Help With Felting...Please..

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GwenK wrote
on May 27, 2008 5:01 PM

 I have just gotten interested in felting.  I've tried small handbags, but I am having horrible luck with the felting process.  It just doesn't felt.  What could I be doing wrong?

What's the best (brand) wool to use?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks a bunch!!


 But, I just have to HAVE to have that yarn!!!Big Smile

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BJS wrote
on May 27, 2008 9:39 PM

Having just gotten into felting recently, I can't claim to be an expert, but...:

Here are three 100% yarns that have succeeded for me...

A multicolored purse with i-cord handles using Galway by Plymouth

Several pairs of felted clogs using Cascade 220

Several small purses using Lion Brand Wool

The felting technique is important too. I use the hottest wash cycle, a tiny bit of liquid soap, and use the heavy agitation cycle. A pillow case keeps the item contained and safe. ( I throw in something like a pair of clean jeansto help with the agitation. I then check it every few minutes until it is the size I want, rinse it in cool water, and press the excess out with a towel. It can then be shaped or put over a form to dry..typically a few days.

I've read that some people have trouble with front loading washers, and have also heard that very light colored yarn can be hard to felt.

Hope some of this helps.


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LaurieB wrote
on May 28, 2008 5:47 AM

I've heard a lot of people recommend throwing in jeans with your item to felt, but won't hot water shrink your jeans???  Any other suggestions for items to include?  I know not to put in anything "linty" like towels.  Maybe some sheets?

Update 6/7/2008 - I just got done felting several coozies for 12 oz Coke cans and one larger one for a wine bottle.  I ended up putting several pillowcases in with them and they did great. 

Very fun pattern from Knitting at Knoon if you want to check it out


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CherylA wrote
on May 28, 2008 7:52 AM

 Hi Gwen,

Be sure that your yarn is not super wash - if it is superwash it is not feltable.  If it is feltable, you can also try using a washboard.

I'm not an expert, LOL, but hopefully that may help you put.  Good luck......


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Posts 17
DarcyT wrote
on May 28, 2008 11:25 AM

 Black Sheep brand has very good wools for felting.  I've made 30+ bags/slippers with that brand, Cascade, Lion Patons, and various independents.  I have also tried a soy that said it could be felted.  Not as stiff as 100% wools and I do not recommend for slippers.

A good yarn shop should carry the soap to use when machine felting.  I think the brand I use is made by Black Sheep.

I've never tried to felt white wool.  It sounds like the bleaching process they use makes it felt at a different rate if at all.  For this reason I have never mixed yarn brands.  When I have stayed with a brand on a project with different colors I have rarely had major problems with the felting rate.


Hope this helps!


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Posts 25
Mirl56 wrote
on May 28, 2008 2:03 PM

 I just felted a purse out of a 2007 issue of Knit N Style.  It said to throw a couple tennis balls in the washer.

I actually do keep a container of 3 tennis balls near my washer/dryer  to use in the dryer when drying down items. 

Cool Marilyn


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Posts 17
DarcyT wrote
on May 29, 2008 11:10 AM

 I also made a purse out of an old sweater.  Beautiful sweater but too hot and itchy.  I sewed a leather bottom to it and used the arms as the straps.  There was a nice border around the cuffs so they became pockets.


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AllisonD wrote
on Jun 1, 2008 6:40 PM

 This is all from experience....

When you pick wool to felt, look at the care lable.  If it says machine washable, it WILL NOT felt.  If it says hand wash, it will felt.  Most baby yarns are treated to be machine washable, and will not felt.

Different brands felt at different rates.  If you want to combine yarns, it's generally safe to combine different colors of the same brand and type.  If you want to mix brands, make a swatch and felt it.  I use the little felted squares I'm left with as coasters, so it's not a complete waste!

Hope this helps!


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DarcyT wrote
on Jun 3, 2008 2:59 PM

 Silly me....  It's Brown Sheep, not black :)  Felts great, great color selection.


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LeslieB wrote
on Jul 26, 2008 6:59 AM

How about hitting the thrift store for a pair of jeans just for the felting process?  I get an old pair of tennies for that purpose myself...

Yes, I am a KIPper are you a KIPper too?

By Hand, Leslie in the Springs

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Posts 7
HollyH wrote
on Aug 11, 2008 9:55 PM

 Gwen, what type of washing machine are you using?  Sometimes felting in a front loading machine can be a challenge.  Here is a link to some tips: Felting in Front Loader

If you are using yarn in your stash and don't know if it is superwash, knit a swatch and felt it.  If it felts, you are good to go.  (measure it before you wash it and measure it after and you will have a guide on the shrinkage rate you will get).

I really like Lamb's Pride worsted for first projects. (Se sure to toss you knitted bag into a zippered pillowcase before felting it so all the fuzz doesn't mess up your machine.)

Cascade 220 is good in the darker colors (IMO).  The light colors can be very hard to felt and white doesn't. 

Don't give up!

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