Thursday, April 14, 2016

Don't Let Those Colors Run!

Washing a newly-finished project or a colorful new garment can sometimes lead to not-so-great results when the simple step of testing for color fastness is skipped. As a general rule of thumb, the more vibrant the color, the more likely it is to run because more dye was used in its creation. Jewel tones - especially reds, greens, and blues - also have a tendency to run, as do dark tones such as indigo-dyed yarns and fabrics. While high contrast stripes and prints (think white or cream next to any of the colors mentioned above) may look great, they are also high risk for bleeding with the first wash.

The good news is that testing for color fastness is easier than you think. Just pin & save this handy infographic to refer to later, or print it out and post it in your laundry room for easy reference!
Click to enlarge!
Allure is safe for all colorfast fabrics, but if you have determined that your item is not color fast, here are some tips for that first crucial wash:

  • Use cold water - colors are more likely to bleed in warm water.
  • Consider adding a color catcher product to your basin filled with cold water & Allure to soak up any excess dye if your article has both light and dark colors. Yes, this even works when hand washing!
  • If the item is a single color, be sure to hand wash individually every time. Once you have washed it and the water has not had any excess dye transferred from the piece, you can consider washing it with other items going forward.

So why choose Allure for your washing needs? In addition to its no-residue, no-rinse formula, Allure is also free of bleach, phosphates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, and is pH neutral. Not only that, but it’s non-toxic, biodegradable, low-sudsing and septic/graywater safe. The qualities that make Allure Wash the perfect luxury fiber wash also make it suitable for all fine fabrics, including lingerie - and the no-residue formula means that nothing which could attract dirt remains on a garment washed with Allure Wash, saving your delicate handwork from wear and tear in repeated washings.

Click here to order Allure online.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Meet the Chemist: Eileen Koop, creator of Allure

How do you clean a yak? Or at least, yarn spun from yak fiber….or musk ox fiber, cashmere, paco-vicuña, or any other specialty non-wool luxury fiber? The wool wash you’re accustomed to reaching for to clean your fine handknits isn’t necessarily the best choice for these special  fibers. Many wool washes contain lanolin, the animal oil that occurs naturally in wool - but if you’re cleaning a fine piece of handwork that has no wool in it, why would you want to introduce lanolin to a fiber that has never had it to begin with? What you’re looking for a true no-residue fine fabric and fiber wash - Allure Fiber Wash.

Allure Fine Fiber & Fabric Wash is the brainchild of Bijou Basin Ranch’s Eileen Koop. Before she became a yak rancher and yarn designer, Eileen Koop spent over 30 years as a consumer product chemist. Her deep knowledge of household cleaning chemistry coupled with her hands-on experience with the luxury yarns developed by Bijou Basin Ranch assures the consumer that Allure is uniquely formulated to handle the cleaning challenges of exotic fibers and the garments made from them. Today, Eileen shares more of the Allure story with us in this quick interview with her!
Eileen Koop, creator of Allure

Tell us a little bit about your illustrious background in the wonderful world of chemistry.

I’ve been doing product development for consumer product companies for over 35 years. I typically say I’ve done everything from air fresheners to zit creams and everything in between, but I’ve never done paint! I’ve done soaps, cosmetics, skin care, personal care, household cleaners and laundry products. I've worked for companies like Airwick Industries, Colgate Palmolive, Scotts Liquid, and Orange Glo International. My largest accomplishment was to develop the Alpha Hydrox line of skin care products which literally created the ‘anti-aging’ skin care category. I was VP of development for Orange Glo, the makers of “OxiClean.”

How did the idea for Allure come about?
We always thought about doing a laundry and hand wash product for the natural fibers category but were incredibly busy building the Bijou Basin Ranch brand. In 2013, I finally found the time to start developing Allure and quickly realized there was nothing out there that was truly designed for the more exotic (meaning non-sheep wool) natural fibers. We decided that Allure would be best for this area, especially since yak fiber was what we are all about. The non-sheep wool fibers do not need to be harshly stripped of animal oils and lanolin, but they do need a solid and good cleaning and protection type of wash.
Allure & luxury yarn: a match made in heaven!
What do you feel sets Allure apart from other products in its category?
Allure is developed to have everything these fibers need and nothing that they don’t. Since I was doing this for our own company, I didn’t have a marketing or production department breathing down my neck about cost. I looked at it from the standpoint that I wanted a natural product that biodegraded rapidly so it didn’t need to be rinsed and also from a people body wash standpoint that would remove people oils (technically called sebum!) and have a moisturizing affect. So what Allure is is a solid cleanser, natural, no rinse and a fiber moisturizer. Your fibers are clean and have a slightly softened feel after the wash.

As a chemist, what do you wish the average consumer understood a little better about cleaning products in general?

That lots of suds does NOT mean good cleaning! Foam in your washing machine is not an indication of cleaning, it’s just foam. Also, that the stripped feeling on your skin after using soap is not ’clean’ - it is de-fatted. Most soaps literally strip the oils from your skin!

Haven't tried Allure yet? Click here to request your free sample, or click here to shop online!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Craft with Love, Wash with Allure

This Valentine's Day, the hearts have it! We've spotted some cupid-approved projects on Ravelry which are great for last-minute gifting. These small projects are great for using up leftover yarn in your stash, and we also recommend some of our favorite luxury yarns from Bijou Basin Ranch for each of our featured projects.

