Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Felting Goodwill sweaters

I have purchased some wool sweaters from our Goodwill recently and am going to be making some more of the mittens like these I showed you on one of my first posts.

So here are some pictures of the sweaters before the felting process.  I'm especially excited about the cream colored one in the upper right corner.  It's %100 cashmere which will make some really soft, pretty mittens I think!  

This is really supposed to be called fulling not felting.  I was corrected by someone once for calling this felting.  True felting is using the roving/wool and meshing the roving together into felt.  But if you look into it online you can search for felting and find instructions on how to do this....
What shrinks the fibers of the sweater is the process of agitating it in very hot water with soap.  You can do it by hand or you can put it into your washing machine.  It is best to wash only the sweater or sweaters so they move freely in your machine.  I would highly recommend putting them into a pillow case or something similar as it will leave "fuzz" in your machine.  

Especially if you do several items at once.....I learned the hard way:) One of the great things about this is that you can cut whatever pieces you want and you don't have to worry about hemming the raw edges!  Which is great for those of us who need "instant gratification" crafts every now and then....So I've included my measuring tape to (hopefully) show you the difference in size once they are felted.

They shrink quite a bit so I usually look for men's sweaters.  You shouldn't really be able to see the "knit" once you've felted them --if you can still see it you can try to re-wash it and sometimes they will shrink a little bit more....Look for sweaters that are %100 wool or anything %100 animal yarn.  Sometimes if they're %95 wool and something else they will still felt sometimes not.  And now there are alot of washable wools now labeled "superwash" so sometimes even when it's %100 it still won't felt.  I'll be sharing my pattern soon...and cutting out some pieces to start making mittens!


  1. I would love to try this, sounds like a fast, fun gift idea!

  2. These things are so darn cute!! Love mine!!