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Hand Felting Your Knitted Items

knitted work to hand felt

Hand Felting is becoming increasingly popular and is a great way to make hard wearing useful items such as slippers,mittens, oven gloves, hats and bags etc.

Many people felt using the hot wash of a washing machine but felting by hand allows more control over the amount of shrinkage, it is very easy to perform and  saves a lot on electricity.

Hand Felting Instructions:-

1,Not all yarns will shrink when wet so check the washing instructions on the ball band and if it is listed as machine washable, then it probably won’t felt. If  in doubt just  make a 10cm x 10cm swatch   follow the felting process below and then see how much it has shrunk in each direction.


(Some very good felting yarns include Amalia Plain,a 100% lamb's wool, Amalia Print, it's beautifully coloured cousin and Felting Mania, a purpose made felting wool by Performance Yarns)

2,Using water as hot as you can bear it, ( it might be a good idea to wear rubber gloves,)  fill a bath or sink, depending on the size of the article to be felted. Add a small squirt of liquid soap, this helps to open up the fibers and make them more susceptible to the felting process, followed by the article.

3,Agitation is now the keyword, swish your article around and rub the fabric together in a washing action. Before you notice any shrinking, you may see the stitches start to relax and it might actually look as if the item is getting larger rather than smaller.However you will soon  notice the stitches begin to look less defined and fuzzy.

4, Periodically take the article out, give it a squeeze and place it on a towel to see how the felting is progressing.If you're not making good progress then try  shocking it with  cold water and rinse before returning it to the hot water. This seems to help the fibers come together a little more easily.Remember that all yarns, even different colours of the same type, can felt differently, have patience if your yarn isn't felting immediately.

Felting by Hand by Anne Einset Vickrey is a very useful book for the beginner to hand felting with many easy to follow projects.

5,If the water cools off  empty you container and refill with hot water.
One of the hardest parts of felting is knowing when to quit, this really is a matter of personal choice. Items can be felted quite gently so that the stitch definition has just started to diminish but the piece looks solid, or they can be felted quite harshly and all definition disappears.

If you are felting a bag or another large project  you might block it by stuffing it with newspapers until it is the shape you want. Leave to dry naturally.

The big advantage of hand felting though  is that it is very easy to check your work so you can stop exactly when you want. Felting by hand is also a great choice when you're trying to get to a specific dimension.


Once the felting process is complete the next step is to block it, this helps to make your finished project the shape that you want it to be. If the object is a rectangle then simply pin down one corner and gently stretch and pin so that you have sides of equal length.


Guarantee from The Knitting Wool Store:-

Remember, if you are not happy with your purchase then you may return your yarn to us for a full no quibble refund, ( postage not included.)

Hand Felting

shaun the sheep

If you have any queries please feel free to Contact Us, we will always be happy to hear from you.

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