Question About Felting

Hi there,

I hope this is the right place to post this. I have directions for felting an old 100% wool sweater and turning it into a cute tote bag. I’ve never felted before.

The directions specify that the process take place in a TOP LOADING washer. Just like that, with great emphasis on “top loading”. Why would that be? I have a front loader, can I not make felt in it?

Hoping to get some input on this. Thanks!


Hi kelly

i haven’t myself really felted anything but i believe that it’s easier to check to see where the felting stage is in a top loader

depending the yarn and the strength of a washer, detergent, water temp… an item can go from nice and perfectly felted to a small shrunken mess quite quickly

so opening a front loader often to check on the progress of an item may prove to be really messy

i’ve heard it could be done in a front loader…
i guess most wouldn’t reccommend it for a first try though

i found this article about hand felting in a bucket

happy felting!

One of the other reasons it is more difficult to FULL in a front loading washer is because you don’t have the agitation that a top loading washer does.

Just an aside … Felting is done with loose fibers and yarns.

If you already have a fabric made from wool (such as an old sweater or blanket), the term to shrink & bind the wool fabric is technically called Fulling not Felting.

It’s no big deal what you call it … just thought I’d add this in so you can impress your family and friends (as if they don’t roll their eyes at us enough with are fiber addictions …)

Thanks! I think I’ll sort through my friends and see who has a top-loader… now that I think about it, opening the front loader door is usually a risky business.:wink:

I had the same idea as you, as soon as I find a cute sweater I will do that!

I’ve only felted once, last week, but I think also the importance of a top loading is so you can open it during the cycle to check on your progress, and you CAN’T do that on a front loader. Apparently checking on your progress is pretty important. See my post Recommendations for First Time Felter? for some input from felters to me.

Also, next time I recommend you post something like this in the How-To Questions forum, you’ll get more attention :waving:

Welcome to KH, it’s wonderful here!!!:hug:

I would have never looked in the How To forum! I tend to lurk just in the spinning forum

Guess I really should expand my horizons.