Felting with a Front Loader

[color=indigo]Hello, all!

I’ve been wondering why my felting projects don’t come out as nice as many that I’ve seen? By that, I mean that the fabric is still pretty nubbly and not smooth like I think it should be. They’re ok, but I’ve seen so much better.

Could it be my washer? Is it just not getting beat up enough? I’ve got one of those front loaders that’s supposed to be extra gentle on your stuff so it doesn’t get so worn, and I thought it could be also being too gentle on my projects.

I put the stuff in a pillow case, and run it through about 10 minutes at a time on hot. (That’s no picnic, either, with a front loader, because it has to spin and drain each time before I can open it.) Anyway, I typically put in something heavy, too, like jeans or towels. Would maybe shoes be better?

Any other thoughts or ideas? Thanks!


i do put shoes in mine as well. a couple of old-ish pairs of shoes that are probably now the cleanest pair of shoes i own! :wink:

something else to think about, is what kind of yarn are you using. is it 100% wool? if it isn’t, then there is going to be some “nubblies” for the portions that aren’t pure animal hair.

some fibers felt better in the front load too. The Malabrigo and Manos I have tried felted within two cycles …others have taken as many as five and never get quite perfect (i don’t have patience to continue on really…lol)

Hey, thanks! I’ll definitely try the shoe thing. I’ve got some old ones that could use a washing, anyway. :lol:

It does take a lot of patience to go thru several cycles. I totally understand giving up after five or six. I guess I also haven’t been patient enough. I only have been giving it about three and quitting, mostly because it looks pretty much the same after one as three. Is that typical? How do you know when to quit?

One other question, if I’ve done my washing and drying and blocking, but I’m not happy in the end, can I toss it back in the washer and do it again? Will I get more felting and maybe get some of the nubbies out? Or once it’s done, is it done?

Thanks again for the advice!



you can definitely do it again if you don’t like it.

no way of knowing how much it is going to take. all yarns felt differently, and of course machines are different too. I just stop when enough of the stitch has disappeared to make me happy. most of my felted stuff looks more “fulled” than felted really.

I was also wondering about the front load washer, brendajos said that some things took 2 cycles and other 5. Since I have not felted before how will I know when it is done or how many cycles to use?

Although for now my felting project was put on hold as I was using yarn too big for project. Now looking for another project to felt with that yarn.

I was considering felting by hand using a bucket and plunger. Has anyone done this?

I guess my main concern is getting too much shrinkage using the front loader, but I guess maybe I shouldn’t worry about that.

you get to decide when you are done. i pull mine out in between each load to look at it and see what i think. if you think it MIGHT be done but aren’t sure, shocking it by dumping it in very cold water will help to decide.