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Topic: Wet felted scarves not shrinking  (Read 1603 times)
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« on: June 26, 2012 05:30:17 PM »

I've made about ten wet felted scarves with great success.  I do the usual - fibres on bubble wrap, net on top, squirt with hot soapy water, rub, throw, then bamboo on top, roll over a noodle at least 400 times in different directions, rinse etc.  But the last two haven't shrunk lengthwise, if anything they've got longer!!  What on earth am I doing wrong??
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012 12:34:57 PM »

Was there anything different in the materials you were using? Different fibers?

I'm NOT an expert on wet felting. I have done some research into it for various projects that i have done and my understanding is you can control directional shrinkage by the direction of rolling -

If that is true, then you would want to be rolling more frequently length wise

bad ascii drawing follows:
|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||  <---------- roll in this orientation (left to right or right to left)

Unwrap the whole thing regularly and re-roll it up so that you aren't actually preventing shrinkage by having the scarf rolled up too tightly in the bubble wrap.

At this point, you might be able to do without the bubble wrap if the scarf is sufficiently felted that rolling it upon itself would not cause it to start felting together as you roll it.
I suspect that there are also fulling techniques which would help you to shorten your length too!

Hope that is of some help! Good luck and do tell us what happens!!

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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012 11:34:46 AM »

What kind of fiber are you using? Some fibers will not felt, or are very difficult to felt.

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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012 09:16:10 PM »

I'm using merino tops, which normally felt wonderfully.  Two things - one of the scarves had much more merino/silk mix than pure merino.  But both of them were done in a chilly room (mid-winter here) so the hot water v quickly cooled down.  I did mop up and keep spraying on hot soapy water but I wonder if I should have put heaters on in the room??
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013 04:52:47 PM »

I also use the washing machine with very hot water to start with and keep agitating it then use a cold rinse. This may do the trick for you.
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013 01:37:08 PM »

You may find it's a merino batch with a high lanolin count - as in when they originally washed the fleece they didn't do it well enough.
So - the trick is the following
Lay your piece onto the bubble wrap - squirt liberally with washing up liquid,
Scatter drops of white vinegar over the piece (this will degrade the lanolin) then pour on some freshly boiled water.
Then put another piece of bubble wrap over the top (no netting)
Wrap up tight, folding the outer edges inward so you contain as much of the water.
Roll up the while thing into a towel which makes it easier to grip and roll.
Roll on your table off about 10 minutes.
Unroll, and it should now be at prefect stage - you should be able to pick it up without if disintegrating.
Bundle it up in your hands and agitate it a bit more then rinse in really cold water to "set it"
Then blast it on a good hot quick wash in the washing machine Smiley
Let me know if that works x


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