July 12th, 2011
Whether you’re making a whimsical flower accessory or reinforcing a potholder, the felting process creates many new worlds of fun and function. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy, even for a beginner!
Before you begin, check out our video with an introduction to felting. You’ll learn about how the felting process works, what kinds of projects you can use it for, and even some felting projects with no H2O required!
Ready to get started? Here are the 3 basic steps of felting:
- Wash in warm water with soap. Soap actually speeds up the felting process!
- Rinse in cool water. Rinsing in cool water “locks” the fibers in place. Most people have a warm wash/cool rinse setting on their machines (easy, huh?)
- Air dry. If you are making a piece that needs to conform to a particular shape (say, a rectangle piece for a bag), it will likely be lopsided when it comes out of the dryer. Adjust it to the right shape BEFORE you let it dry (remember: once felted, felted for life) or pin it into shape on a blocking board and let it dry there.
Perfect the process with some of our favorite tips. For more pro felting tips, click here to read the list on LionBrand.com.
- When washing your felted piece with other clothing, try putting it in a mesh lingerie bag – it will still get the benefit of agitation from the other clothes, but won’t get stuck!
- Don’t worry if you piece looks slightly different than the picture! So many factors go into felting that it is inevitable it WILL look a little different. But that’s the beauty of it – your piece is completely unique!
- Remember: no two washing machines are the same. To find out how felting will work in your machine, try making a gauge swatch and felting it so you can take measurements before and after.
- Cut it out! Believe it or not, since felting “fuses” the fibers together, your piece won’t unravel. That means you can cut into the bottom to make a cute fringe, cut strips of felted fabric and weave them back together — the sky’s the limit!