I am thinking of replacing my old top-load washing machine with a front-loader, but wondered if anyone has noticed a difference between the two when felting? Obviously I'm not going to be able to remove the piece before the rinse cycle (but I rarely manage to do that now) but does the absence of an agitator make a difference?
I have been using my front loader to felt many things. You can always stop the wash cycle and open the door to see your progress on the piece, then close the door and start cycle. Just have a bucket in front of the washer because it will be soaked. I also can drain the water and set it to rinse on cold but do not spin. I just stop the washer again and remove the piece, place in a bucket and then towel squeeze and shape. Works like a charm. I have the Kenmore Elite HE3t series and it allows me to stop and open the door. You can always cancel the cycle. Just make sure you get a machine that allows you the flexibility to felt. Have fun.....
Just thought I'de add a little bit here. Some time ago I asked our appliance repair person about some of this. He said just to be sure + buy a washer with:
"Add a garment" feature.
I was also interested in being able to open the washer to check on colorfastness + whether I had managed to remove "perfumy" smells from a garment....as well as being able to felt. Not sure if all brands call it the same thing...we too have a Kenmore. This is a top-loader..but our next will be a front-loader.
Take Care, Andrea
I have used my frontloader for felting - worked great. I would add a couple of old well worn pairs of jeans to add friction. I too was concerned about being able to check progress. Was not sure how to check in midcycle. If I was concerned, I would run a shorter cycle and drain the water after the wash portion was completed.
I have a Maytag front loader that I have used for felting. It has worked well. Also I have never had a problem with water running out of my machine and onto the floor when I pause it and open it mid cycle. Which may just be different machines.
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