Top: Be Mine Heart Garland by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich - try it in Lhasa Wilderness, a sport weight blend of yak and bamboo.
Bottom Left: Granny Heart Bunting by Sandra Paul - try it in Himalayan Trail, a fingering weight blend of yak and merino.
Bottom Middle: Hearts by Victoria Magnus - try is in Bijou Bliss, a sport weight 50/50 blend of yak and cormo wool.
Bottom Right: Lace Heart Bookmark by Darilyn Page - try it in Shangri-La, a 50/50 blend of yak and silk in a lace weight yarn.

Once your project comes off the needles or hook, it's time to wash it in Allure! We've made a handy chart you can bookmark or pin for future reference:

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Allure!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holidays with Allure

The holiday season is upon us! We know that a lot of our fans are making handmade gifts, and today we'd like to share some of our best tips for success in your DIY holiday endeavors!

First, there are some really great tips here on the PostStitch blog for making sure you finish all of your holiday gift projects on time.
These knitted fair isle ornaments are a free pattern on Ravelry!
Quick projects are the name of the game, and we are collecting some of our favorite quick to knit & crochet patterns (and more!) on our Winter Holiday Ideas pinterest board.
Instagrammer @alisatheyarnista uses Allure to wash her recently-finished project knit with Bijou Basin Ranch yarn.
Obviously, we recommend washing all of your finished projects in Allure's gentle, no-rinse formula. Allure is specially formulated to leave no residue, which makes it ideal for luxury fibers such as silk, cashmere, yak and more. Click here for easy-to-follow instructions on our website!
Use pom poms instead of bows on your holiday gifts!
Once your project is done, it's time to wrap it up! Leftover bits of yarn can make for some pretty gift wrap - pom poms, tassels, or intricate designs can all add that extra-special handmade finishing touch!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Get Ready for Fall with Allure

Fall is just around the corner! It's time to start thinking about heading back to school, fall fiber festivals, unpacking all of those winter woolens from their summer storage, and starting new knit and crochet projects for the season ahead. We know that some of our fans never stopped knitting (or crocheting) no matter how high the temperature rose, and our hats are off to you. Other Allure fans might have taken a few months off to explore more summery pursuits - and we'd like to welcome you back: there's a lot to do this month!

Allure has a lot of uses: in addition to keeping your handmade projects looking their best, you can also use it to wash any store-bought specialty fibers such as cashmere sweaters, silk blouses, hosiery and more. We have easy-to-follow instructions for both hand washing and using Allure in your washing machine here on our website.

One of our favorite uses for Allure is to spot clean garments in between washes. This is especially handy if you have little ones who often get into messes and you're looking to minimize your trips to the laundry room! Most stains can be easily removed by taking a damp cloth with a dab of Allure on it, and then gently blotting away the stain (for more detailed information about stain removal, click here).

If you're wondering why Allure is so great at stain removal, we can tell you: its developer, Eileen Koop, has spent many years in the cleaning products industry developing high-tech products such as Oxiclean and many other household names. When working for these companies, the product development process often altered the final product; in developing Allure  Eileen was able to carry out her vision 100% to create a fully biodegradeable no-rinse wash with top-quality ingredients. You can learn more about Eileen's approach for developing Allure here on the Lattes & Llamas blog.

Need to stock up? Click here to shop online or look for Allure in the Bijou Basin Ranch booth at these upcoming events:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Win an Allure Sampler Pack!

Welcome back to the Allure blog! If you missed last month's #AllureinAction giveaway, you won't want to skip our latest prize-winning opportunity: one lucky person will get a chance to try all three Allure scents which are included in our sampler pack! Not only that, but everyone who subscribes to our quarterly newsletter as their entry will be notified of future giveaways, sales, and other exciting news. That sounds like a win-win situation to us!

To enter, use the widget below to enter your email address (if you already receive the Allure newsletter, simply enter the same email address for your subscription for verification purposes). You can also click here for a direct entry link if the widget below isn't working.

In addition to finding Allure online, you can also find us at these fine craft stores:

Allure will also be for sale in the Bijou Basin Ranch Booth at these upcoming fiber shows & festivals:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Allure: Now Available by the Gallon

Here's a fun fact: while Allure was designed with hand-washing in mind, it also performs beautifully when used in both top-loading and front-loading washing machines. Just think of how cost-effective & convenient it would be to have ONE fabulous soap that you can use for all of your hand- and machine-washing needs!
We've got some even better news for you: Allure is now available in gallon jugs in addition to our original 3 sizes! Our premium no-rinse, no-residue formula is fast becoming a favorite of indie dyers, and we are excited to offer this new size option to all of our Allure fans. For more information, please contact us at

We've covered the hand washing basics here on a previous blog post, so today we'd like to share these easy-to-follow steps for using Allure in your washing machine:

IMPORTANT: Remember, Allure will not prevent the felting of items which are not made from superwash yarn or labeled as machine washable!

Front Load Machine:
Select the Rinse and Spin cycle and set your water temperature to either warm or cold water.
Add 2 capfuls of Allure to the fabric softener drawer.
Add your article(s) to the machine and begin the cycle.
Click here for easy-to-follow drying instructions on our website!

Top Load Machine:
Add 4 capfuls of Allure to washer.
Select the gentle cycle and set your water temperature to either warm or cold water.
Stop machine and add article(s) to washer, allowing to soak for at least 10 minutes.
Gently squeeze the water through the fabric, being careful not to rub or twist - doing so can stretch the shape of your garment.
Spin water out.
Click here for easy-to-follow drying instructions on our website!