Front-loading washing machine and felting?


I am getting ahead of myself here, but I am planning on trying to make the Booga bag, which involves felting. I have a front-loading washing machine–is this a problem? I’ve read that they don’t felt as well, and was wondering if there are any additional steps I should take.

It’s going to be awhile before I get to this stage (haven’t even got the yarn for it yet) but I am weird about planning ahead, I guess.


I have a front loader and it felts just fine. However, it doesn’t felt as fast as a top loader. I have seen videos of felting tutorials and after 5 minutes or so in a top loader there is remarkable felting progress. I don’t think 5 minutes in a front loader would get such results.

So, I have resigned myself to the fact that felting in my machine takes a full cycle to felt (just make sure you don’t spin – you can get creases that won’t come out. Ever. Take my word for it – I have a cute little creased purse to prove it.)

I follow pretty much all the regular directions for felting – I may check mid-cycle to see if my felting is finished, even though I know that most stuff needs a full cycle and sometimes more than one cycle to get it to where I like it depending on the brand of wool I have used.

You will need to experiment with your own machine until you discover what works for you. I haven’t felted anything other than bags yet so I don’t know what would happen with something where size matters like a hat or a pair of clogs. I think I would just check my progress more often than I do with the bags I have felted. I haven’t yet gotten anything that came out too small.

Hope this helps!


I applaude you for planning ahead. I do not and have to rush here in the middle of knitting to ask a ? like I just did today.

I wish I had a front loader. My top loader doens’t felt in 5 minutes but I heard that some brands of wool yarn felt faster than others.

Felting is fun, you will be addicted once you finish this project.

Thanks for the replies!

Zkimom, I know my machine felts because I felted (SHRUNK) my husband’s favorite sweater once. (It wasn’t my fault, though, because he tried to be “helpful” and loaded the washer himself and I didn’t check to see what he put in there!!!) I was thinking that this would be a case of where something happens when you don’t want it to, and won’t happen when you do. I will take your advice, and will let you know how it goes.

Darcy, I always wanted a front-loader too, and then I moved to Greece and that’s all you can get here, so now I have one. I like it a lot, but I can’t put as much in it as I could put in my big top loader in the U.S. I was used to stuffing comforters and everything else in my top loader. I miss that!