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I have been admiring felted projects I have seen online and at craft shows recently. I have also done some research online.

So today I am in a thrift store and spot what I think is a wool sweater. Get my hands on it and check the label. Lambs wool , rabbit hair, and something else. They wanted $ 6.99 for it :(
Which does not fit my budget. Especially on a new to me project. So I check the color tag and see I can get 40 % off this week.
If it is still there next week, it will be 60 % off. It looks like it is already shrunk some, so my chances should be pretty good.

So does the label have to show 100 % wool, to get it to felt properly ?

Are certain wools better than others ?

Has anyone here done any felting ? Any tips ?

I do knit and crochet, so am familiar with mainly worsted weight yarns due to the budget I have to work with. Cheap bargains is what I look for :)

Thanks :)
 

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So does the label have to show 100 % wool, to get it to felt properly ?

No, but the higher % over 50 the better. At 50% you are iffy and
it might take more washings. Don't think I would go much under
75%. It will become a personal preference on the 'look' you like for felted things. 100% will give a tight look.

Are certain wools better than others ? Shetland is
WONDERFUL. And if it is a Merino make sure it isn't a superwash Merino........it won't felt.

Has anyone here done any felting ? Yes--see below. Any tips ? YES!!! See below.

Thanks :)
I bought and felted a whole bunch of sweaters last year. My limit was $5 when buying...........and I ALWAYS looked in the men's dept. first.........in extra large! (the bigger the better!!) Seems they will have more wool sweaters..........women must not like them as much.

MAKE SURE you put them in a pillow case or something...........and tie the case shut.........unless you want a washing machine repair bill. I never washed more than three
sweaters at a time as they need the agitation AND HOT WATER
to felt.

I would suggest taking them OUTSIDE when pulling them out of the pillow case as it is pretty messy...........lots of fiber! You may have to run them through more than once to get them really tight.

If you don't leave them in the pillow case (or 'container') for drying be sure to check your lint trap OFTEN.......potential fire hazard. BUT.......leaving them in the pillow case will cause more wrinkles when dried.............but these will 'hang out'. ONLY ONE PER PILLOW CASE!

I ended up leaving mine in pillow cases for the whole process and tied them with just a piece of string........then cut it when I removed them. TIE A TIGHT KNOT (double knot!!).............I had one or two come open.............a mess! (and I did a lot of praying that I hadn't screwed up my washer!)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow...thank you :)

Okay, after you get a project completed with the felt, then what is the cleaning process for the new garment ? My thought would be dry cleaning maybe ? I am thinking of making mittens and maybe a couple of hats.

I did see a nice darker gray men's sweater yesterday that was wool. But again, it was not in the price range I wanted for a new to me project.

If I do a few things and like them, then come spring, I will be hitting more garage sales for bargains :)
 

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Any animal fiber should felt so I think the blends would be okay to use. Have fun.
 

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Okay, after you get a project completed with the felt, then what is the cleaning process for the new garment ?

If I do a few things and like them, then come spring, I will be hitting more garage sales for bargains :)
I wouldn't spend the money on d.c. If they are felted tight they
shouldn't shrink much more............and ESPECIALLY if they are only washed in cold water..........it is the HOT WATER (and you have to use HOT) and agitation that 'felts' them in the first place.

Would suggest.......gentle cycle.........woolite........cold water for cleaning the item. You should be fine.

Rummage sales are just THE BEST.......and I love, love, love, church rummage sales.

I bought so many at one rummage sale last summer they had to put them in a 30 gal. garbage bag for me to get them to the car............THEY WERE A BUCK A PIECE!!!! Funny part............when I got home one (a ladies) was so BEAUTIFULLY KNITTED I couldn't bring myself to felt it.........I am using it!!! It was like new......machine washed it in woolite....gentle cycle......cold water... and it came out beautiful!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I went to a sale today for a fundraiser. I got there a few hours after they opened. I did look for some sweaters but no luck.
I called it a practice run :) I did spend $1 on a blankie for the dog.

We have a outside wood boiler. It heats the house and the hot water. All I have to do is let the hot water run a few minutes in my sink to get ready for some dishes, and then let the washer fill up. I should be golden :) The water is HOT. We have our own well, so water bills are not a problem here.
 

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I bought so many at one rummage sale last summer they had to put them in a 30 gal. garbage bag for me to get them to the car............THEY WERE A BUCK A PIECE!!!! Funny part............when I got home one (a ladies) was so BEAUTIFULLY KNITTED I couldn't bring myself to felt it.........I am using it!!! It was like new......machine washed it in woolite....gentle cycle......cold water... and it came out beautiful!!
So......what did you make with them ?
 

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We have our own well, so water bills are not a problem here.
I will say that I noticed my utility bill was higher (only a little bit)........it wasn't the water so much as it was the HEATING of it.........and the dryer. (elec.)

My utility is gas/elec on one bill.........water is separate and it never went up.

But I brought them all home and started doing ALL of them at once.......so they were all done in a week or two..........lots of HEATING the water---natural gas!! I wanted them all at least WASHED just because you never know what you are bringing into your house........and my laundry area is close to my craft area.

I haven't even used them all yet............made a Kindle Cover, two phone totes, one purse..........that isn't done yet.......had some issues with a zipper but thanks to a yarn store.........think I have figured it out.....also am lining this. Oh......and a pair of fingerless gloves that has since been placed in my car, since a friend made me a pair too.........and I like them better and use them at the computer.
 

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Hmm...from a spinner's perspective, certain wools will felt better than others. Look for Merino or other fine woolens. They will felt marvellously. Lambswool is an excellent choice too.

Beware blends! The nylon or whatever the blend is may not shrink at the same rate as the wool. You could end up with something interesting. Generally if it's a sweater and says wool and nylon, the nylon is in the cuffs, collar and waistband. If you plan a project to omit them you should be okay.

HTH. If you want I can be more specific about wools that felt, but garments aren't labeled that way, so you wouldn't know it if you saw it. Other than merino and lambswool things generally aren't labeled by type of wool.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well all of this is still just a thought process yet.
I like being able to walk through a thrift store, and spot a wool garment from a distance, then walk up to it, check the label and yup I am right :)
I still have some projects that need to get done here first.
Felting will need to be on the back burner.
In the meanwhile, I will keep on looking and sooner or later, the right sweater in the right color, at the right price, will fall into the shopping cart. Then if I have success with the first project, I will be searching more serious.
 
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