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Thread: Felting Wool

  1. #1
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    Question Felting Wool

    I just bought a man's wool suit jacket at a thrift store. How do I felt it in my washing machine? Do I cut it up first or put the whole jacket in? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    You can do it either way. If you cut it up do overcast the edges to stop the raveling. If you toss it in prior to cutting it will look like a mess when you pull it out , but your going to cut it up any way so ... no big deal. If its a high end suit there could be some underfacing material that might be a bit of a mess.
    To felt it .. toss in hot water and agitate. The more you agitate the more it will felt.

  3. #3
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    I take the jackets apart making sure to remove the interfacing.
    I then just throw the pieces in a hot water wash with a small amont of
    soap. Then into a hot dryer.

    Don't do anything to the edges. You want to make sure the
    fabric is free to shrink as much as it wants. That is the reason
    for taking the garments apart before the washing/felting process.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackiemc View Post
    I just bought a man's wool suit jacket at a thrift store. How do I felt it in my washing machine? Do I cut it up first or put the whole jacket in? Thanks
    I have a couple of questions. What do you use felted wool for? What exactly does felting do to the wool?

  5. #5
    Member JustJeanne's Avatar
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    Before you wash and dry it, take the lining out, leave everything else in 1 piece, cut it up after it is washed and dried, otherwise you will have small pieces of wadded up wool I like washing in 1 piece but take the lining out because it will fade and or bleed in hot water and you want to wash and dry the wool on the hottest setting possible for both washing and drying.
    Have fun with it, it gets addicting!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    When I was in Baveria I saw some jackets that I thought were made from felted wool. They were very thick and extremely warm. Seemed to be adequate for the Apline weather.

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    I have some wool yardage that has been hanging around for years. I would like to make a patchwork quilt with it. How do I prepare it?

  8. #8
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Other than purses and quilts, what are you making... so you have any hottos to share.

  9. #9
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    I have 2 wool patchwork quilts and the wool was sewn exactly like cotton would be, except that it was cut into 4 inch squares and those were sewn together without sashing, but the colors of the wool were carefully considered and the quilts were wonderful blended shades of brown , grey, and taupe that graduated almost in waves through out the quilt. The seams are thicker because the fabric is thicker than cotton. My quilts were tied not quilted.The wool was not pretreated in any way.

  10. #10
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I have never felted wool but plan to do it soon. A woman I know makes many things. Recently I saw her black dressy purse, a pair of mittens lined with fleece and a beautiful tote/purse. She says it is easy. All I know is that she could make some serious money if she wanted to sell her felted crafts. These items are so stylish, she adds flowers and beads.

  11. #11
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragquilter View Post
    I have a couple of questions. What do you use felted wool for? What exactly does felting do to the wool?
    I use felted wool for applique` projects. I especially like to make Christmas ornaments with it, or table runners or table mats. Some people make entire quilts out of it, but they can be very heavy, and it's expensive to buy all the wool. Some people over-dye wool and get wonderful colors. The felting process tightens up the fibers of the wool, making it thicker and denser. The felt can be cut without having to finish the edges since it doesn't fray. I think it's lots of fun to work with, and there are tons of patterns to make with it.

  12. #12
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    Hi JustJeanne, I want to make a quilt with the wool, not a very big one. I bought felted wool at a quilt show. I paid $12.00 for a half a yard. I splurged. I would never pay that amount for fabric. It was very soft wool. So I found out on various websites that wool needs to be felted. The felted wool is very soft. I got 2 plaids that go together and the jacket I bought will go with what I bought. I want to buy wool clothing a little bit at a time to do the quilt. I know have to find out what kind of batting you use and what kind of backing. On with the search. I also thought I would make a wall hanging with it but found you can applique it on cotton. Then you use a blanket stitch. Then a backing and I would use muslin. As you can see I don't rush into things. I am working on my first rag quilt. It has taken me months. jackiemc

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i've been preping over-dyeing & felting recycled wool for years- i'm one of those who always de-constructs first- i remove all linings, buttons, zippers, snaps, cut away all seams (they are easier to remove before the felting process & then your felted item is more evenly felted- when the item is left intact it does not felt evenly-
    with suit jackets, skirts, dresses ect you seldom have any really small pieces-they are all quite large.
    i put everything (like colors unless i'm overdyeing) into a hot washer (i add water from my steaming teakettle) with a small amount of detergent and the regular aggitation cycle- i generally keep resetting the cycle & adding hot water for 3-4 full wash cycles (not letting the water drain-keep resetting until i'm happy with the felting) every 10 minutes or so i lift up a piece & check it to see how it's doing-some wools felt faster than others- when it has felted to my liking i let it drain- rinse in COLD water- then toss into a hot dryer. when the wools come out that are *meaty* - done shrinking- no edges will ravel- you can cut them up for any project / use - the finished project is washable- the wool is done shrinking- wool is wonderful to work with- in fact i'm doing some wool dyeing today
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  14. #14
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    I was buying a lot of used clothing for wool rugs and just threw them in the washer with regular detergent. Then I could take my time cutting them up and they were clean when I did it. I did not want bags of questionable used clothing sitting around. I was amazed just how little they changed after washing the whole suit or such. I can get more felting later if I need it but they are amazing to use as is.

    I now only buy pieces that have fantastic color. Once found a hot pink wool skirt at a resale shop.

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