Felting your wool
FELTING YOUR WOOL
Many of you have called to ask guidance on felting woolen yardage. I have prepared these instructions for your quick reference.
Woolen yardage may be washed in the machine, set to delicate/short cycle. It is always preferable to use this cycle in order to prevent too harsh treatment of your wool. If, when dry, your wool has not felted sufficiently for your purpose, re-process it. Remember, you can always put the wool through an additional wash but you cannot "un-felt" a piece of wool that has been shrunken too much.
In addition to using the delicate cycle, you will want to use warm water and a little bit of detergent, perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 as much detergent as you would use to wash clothes. I believe it is preferable to use a detergent with no additives. A neutral pH detergent would be ideal.
I never use fabric softener. You will be surprised at how soft your wool will be, even without the use of the softener, when you follow these instructions. Also, I have found that using a fabric softener sheet in the dryer can leave a residue in/on the wool that may make it more difficult to cut, wrapping around your cutter head.
Always make sure you rinse thoroughly to remove any residues of detergent from your wool. This is important as detergents can leave alkaline residues which are particularly bad for the woolen fiber.
You can process up to about eight (8) yards of wool at a time in this manner.
Washed wool can then be dried in the clothes dryer, set on extra delicate/low. I have found that it takes about 40 minutes to dry the eight yards. Remove promptly from the drier and fold to store. This minimizes wrinkling. You should be pleased with the soft results.
You may now use this felted/fulled wool in your hooked rug or penny rug/wool applique projects. If cut correctly (perfectly on grain and cut with the selvedge) even narrow strips should not pull apart with normal handling.
Remember to always clean the lint filter/screen on your dryer to prevent build-up of potentially flammable materials. Do this after every load.
This text is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any medium for any purpose without the express, written permission of the author.
© 2006 Moondance Color Company - All Rights Reserved