Last modified on
January 9, 2014
YARNS FOR FELTING, Project Books
Process of making felt was developed in Central Asia by the ancestors of the Mongols. Wool or hair was combed out, wetted, and placed in layers on a mat. Then, the mat was rolled up tightly and beaten by sticks. Produced felt then was cut and sewn to make garments and rugs. At present, there are many different techniques for felting, but there are two basic methods to obtain matted fibers: felting by machine and by hand.
© Lana Grossa Filati Handknitting № 47. This charming owl is first crocheted, then felted.
Washing machine felting can be done in top loaders (or front loaders) that allow you to open the door during the wash cycle to check the felting progress and to control the amount of shrinkage. Place the knitted item in a zippered pillow case or mesh bag to catch any stray lint. Put the bag in the washing machine with an old pair of jeans or an old towel for added agitation. Set machine for smallest load size with a hot wash, and add a small amount of soap. Close the lid, and turn on the machine. Check the progress every 5 minutes until the desired size is achieved. When the item is matted enough, take it out of the and gently rinse in tepid water in the sink. Roll the item in a towel and squeeze out the excess water. Do not wring, it may pull the item out of shape.
Felting by hands is more labor intensive: soak the finished item in hot water for 30 minutes or until it is completely saturated. Add a small amount of soap. Agitate the piece by rubbing and kneading. If the water cools, add more hot water. When the item is shrunk, rinse it in tepid water, and continue as it is described for machine felting.
Blocking: after felting is complete and your item is rinsed well, trim off any stray ends that popped out during felting. If the edge of a piece flares and you cannot flatten it by pressing, baste it with thread and gather the edge until it is flat. Remove the basting thread when the piece is dry.
Reference: Vogue Knitting " Felting on the Go!",
Carol Huber Cypher " How We Felt"
Yarns for felting: Only yarns made from natural animal fibers will felt. One-hundred percent wool, mohair, cashmere, llama, alpaca, and angora are excellent choices. If you chose a blend, make sure it contains at least 80 percent of wool or mohair.
Classic Alpaca [100% Superfine Alpaca]
Dancing con Lurex [75% Mohair, 24% Wool, 1% Lurex]
Dancing Queen [75% Mohair, 25% Wool]
Eco Duo [70% Undyed Baby Alpaca, 30% Undyed Merino]
Ecological Wool [100% Peruvian Highland Wool]
Jewel [100% Peruvian Highland Wool]
Lambgora [50% Lambswool, 50% Angora]
Magnum [100% Peruvian Highland Wool]
Merino Worsted [100% Kettle Dyed Pure Merino Wool]
Pastaza [50% Llama, 50% Peruvian Wool]
Runó Mira [75% Merino - Rambouillet Wool, 25% Mohair]
Swizzle [100% Alpaca Superfine]
Titus [70% Yorkshire Wool, 30% UK Alpaca]
Woolly Merino [96% Merino Wool, 4% Nylon]
[56% Wool, 36% Silk, 10% Kid Mohair]
More yarns to felt »
Knitting & Felting »
Felted Fashion »
Felting On the Go! »
How We Felt »
Knitting Never Felt Better »
French Street Scene, Needle Felting by Barbara Allen, New Zealand.
Photo © Ashford Handicrafts' Magazine The Wheel.
Turkish Felt Rugs and Wall Hunging Felt Rugs by Mehmet Girgiç, Istambul Turkey. Only natural plant dyes are used.
Photo © TheFeltMaker.com
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