Craft Addict

"Everybody got their somethin'...." ~ Nikka Costa

Monday, February 27, 2006

Felty Felt!

Today I thought I'd take another shot at felting some of my thriftstore finds. I read somewhere that you should put your material to be felted into a lingerie bag or pillowcase before running it through the machine. This sounded like a good idea since, the last time I tried to felt something in our washing machine, I was picking orange fuzz off my stuff for weeks. I decided to go with the pillowcases off our guest bed since they needed a wash anyway (we never have guests so I figured they'd be a bit dusty and in need of a freshening up). Besides, my lingerie bags are mesh and that seemed to defeat the purpose.

First, I tried running them through a normal cycle with a hot water wash and a cold water rinse, and medium spin. My washing machine is a Whirlpool and very fancy. A little too fancy maybe. Everything is digital and there are about 15 pre-set cycles, though I usually only use the normal and handwash cycles. When our old cheapo washing machine crapped out last winter, we splurged and got this front-load beauty and the matching dryer. I feel like a domestic queen! So spoiled! Anyway, the normal cycle didn't seem to do much even with the hot water wash and the dish detergent I added. So I decided to try the Sanitary cycle pre-set on my machine. This is supposed to run hot water at something like 121 degrees for the wash cycle, so I figured this would definitely be hot enough to get some kind of result.

I let the sanitary cycle wash for about 10 minutes, then stopped it and programmed a cold water rinse and spin with a medium spin. One of the sweaters had been felted slightly when I purchased it, so this one was done after this cycle. The other one looked like it could use a little more felting, so I put it in on the sanitary cycle again and managed to forget it was in there so it got about 27 minutes of super hot water before I did the rinse and spin in cold. It looked great when I took it out - just about right I think. So, I may have figured out the trick to felting in the front loader.

I plan on making some knitting needle cases and accessory pouches with my new felty material. Check back if you think you might be interested.... I will probably be glad to pass on a few to other interested people :)


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