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Old 02-12-2011, 04:43 PM   #1
MusicalPenguin
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Ways to manipulate the shape of an already felted piece
Hello everyone.

I just recently felted my first piece, but the shape didn't come out quite as I desired. The piece didn't shrink much, the process only shrunk the stitches down to the point where they became indistinguishable. It is a purse, and I was hoping that it would shrink a little bit to make up for the fact that it was wider than it was long.

However, it did not, and now I have a purse that is approximately 3 - 4 times wider than it is long. Is there any way to manipulate the shape of this purse a little bit to even out the width to heighth ratio? I assume you can't cut a felted piece (because it will unravel I imagine), and I'm not sure if blocking an already felted piece will work.

I used Paton's Classic Wool, and felted it by hand for 30 minutes.

Thanks for your help! I look forward to reading your responses.

Last edited by MusicalPenguin : 02-12-2011 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:55 PM   #2
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Hand felting is not always going to produce the results you want on a larger scale item (or it will take a lot longer than 30 minutes.) I personally only utilize hand felting for very small items like coasters and such.

If you do have a washing machine available to you, you can try felting it down some more, soak it in the hot water for 15 minutes first before starting the wash cycle. It might take several cycles.

Another option with hand felting is to "shock" the wool into felting, assuming you were hand felting in hot water, you can take it out of the hot water and quickly submerge it in cold water. This will sometimes heighten the felting effect.

If washing machine is not an option to you, blocking felted items is possible generally, it's merely finding an object large enough and the correct shape you want to block it in. I am using Wendy Knits' Kitty Pi photo as an example:



Well-felted items can typically be cut without trouble; however, if it is not felted quite tightly, I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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Felting always shrinks more in height than width. You can try wetting it again and pulling it, but honestly I don't think you can really do too much with it at this point.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:46 PM   #4
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Babby (referring to MusicalPenguin), if you want me to help you felt it some more later so that we can cut it, I will.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:50 PM   #5
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Is there any way for me to use a frontload washer? all of the videos I saw instructed me to use a topload washer only, so thats why I did it by hand.

Thanks for your responses
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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Top loaders are popular for felting, but I've seen discussions about using front loaders and folks say they will work. Put a few other things that are heavy in with it, like jeans or towels, use hot water and keep at it until it works.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:05 PM   #7
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Merigold is right, front loaders are fine. I have felted in them before, so just wanted to add a couple things. If you have a higher water level button on your washer, you probably want to use it. The top loader I used to felt (an Asko) had such a low water level, the felted item didn't even get wet enough. Another option is to soak the item in hot water before putting it in the washer just to make sure it's good and saturated.

The downfall for me with front loaders is it's quite a bit more fiddly to stop the washer in the middle of a cycle to check felting progress, although usually you have the luxury of peeking at it through the door. :P It can be a problem if you have a specific end size in mind (I'm usually felting clogs and have unfortunately over-felted a pair or two LOL) Other than that, though, they are perfectly suitable for the job.
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