Hand felting

I’m in the process of making a booga bag but I don’t have hot water into my washer so what’s the best method any of you know for hand felting???

Thanks and have a great Saturday! :waving:

Could you boil some water to add to your washing machine? The first time I tried to felt I didn’t want to waste all the water and do it machine and tried to felt in the sink. It didn’t work. It has something to do with all the movement that the washer provides. I just wasn’t able to get that much in the sink. The detergent does help too–breaks down the fibers somehow. Anyway, I used the machine and it worked great–just wasted a lot of water. Hope that helps.

I’m not sure about felting something that large by hand, but I did felt a hat by using the dryer.

I dunked it into very hot water and then threw it in the dryer. When it was almost dry, I wet it again and dried it again. It took many times to get it down to size, but it did go from huge to kid-sized.

I’ve felted hats and small bags by hand.
It takes some elbow grease but it does work.
And you do have control over the degree of felting.

Here’s what I’ve learned from trial and error.
Use the kitchen sink rather than the smaller bathroom sink.
If you have two sinks side by side, fill one with the hottest water available and the other with very cold water. If not, fill a basin with cold water. Also, have a kettle of boiling water nearby. Put a (very) few drops of shampoo or dishwashing soap into the hot water (don’t make suds).

It takes heat and agitation to felt successfully.
To get the agitation component, use a small washboard (made for hand laundry) or a small toilet plunger (I have a short-handled one that’s perfect for this job. Of course it’s reserved for felting.)

Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat. The ribbed fingers also add to the agitation process.

Dunk the bag in hot water until it’s thoroughly soaked. Rub, squeeze and use the toilet plunger or washboard until you begin to feel the fibers compressing and sticking together. Add boiling water if necessary to keep things hot. This should take a minimum of least five minutes, probably longer. (I said it was work.)

Now dunk the bag into the cold water. This is supposed to “shock” the fibers into shrinking more; I don’t know whether it does, but I figure it can’t hurt.

Now go back to the hot water bath and rub, squeeze, etc. some more. Check your progress. Do the cold water dunk. When the bag is getting close to the size you want, you have a choice: throw it into the dryer for several minutes to complete the felting or, if you don’t have a dryer nearby (I don’t), hand-felt to the finished size.

Remove the bag from the dryer while still damp, shape it, and let it air-dry thoroughly. If you’re not using a dryer, roll it in towels to remove excess water, shape, and allow to dry.

Or take the thing to a commercial laundro-mat that has hot water.

After reading these posts, I think I will use the washer and add the hot water…that seems like the best alternative!!!

Thanks so much for all of your help… :hug: