What is felting? Well, for me it was an accident when a favourite cashmere sweater went in the wash by accident.
I found out very quickly when I pulled out a miniature version of what was the original size. The fibres constrict together which results in a smaller and thicker fabric.
It is an age old craft that has evolved with local traditions wherever it was used and has become a very popular process in knitting and crochet.
Special "roving" type yarns have been developed especially for this type of craft.
The technique for felting is quite easy with a few tips to remember:
1. Make sure that the sweater is made from 100% wool, if possible. Superwash wool will not give you the felted results as it has been processed for machine washing.
2. When felting projects in your washing machine, put the project into an old pillow case and tie the top closed. The old pillow case will catch most of the fibers that come out of the
sweater during the felting process so that they do not clog up your washing machine drain hose or pipe.
3. Use hot water for the wash and warm water for the rinse, half the amount of laundry soap and do not use fabric softener
4. Dry project in a pillowcase in the clothes dryer to trap as much stray fiber as possible. Do not completely dry. When still damp, remove project, form to desired shape and lay flat until
Read further for ideal free knit and crochet bag patterns for felting, how to recycle old sweaters into totes and helpful videos showing you how to felt without a washing machine!
Always remember that any project being felted will be considerably smaller, so if you wish to have a bigger bag keep that in mind when knitting or crocheting.
It is always recommended to make a swatch, measure it before and after washing to determine the amount of shrinkage.
If you are using felted recycled sweaters, you can treat the parts of the sweater as fabric illustrated in the tutorials.
Have fun! Felting has never felt better.