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Topic: A Wet Felting Disaster - can it be redeemed?  (Read 1290 times)
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Julz
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Let's bury the hatchet. Quickly.


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« on: May 04, 2008 10:52:32 PM »

Eh, hello. Bit of an embarassing story... and a long one (sorry)...

I have a jumper that I wanted to make 2 pairs of slippers out of for some friends.

I'd never felted before so I just figured I'd shrink the jumper in boiling water. After 2 failed attempts I decided to check the label. It was 100% acrylic, NOT WOOL. I few weeks later I was at a craft show. A lady at a wool felting stall suggested I needle felt then wet felt the jumper. So I went to Lincraft (I know some of you are probably groaning and shaking your heads). I spent about $70 on SULLIVANS INTERNATIONAL '100% WOOL ROVING' - Excellent For Needle Felting (according to the label), and a needle felting device complete with some brush thing. Then I got to felting.

I felted the back of the jumper really well. I mean, I stabbed the life out of that thing and I used a lot of 'wool'. It only took me a few weeks and three minor hand stabbings but I did it. Then today I got to the wet felting part of it.

Now, is it significant that the packaging on the '100% WOOL ROVING' says it's ideal for Locker Hooking, Needle Felting, and Hand Spinning, but doesn't mention Wet Felting? I did notice when I bought it but because that was the only roving Lincraft had and it was supposedly wool, I thought that it would be fine.

In relation to the wet felting side of things, I used hot water, soap, a textured mat, I pummeled, agitated, rolled, squeezed, and repeated. All I got was a wet, matted down jumper that dried surprising fast. It didn't turn into felt, it's still fuzzy, and I'm not sure how it'll work as slippers if they're going to cover everything in little coloured 'wool' fibres. So, my real question is... did I do something wrong or was I ripped off?

I don't feel like going through the process again. I might just needle felt it again and make the slippers anyway. Unless anyone has some great idea. All I can think of it putting it in the oven and hoping the fibres melt together (kidding!!).
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amybarnett
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008 08:21:40 PM »


In relation to the wet felting side of things, I used hot water, soap, a textured mat, I pummeled, agitated, rolled, squeezed, and repeated. All I got was a wet, matted down jumper that dried surprising fast.

You're talking about the wool fiber, right? Not the Acrylic sweater......Only animal fibers will felt.

Sometimes it just takes a whole lot of time!! I massage and squish it around for 10 minutes or so then shock it with ice water. Over and over and over. You may be doing the felting process for a half hour or more depending on how big the garment is. You will eventually be able to tell the difference while you are massaging it around.
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Julz
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Let's bury the hatchet. Quickly.


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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008 02:31:24 AM »

Yeah, wool. Isn't wool animal? I mean, it didn't say it was acrylic. I must have been at it for an hour but it didn't work.
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amybarnett
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008 10:39:55 AM »

It was 100% acrylic, NOT WOOL. I few weeks later I was at a craft show. A lady at a wool felting stall suggested I needle felt then wet felt the jumper.

Sorry, are you adding the wool roving to the acrylic sweater? Or are you just working with the wool alone? Some times it helps to add a bit of soap to the project as you are felting it. It may not be necessary to wet felt it AND needle felt it. There are benefits to both techniques.Needle felting will give you a smoother appearance but it is more time consuming. Wet felting should be faster and it usually shrinks down the fabric considerably. I am puzzled by the fact that the project is not felting!!

I found this page helpful when I was first starting out with wet felting: http://www.outbackfibers.com/info/beginner.htm

and this one might be handy for needle felting: http://allbuttonedup.wordpress.com/2006/12/02/needle-felting-a-tutorial/

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mullerslanefarm
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Fiber Enabler


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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008 08:42:14 AM »

The way I'm reading this, you needle felted wool onto the acrylic fabric?

Because of the acrylic, it is not going to shrink.  The matting you saw WAS the felting.

Now, if you want to felt acrylic, i found a wonderful tutorial on the internet:


How To Felt with Acrylic Yarn
by Gail
http://www.knittergail.com/wp/archives/2005/04/02/how-to-felt-with-acrylic/

List of Materials Needed:

1. Some acrylic yarn. Make sure it doesn' have any natural fiber content in it whatsoever. That would be bad.
2. An oversized stock pot. The one you attempted to use to Brine your turkey before you accidentally killed all your relatives will serve you well here. Plus, it'll hide the evidence.
3. A blow torch.
4. An oven. Preferably one that you don't plan on using much in the future.
5. A welding shield.
6. Some tongs.
7. Some leather gloves. Not the nice ones - the heat shielding kind.

Step 1:

Knit something out of that acrylic. Make it bigger than you want the final results to be.

Step 2:

Drinking some alcohol is probably a good idea here.

Step 3:

Turn on the oven as high as it will go. Throw your knitted acrylic garment into the oversized stock pot, and stick that in the oven. It is a matter of great debate on whether or not you should add water - water will probably slow the felting process, but may keep the yarn from melting to the bottom of the pot. Maybe you should add some canola oil or something.

Step 4:

Open a window. Take the batteries out of the fire alarm.

Step 5:

Check on your garment. If all is going well, it will become soft and melty. With the gloves and tongs, coax it into the shape you want. You may also want to stir it around to make sure that it isn't sticking.

Step 6:

Once your garment has shrunk down and appears to be the correct shape, remove the stockpot from the oven. Throw a bunch of water into it. You might want to put on the welders shield now. Then, with the tongs, remove the item from the pot, and arrange it charmingly. You should no longer be able to see individual stitches. You may find that your garment is a bit inflexible - that is to be expected.

Step 7:

Once your garment has cooled, you can use the blow torch and tongs to make any last minute adjustments, such as creating holes in your slippers for the feet.

Step 8:

Enjoy your fabulous felted acrylic garment! Tune in next week where Gail explains how to use flexible rods to keep your stockinette from curling!
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Cyndi

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com
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amybarnett
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008 09:30:53 AM »

This had me cracking up! At first I said "Felting in a crockpot!!" and I believed it....haha
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