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Thread: I'm old and tired of learning the hard way- felting

  1. #1
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    I'm old and tired of learning the hard way- felting

    Just getting into felting. Took apart a coat of 100%wool. Serged all the raw edges and tossed the works into the washer with hot water. Thinking I was doing it right. NOT. Even with the edges serged, the wool came out of the fabric in clumps. Next think I knew the washer wasn't washing. I thought it was off balance, Redistributed the fabric and now it tried to move but only for 2 or 3 seconds. Called the repair man. He came yesterday. When he took the case off it you could see the beautiful deep purple between the tub and the plastic shell dried on in large clumps. They took the pump off, cleaned it out and then tried to get the lint that had dried on to let go. Their directions to me when they left was to use - The works toilet bowl cleaner in hot water - about 1/4 bottle. Keep the lid shut and don't open it. Agitate through the longest cycle and put the drain into the wash sink that empties into a 4" drain pipe, not down the regular 2" drain. Then I was suppose to wash again with white vinegar about a cup or 2 to neutralize the toilet bowl cleaner. I put a drain filter on the wash sink to get as much as possible out before it went down the sink and plugged the pipes. Kept washing without fabric till the lint stopped coming. 6 washes later I was good to go. Only cost me $100. I could have bought a lot of felted wool for that.
    I did finish my project - this time I put the wool into a 5 gal pail in the wash sink. Agitated with a clean toiled plunger and rinsed well with a vinegar rinse and then clear water and wrung out the pieces. Hung them over a drying rack. If they are slightly damp this morning, I'm going to toss them in the dryer for a little bit on high heat.
    Sally Dolin -The Lazy Quilter
    Gammill Classic+
    Rock Island, IL

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    thanks for sharing your experience so we can avoid the same issues. sorry you had to go through that.
    Nancy in western NY

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I've been felting clothing for awhile now and I've not had this experience. I don't really understand what you mean by the wool came out in clumps. What type of coat was it? When I've disassembled clothing I never do anything to the edges. In my experience I only have had to do one wash and hot dry as the fabric has nothing stopping the felting process.

    I'm very curious and concerned as I am on septic and I do not ever want to have to have that replaced again (just did that about 4 years ago. Not fun!).

  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    By your experience, I am very glad never got into the felting. Iam even afraid to try the rag quilt using flannel. Afraid it might mess up my machine.
    I am glad you got your machine cleaned out.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I leave all my wool clothing being felted just as they come and throw them in the washer. (I take it apart after washing and drying.) Have never had a problem. I am wondering about the type of fabric this was. I have even washed it with other cloths and never had a dye issue. Hmmmm.....

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    The only time I started to make a felted wool jacket my instructions said to boil the wool fabric and then dry. I had planned to put it in a soup pot and boil it on the kitchen range. Is boiled wool different than felted wool?

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    I believe that boiled and felted are the same. You can run it in your washer on Hot and that is like boiling (or so they say). I think the important thing is that you also need to run it through the dryer.

    I have run it through the washer and hadn't had any issues in the past - maybe it was the kind of wool? Although with this in mind I think if I want to do this I will take it to the laundromat just like with a rag quilt. I did the same thing (brand new washer so at least it was under warranty) the first time I washed a flannel rag quilt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    You can felt wool "too much". I first wash on warm and run thru dryer. This is to get it clean and tighten it. Then I decide if it is felted enough for the project. If yes, then I take it apart. If not, I run it thru on warm or hot again.

    I use a lot of wool in hooked rugs and keep all the interfaced collar and lapel pieces which are not good for rugs for applique. Got a huge collection.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    that was a horrible experience for you. Certainly am glad felting does not intice me. As far as rag quilts...flannel or cotton, I always take them to laundromat....don't need anymore expenses or flooded laundry rooms..............a little precaution saves a few $$$$

  10. #10
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    What a horrible experience you had and I am so glad you shared it with all of us. I just ordered 100% wool yarn to make a felted shawl. The author of the book says to wash it in the washer after first basting all the edges together and then put it in the dryer. She tells us to check the wool several times as we need to check the degree of felting. I have never done this before but I am wanting to try. One of the quilt guild members took a blazer a client had and she wanted it made it into a purse. It turned out absolutely beautiful, she also added some beading to the front of the purse. I am going to crochet a shawl, deep purple, and I will remember what happened to you. Thanks again.

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