Felting question

I am just curious. Is there actually such a thing as felting yarn, or is felting merely the result of harsh treatment to normal wool yarn?

I don’t care much for the felting but it seems to be hot now, so it seems a lot of yarns are labled “for felting.” But if you made something with wool yarn and did not want it to felt, could you? Is it just a matter of caring for the garment differently?

(Sometimes I see a yarn I like the colors on but I don’t like the look of felted things.)

“For felting” just means it [I]is[/I] feltable, but you don’t [I]have[/I] to felt it. If you make something out of wool (or other feltable fiber) and you don’t want it to felt, you just avoid what felts yarns - extreme temperature changes in the water and agitation, so handwash and rinse in similar water temps. If the yarn is marked “superwash”, it means you can machine wash without danger of felting, it’s been specially treated to be handled differently than regular wool yarns.

Interestingly though…I’m currently making a rug with the intention to felt…the yarns (I’m doing it double stranded) are very feltable and even though the item has not been near water yet etc…just the constant rubbing and friction of the earlier lines of knitting is beginning to ever so softly felt sections. This is really only happening on the thicker sections of one of the yarns but it’s interesting to observe.

Some yarns felt more easily and just the handling during the working of the piece will begin to felt it somewhat.

Friction (and perhaps a small amt of moisture) is the premise behind a felted join and if you’re determined, you can felt a piece by rubbing it between your hands, so “agitation” doesn’t necessarily mean in the washer.