Felting Tips

I am a new knitter and I have made my first felted purse (for my sister.) I am ready to felt (put in the washer) but confused over the directions that I have. So I was wondering if anyone has any tips. I have a front loading waher if that makes any difference.

Front loading DOES make a difference. I don’t know the answer, but I know there others here who have used one so bumping this up!

I heard from one person to put it in a pillow case then another said to wash it with old jeans. The directions I have said to “add a small bit of laundry soap, not detergent.” I thought that they were the same thing.
Are they different?

I don’t have a front loading washer but I can tell you what I did for my first felting project (3 days ago!). I used a pillow protector with a zipper and put the items to be felted in there. I added 2 pairs of old jeans and a tiny bit of wool wash to the washer and used hot hot water. I stalked the washer every 2 minutes (probably overkill but the yarn I was using felted fast). When it was the size I wanted I rinsed the items under hot water, squeezed out the excess water and then ran it through the spin cycle for just a few moments. I did toss mine in the dryer for about 10 minutes and then I blocked it. It turned out fine. I used the tips I found on the board and then in the book Knit One, Felt Two.

I hope this helps!

I’ve only felted one thing so far (a Booga bag), but I do have a front-loader, so this is FWIW… I put it in a pillowcase, and since I didn’t have a zippered case I closed the case with a rubber band. I washed it through a complete regular hot cycle with laundry detergent, and with a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of towels in it (luckily old work jeans and an old pillowcase because one of the towels was red :doh: … now the pillowcase is dingy pink and the jeans have red edging… :rollseyes:… it’s what I get for normally never using hot water and totally forgetting what happens… ). Anyway, I only ran it through once, and the bag is probably not as felted as it could be, but I was satisfied with it.

ETA: Also FWIW, we use Trader Joe’s enzyme-based biodegradable detergent - I don’t know if that makes a difference, or has anything to do with the supposed soap/detergent question…

I think that is standard info for any type machine. I always put my project in a mesh lingerie bag and use hot water and a pair of jeans. I also put in a small amount of detergent.

one thing is that you have to know your front load. some will allow you to open the door after the cycle starts and some won’t. mine lets me until it gets to the spin cycles after that i have to pretty much wait it out.

i put mine in a pillow protector too with as many old jeans as i can find and even a couple of pairs of old tennies. i have never been able to felt as fully as others but that could be because i am not patient. you might need to add some hot water through the process and run it through more than once. i would avoid having it spin out if possible just keep resetting it back to the beginning. also don’t forget to shock it with cold water in the process as well.

it may take several rounds through the machine to get it as felted as you would like but it can be done!

to “add a small bit of laundry soap, not detergent.” I thought that they were the same thing.
Are they different?

Laundry soap and detergent are different. Detergent is the usual- Tide, Sun, what ever brand you use. Laundry soap is like what is sold for baby clothes Dreft and similar. It is supposed to be gentler–. I have never felted so I don’t know that it would make much difference- but detergent could be harsher on the colors. The Woollite for maching washing would also be a good choice- that is not detergent either.

Detergent is all I have and it’s worked fine for me. I usually use All Small and Mighty, but I’ve also used Tide liquid. I haven’t noticed any difference. The biggest difference is noted with different yarns. Some felt faster than others.

i actaully have used dish soap too…not sure it makes any difference at all in the finished product.