I know some of you have been wondering how I went with my felting of jumpers. It didn’t quite go as I expected, which iswhy I haven’t shared before now. I am pretty disappointed with the results. But I figure sharing failure is just as good as sharing success. You may learn from my mistakes. I hope so.
So what did I do? I put each cut up jumper into its own pillowcase and tied a knot in the end and bunged them all in the washing machine. After all this is a fluffy process and I didn’t want my machine getting clogged up. I did the hottest wash I could do (90 degrees C) and left the machine to do its work. Once when walking by the machine I noticed that some bits had escaped their pillowcases. A knot in the pillowcase is obviously not enough. I should have used safety pins as recommended. After it had finished, I very excitedly went to check my results.
Lets look at the results one by one, starting from most successful to most dismal.
1. The blue surf dude jumper
Wow – this felted amazingly well. I knew it would as it had some felting signs from wear when I bought it. It shrunk a LOT. I’m talking at least half. The bad news is that it is too thick for my pincushions. I will have to come up with another idea – a bag maybe? Not sure yet
2. The olive green cardy
This also felted quite well – it was pretty much felted before hand. It’s probably the one out of the 6 that I will actually use.
3. The gorgeous red cardy
I am so sad about this one. The colour was so wonderful and the jumper so soft. I had really high hopes for it. It felted a little bit. You can still see the weave of the jumper though, and it just looks like a really old bit of jumper and is not really suitable to make anything with. It was one of my escapees and if you look closely at the olive above, you can see red fluff on it.
4. The purple turtleneck jumper
Another one I had big plans for that just didn’t quite get there. The results are pretty similar to the red jumper – it just looks old.
5. The black turtleneck jumper
No felting at all. This one must have been treated to stop the felting process when made. There are very little signs of felting action. The edges frayed a bit, but that was about it.
6. The green work jumper
Total fail! This one has no felting effect at all and also must have been treated. The edges frayed a lot during the process as you can see.
I put all the “fails” through the machine a couple more times and there was no improvement in the results. I even tried the dryer as well. No change.
Where did I go wrong? Well I don’t think I did anything wrong as such.
I have a front loading washing machine which may have been a factor as they are generally gentler on clothing, but the blue felted so well I am not convinced this is the issue.
I believe my fails are due to the wool being treated so it cannot felt. I guess the issue is how do you tell if something has been treated? I am thinking the labels may give me some clues. While they don’t say “this has been treated” the washing instructions are a little more flexible than pure untreated wool washing instructions.
So I can now say I have attempted felting my own wool. I would like to try again and I will once I source some more jumpers that have the “be very careful’ washing instructions still attached.
PS I know its really called “fulling” ;)