Friday, 19 September 2014

The fun of felting wool

I knitted this then put it in the washing machine with all the rest of the clothes at 30 degrees
Pam Dew hot washed this Fair Isle jumper at 60 degrees.
Pieces of my knitting and crochet before being felted
The same items after their 30 degrees wash.
My daughter accidentally shrunk her pure wool jersey. Love the colour!
Talking to people in Handmade Happiness I realise there is some confusion over felting. You can accidentally or intentionally felt wool by puting it in the washing machine. And as you can see above even a cool wash will shrink wool ie. felt it. 

You can also make flat felt with wool tops (clean, combed wool) by simply layering it, applying soapy water and rubbing it until the fibres matt and shrink and form a fabric.

Nuno felting is when you rub wool tops into something fine like chiffon to create a draping piece of fabric.

Then there's needle felting which is completely different. Doing this by hand involves poking wool tops with a barbed needle until it hardens (felts). More like sculpting with wool if making a 3D piece. Or needle felting can be done flat over a sponge and with this method you can add detail to a flat piece of felt.
Flat felting can also be done using a needle felting machine, sometimes called an embellisher.

It's fun to see the difference felting makes to a piece of knitting (see above). These small pieces will be used to make small bags and some experiments which I'll tell you about later.

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