Sunday, June 5, 2011

Washing Sweaters: Day 137

Getting Up To Speed

Though I have accumulated a number of wool and wool/animal fiber blend sweaters, many of them have not yet been hot-washed to felt them. Therefore I cannot use them in projects. My stash has been depleted through making the items I have, so I decided today that I need to get myself to the washing machine!

 I will give you a running narrative of the process. 

Here are the sweaters that I chose to wash this afternoon:

Ann Taylor, 100% Wool

  Banana Republic; 81% Merino Wool, 19% Nylon

 Neiman Marcus, 100% Cashmere:
So Soft--I LOVE this sweater!

 Banana Republic, 100% Wool:
The color of this is truly a beautiful Fire Engine Red...couldn't get the color just right.

 Now down to the washing details!
When you wash sweaters to be felted you must be sure that you 
don't ruin your washer
(I have read of more than a few people who have just thrown the sweaters in the wash like their regular laundry load and ended up having to buy a new washer!) This is a very expensive way to have a few nicely felted sweaters...I'm sure you will agree!

In order not to break the budget, it is imperative that you carefully contain the sweaters you are about to wash. 

Here is my solution:

I use a zippered pillowcase and a nylon drawstring bag. However, in spite of both these bags having closed ends, I still tie them tightly with strong twine in spite of their built-in closures. With the great amount of agitation going on during the wash cycle, either the zipper or the drawstring fastener could be easily jarred open. 

The TWINE :-] is the insurance against purchasing a new washer!

 My bags of sweaters before putting them in the washer today.

I wrapped the twine around several times before tying this as tightly as possible. 

Different twine used here, but the same aggressive approach to tying.
My reward is that when they came out of the wash both bags were still intact with the sweaters


One of the main things about felting is that the sweaters need
HOT wash
COLD rinse.

Agitation is very important as well.
You can throw in a tennis ball or a flip flop to help the process.
With most newer machines the agitation level can be set.

The outcome of my Felted Washing Day is that now I have 4 nicely felted sweaters.
Even the Banana Republic sweater with 81% Merino Wool and 19%! NYLON turned out to be wonderfully felted.

Resweater wrote a blog about felting sweaters that you may want to check out. Very interesting experiment! It is called "The Wool Blends Sweater Challenge and Everything Blends".
It's a great read on the subject.
 Last Night's Project...I Won't Forget To Show You! 

A simple project:
I rolled a section of ribbed sweater and put 4 sections of  sweater seams into the roll. Then I hand-stitched eyes and a mouth.

Here is the little critter:
I think he's quite endearing...

...but I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley--his widest point is 10"!
Eeekk. But he is very friendly.

A Good Week to You.


  1. Great post! I confess that I never put my sweaters in bags when I felt them (I probably should), but I always do a load of regular laundry after felting a load of sweaters. It helps flush the fibers out, so they don't have a chance to settle in anywhere in my machine.
    Your spider is adorable! My son would love him! I may have to make some of these for Halloween :).