Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Felting Bags

Yes, the end room is coming on....

...what is not coming on is the felting! I made three bags in pure wool and washed them at 40 degrees. None of them felted. I washed them again at 60 degrees - one of them felted, but the other two didn't budge.

...and when I checked properly this morning, this one hasn't felted properly - it has felted on one side more than the other. That has made it lopsided with one top edge longer than the other! I guess I'll give it one more wash and see what happens.

These two I even tried boiling, so I've thrown them away.


Jill said...

Did you use Superwash? If so - that has been treated so that it won't felt.

Felting is caused by the scales on each fiber opening up, linking to other fibers and then closing up. This also causes the shrinkage.

40 and 60 degrees aren't really hot enough to felt well. You'd be better trying 90 degrees or more, and be sure that you put in your laundry load a pair of well washed jeans for extra agitation.

Another reason your felting not having been successful...white wool has sometimes been bleached - this removes the scales which cause the fibers to felt - hence, no felting. Other colors that do not felt well are acid yellow, some beiges and pale pinks (usually those with bluish undertones).

Felting can be a lot of fun, as long as you know some of the pitfalls.

I also see that you may have knitted a moss st at the top edge - this often tends to look wider than a regular stockinette stitch, so that may be why your item flared a little.

Good luck with your next felting adventure!

Pearlyqueen said...

It was not Superwash - it just said Machine Washable... and the bag doesn't flare as such - one side has a top edge that is wider than the other side - ie hasn't shrunk as much! Bizarre. I wondered if the 50/50 mix wool/acrylic was not the same (maybe 60/40) in one ball (it took over 2 balls).

I knotted the moss st deliberately because it seems, from experimenting, that this stays firmer than just stocking stitch.