24 June, 2011

Fulling (Making Felt) from thrifted wool jumpers & wool blankets

I'm all for a bargain!
I just love wool felt, but I find I don't always have spare money available when I need to buy some. Op-shops (thrift / second-hand stores) I find more affordable to readily buy from and I'm always on the look out for 100% wool knitted clothing and blankets.

I have recently been lucky. Finding all of these pictured jumpers in one shop, costing a total of A$22! 

To felt or full a knitted item, preferably a few at a time, I do the following:
1. Remove any seams, tags or stitching from the item with sharp scissors.
2. Soak the item in cold water, in a bucket or sink, for 15-30mins.
3. Squeeze out the cold water, ring dry with my hands.
4. Plunge the item in the hottest water I can. I add some dishwashing detergent too and, wearing a glove, agitate it regularly. 
5. Once that water has cooled I ring out the water from the item again and then put it in the washing machine in a pillow case (to save my filter from the resultant fluff).
6. I set my machine to it's hottest setting and omit the rinse and spin cycles.
7. Once the machine has finished, I have to squeeze the excess water out and then hang the felted item on the washing line.
*If the item has started felting, but not completely, I will shock it with cold water (step2-3) and then repeat step 5-7. If it is still not felted / fulled by this time, it probably isn't going to.

One find was a blanket, that cost A$4, but had several holes in it. No matter! I have now cut it up into blue, white, pink, orange and yellow squares. Big enough to make all manner of smaller things.

Some of the jumpers I fulled, worked, some didn't. I found the 100% cashmere was a complete failure. The softer lambswool also took a very long time to felt.
Both I believe simply to do with the smoother fibre. Course, sheep wool has more barbs to knit together, resulting in a thicker, tighter felt.

Both of these jumpers worked very well. My mind is ticking as to what to create with that pocket I left attached!

 I also left this wonderful embellishment on the yellow jumper, hoping it would result in something wonderful once I had the finished product. But unfortunately the colour became quite washed out and matted looking. The result of intense heat & friction on the crochet cotton I should think.



  1. i am a bit obsessed with felting wool sweaters. ;) oddly enough, i have had much luck with 100% lambswool though i do know that once i think i know what will felt and what won't i come across one that defies the logic!

  2. I've been peeking around your blog. I'm wondering what you have used your felted sweaters for in the past?


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