recipes. We take no liability for undesired results whatsoever!

During wet finishing always scour twice to remove all processing oils from the garments. The first scour will remove the oil and the second will create the desired soft woollen handle.

The removal of processing oil and unbound dye: 
The first scour should be at 40C. Ratio of water to material at 15 litres to 1 kilo of dry garments. A quality detergent designed for fibre lubricant removal should be added at 5%-10% on weight of knitwear. 

Wash cycle 2-5 minutes in a rotary machine (5-10 minutes in a side paddle).

Drain and rinse using fresh clean water, followed by 1 minute spin.

Achieving the desired finish and removal of residual oils: 
Add clean water for the second scour/mill at 40C, using the same detergent at 2.5-5% on weight of dry garments, and run the machine until the desired soft woollen handle is obtained. Drain, rinse and spin using fresh, clean water. A specialist wool softener may be added after the second scour. Fill with fresh clean water at 40C. 

Apply softener at 0.5%-1% on weight of dry garments. Drain and spin, do not rinse. 

Garments should be tumble dried at no more than 70-80C (60C for light shades) until dry. 

The time may be increased if a developed garment finish is desired.

Handle should be assessed after the garments have cooled and returned to regain condition.