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Old 12-19-2007, 05:27 PM   #1
bethany
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Fulled?
What does "fulled" mean? As is "a fulled hat"....I guessed felted, but don't know really...it was a tag for a soap sweater on Ravelry but lots of other things came up and not all looked felted?
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:38 PM   #2
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Fulling is felting. It's an old word for the processing of making something into a felt. Fullers were the people whose job it was to full wool into felt. Fulling was very hard work and required lots of harsh chemicals (even in the middle ages) and back breaking pounding of the wool cloth. Eventually water mills were adapted to do the fulling process to make felt. Felting truly isn't a good word, it's just one that has evolved over the centuries. Basically you full to make felt.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:14 AM   #3
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Fulling is done to a wool fabric. Once it's crocheted, knitted or woven and then agitated with a change in pH and water temp, it's considered a fulled object. The popular Fiber Trends Clogs are fulled, not felted.

Felting is done to the wool before it's changed into a fabric. Wool batting is laid out, dampened with water and something to change the pH (vinegar or soap works fine) and manipulated to cause the cuticle (little scales or hooks) on the wool strand to tangle with the cuticle on other wool strands. As they tangle more, they pull together causing the shrinking. Felting can also be done dry with specially barbed needles and is generally referred to as needle felting.

Boiling is yet another method of fulling. More information can be found here.

Fulling and felting are often used to mean the same thing, but are actually two different ways of creating a strong, water resistent woolen item. Like knitting and crocheting are the same in as far as they manipulate yarn into a fabric, fulling and felting manipulate wool are the same in that the end result is a thick woolen fabric achieved by two different methods.
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:48 AM   #4
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I don't really have anything to add to the technical side of it, but I remember my mom's reaction when I first told her about my plans to try felting as part of my knitting project.

My mom was the one who taught me to knit many years ago, and she used to knit all sorts of sweaters and dresses and hats even before I was born. When I (foolishly) asked her if she knew what "felting" meant, she laughed and said, "Yes, I know what felting is, but I used to call it 'fulling' and I never did it on purpose. It was what happened when I accidentally threw a wool sweater into the dryer."
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:56 PM   #5
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yes, I have a "half full" sweater right now in my closet! Trying to decide if I should let it be or finish it all and make a bag! Ha!
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