My boyfriend is allergic to all sorts of crazy stuff. To give a brief background on why I'm asking about allergies, in Dec 2004 we got rabbits - one short haired one and one long haired one. Shortly after, he developed asthma like symptoms. After a year of doctors trying to make him better, we determined on our own that he's allergic to the long haired rabbit which had it's hair everywhere in the house and was causing these asthma like symptoms. So, from just this, I know he's allergic to angora which is fortunately a yarn I've never purchased thus far and have a feeling I may never be able to.
I've been knitting with a lot of wool lately and all the symptoms that were gone from the rabbits being around have somewhat returned, though not to the degree they were before. I noticed he was having more issues at night when we went to bed and I thought that it was because we hadn't cleaned our bedroom very well after moving the rabbits downstairs and then finding them a new home and that some of their left over fur was causing the reaction. Then I noticed over the last week that I've been knitting with more 100% wool and at night when we're watching TV and I'm knitting, he's having breathing and coughing problems. Then, I found out last night that he's allergic to wool, at least skin on skin contact. I started thinking about it. Wondering if he could be allergic to ME using the yarn in the same room as him.
So, I've come to you all to ask about fiber allergies. Do you have someone who's allergic to your yarn? How did you determine this? How have you dealt with it? Do I have to give up my wool for his allergies? (Please say no!) Are you allergic to certain fibers? How did you know? I'm just wondering how to know if this is really what's causing these problems and how (if that is the case) I can help him not suffer from my hobby. I know it's been mentioned that it may be the chemicals used in processing the yarn, but he knows already that no matter how the fabric of wool is treated or washed, it still irritates his skin - though I'm wondering since his uniform that irritates him is 100% wool and it's been washed that maybe the respiratory reaction doesn't happen anymore... so maybe it IS whatever chemicals are used in processing yarn that's bothering him?
I appreciate any feedback provided! Thanks!