Hot Water Felting Recycled Sweaters

This is a super easy technique to turn old wool sweaters, even those with moth holes, into a durable and absorbent fabric for crafting.

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions

Step 1) Gather your Supplies

3-5 wool sweaters ( the sweaters need to be at least 70% wool)
1 clean tennis ball
regular clothes detergent
washing machine

Step 1) Prepare the Washing Machine

Set your washing machine to the hot cycle. Set the speed to “regular” or “heavy duty.”

Fill the washing machine to the appropriate fill level for the number of sweaters you are felting and pour in the appropriate amount of detergent.

Tip: Do not use delicate or gentle detergents. The harsher the detergent, the better your sweater will shrink and felt.

Step 1) Wash Your Sweaters

Add your sweaters and the tennis ball to the machine. The tennis ball helps “beat” the wool fibers, assisting in the felting process.

Tip: In order for the process to be most successful, you will want to felt a minimum of 3 sweaters at a time. Examine your sweaters after the cycle is complete. If you do not think that they have shrunk enough, repeat the hot water washing process. Depending on the sweater, you may have to do this 2 or 3 times.

Step 1) Dry Your Sweaters

Place your wet sweaters and the tennis ball into the dryer and set the cycle to high heat or “permanent press.” Make sure you clean the lint trap prior to starting the cycle, wool sweaters produce more dryer lint than a load of bath towels.

After the cycle has ended examine your sweaters. They should have shrunk anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of their original size.

Tip: If you still think your sweaters can shrink more, repeat the process.

One thought on “Hot Water Felting Recycled Sweaters

  1. Pingback: Christmas in June | K E R N girl

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