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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > How do I felt a knit ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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How do I felt a knit
Pamela R
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Pamela R  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/4/13 4:14 PM

I have a beautiful piece if wool that needs to be felted to make a coat, and I do not know how to do it well, just what I read in a 4H book years ago.
A help would be appreciated

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to Pamela R <<


Date: 5/4/13 5:03 PM

Hopefully you have a lot of it and it is 100% wool because it will only felt if it is all wool and second it shrinks up a lot.
My understanding of it, and this is from reading an article in Threads some years ago, is that you wash it on hot with detergent then dry it on hot as well. It may take several tries to get it to felt. High agitation also is necessary so don't wash it on gentle.

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Pamela R
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In reply to Nancy K <<


Date: 5/5/13 11:18 AM

Thankyou, I will check my threads to see if I can find the article.
I bought double what I needed to allow for the shrinkage.
Do you think that I need to put in some tennis balls, Or something for the agitation?
-- Edited on 5/5/13 11:19 AM --

AliceM
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 5/5/13 2:05 PM

You can keep washing and drying it until you get what you want. Be aware that it may shrink more than double before you get a fabric that you like.
After it is felted you will need to only wash it in cold water and hang to dry or dry clean it.

plumfan
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Date: 5/5/13 7:43 PM

My felting experience comes from my knitting days. I went through a phase where I was knitting a lot of large things to felt.

The best machine to felt in is a machine with an agitator that you can leave the lid open on. If you can, use a wool wash - NOT woolite. Eucalan is a common one you can find in yarn shops. A wool wash is good for 2 reasons; first it is designed for wools so it leaves it soft, two you don't have to worry about rinsing it out and can avoid "shocking" the wool which makes it felt more. You can go from agitate directly to spin.

Use hot water and agitation. If you don't have an agitator, I've heard some have good results with tennis balls in a front loader. I don't know how top loaders with wash plates do.

Check your fabric often. I once knit up this huge lovely ruana and put it in the machine to felt. I checked it about every 3-5 minutes and it got really close to what I wanted but not quite so I let it go 2 more minutes. Something happened in that 2 minutes where everything came together much faster than it had the previous 10. The newly felted fabric was thicker and shorter than I had intended. Lesson learned. When it gets close, stop and spin. If it needs more felting after it's dry, start over again watching very closely.

Another way to felt is to "shock" the wool. Moving from very hot to sudden cold. I've never felted this way and don't know how controllable it is.

Like I said, my felting experience is felting fabric I've knit myself. YMMV on your wool.

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Stash in as of Feb. 1, 2014 - 44
2014 Items finished for me - 8
2014 Items for others - 9
Approximate yardage used - 32

diane s
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Date: 5/6/13 11:39 PM

There's a book in the set of Singer sewing books, called 'Creative Sewing Ideas' that has wonderful felting instructions. I used them the first time I ever felted.
Besides the shrinkage issue, a fabric that is loosely woven works better than one tightly woven. A top loader works better than a front loader, because you need lots of water to felt and the hotter the better. My friend goes to the laundrymat, since she bought a front loader.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Pamela R
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In reply to diane s <<


Date: 5/7/13 10:09 AM

Thankyou for the information on the singer book...I never thought of checking them.
The instructions say...dish soap in one book
No detergent in another. Does that mean that I should use a harsh laundry SOAP? like sunlight laundry bar?
And so on. What is your preferance, and do I need to use it everytime I rewash for more felting?

diane s
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In reply to Pamela R <<


Date: 5/8/13 6:13 PM

I think I use a squirt of whatever's handy the first time and nothing the next time. My results have usually not needed a second time.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

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