November 26, 2009

Felting Your Projects By Hand

This is a bowl that I felted and added a flower design. The first photo is of the bowl un-felted and the second and third are of the felted bowl.

I was doing some felting the other day and thought that maybe I should post a "how to" for those of you who haven't felted before. Although most of you probably prefer machine felting, I like to see the transformation right before my eyes. Some elbow grease is required though!

To start your wool needs to be felting wool or 100% wool, otherwise you will not get a felted result. First fill your sink, bucket or bathtub with HOT water. Place your item in the water and begin agitated the wool. It helps to add some dish washing liquid to help open the fibers and speed the felting process up.

Rub you item against the bottom of the sink, bucket or tub rub the wool against itself using your knuckles, finger nails etc... there is no need to be gentle here! I also wear yellow rubber gloves, they have little bumps on the palm that help to agitate the fibers.

After about 5-8 minutes check your process, you should see that you stitches are beginning to disappear. Shock it with some cold water then place it in the HOT water again, you may need to add more HOT water to keep the temp up.

You are the boss and can make the decision when you want to stop. Different wools felt at different speeds so it will take different time frames for each. You also don't have to felt something completely if you don't want to.

You can still block you item after it is done felting, depending what shape you want. You can let your item air dry, I place mine on the air vent to dry. Also you can use different item to help shape your item in the drying process. If you decide to throw it in the dryer just remember you have no control on how you item will shape. Also it may shrink quite a bit more.

Please remember you item will shrink, so when you are knitting it you should probably felt a swatch to see how much you will lose in the felting process.

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