General Felting Instructions
(Note: every purchased pattern contains specific felting, shaping, and finishing instructions)
Felting Instructions (top loading washing machine)
For front loading machine: http://knitting.about.com/od/felting/qt/felting-frontload.htm
All patterns are designed to allow for a strong felting.
Always place the projects to be felted into a zippered pillowcase to protect your washing machine from loose fibers.This is especially important if using yarns with a mohair content which tends to “shed” a great deal. (I do not use lingerie mesh bags as they don’t seem to hold in all the loose fibers).
Place projects in separate cases. Similar shades may be felted at the same time. Light colored projects should be felted first and removed before putting in the darker project. Color intense shade of reds, purples, or blacks may bleed into lighter colors. “Color catcher” sheets available at the grocery store may be placed in the washer to help
Fill with enough hot water to cover the project completely. Add a teaspoon size amount of mild detergent and a couple of new tennis balls to increase the friction during agitation. I do not recommend the addition of jeans and never add towels because their lint or fibers may end up felted into your project.
Check the felting progress after a few minutes. Take the project out of the pillowcase, squeeze out the excess water to see how it is progressing. Are there any creases developing that should be smoothed out? The “fabric” should start to firm up and loose stitch definition.
Light colors may be difficult to felt. Take them out of the washer, squeeze out the excess, and plunge it into cold water for a “shock”. Return to the hot water to continue felting. Yarn brands will felt at different rates as well as colors within a brand. You will need to check every 2-3 minutes once the project shows signs of felting.
Re-start the agitation cycle until felted to your liking.
Remove project from the washing machine, drain the soapy water, and fill it with cold rinse water. Soak project in the rinse water for several minutes to remove the soap. Squeeze (without twisting) the excess water out with your hands then remove from washer. Avoid the spin cycle, to prevent creases from setting-in. Press between towels to absorb
It is now time to block and shape the felted project while it is still damp. Specific instructions for this are provided with The felted fabric is strong, and you can stretch and pull the project into the desired shape. I’ve used the following objects for blocking: crumpled up plastic grocery bags for rounded shapes (especially useful in filling out bowls), glass or plastic bowls, the perfect size box for bags with corners, (a “treasure” when it is found), thick blocks of Styrofoam cut with a sharp knife to dimension, books inside a plastic bag. Before it went to the recycle center, I even used an old desktop computer unit that was the perfect size rectangle for a large tote!
Allow the blocked project to dry (not in the sun). Then remove and do the finish work as instructed in the pattern (buttons, snaps, handles, etc...).
This information is provided as a resource. 2015 ©Carol Bristol
Felting Information v. 1