How To Felt - Crochet Style
How to Felt Crochet
Felting your knit and crocheted pieces transforms them into a tough, flexible fabric with no holes between the stitches. The felting process also shrinks your finished product by quite a bit. Crochet felts a little differently than knit pieces, tending to shrink along the width of the product instead of the height. But the process for felting crochet and knitted fabric is the same. All you need is a combination of heat, water and agitation. It's easiest to felt your crocheted work in the washing machine, but you can also felt crochet by hand.
With a Washing Machine
Place your crocheted project in a mesh lingerie bag, or use a zippered pillowcase to keep loose fibers from escaping into your washing machine.
Toss the bag or pillowcase into the washing machine, along with 1 or 2 other pieces of sturdy clothing, such as jeans, to add extra agitation.
- Only add clothing with colors that won't run, and fabric that doesn't pill--otherwise your felted crochet project may come out a different color, or with other fibers embedded in the felted fabric.
Add a little bit of laundry detergent to the cycle--this helps the felting process along.
- If you have hard water, add baking soda or washing soda to the machine before you start it--check the box and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Start the machine on the longest warm or hot water wash cycle it offers, and check on your felt-in-progress every minute or 2.
- Remember, you're creating a work of art, so it's up to you to decide just how much you want to felt the finished project. You can felt it lightly, with a very brief wash, to fuse just a few of the fibers--or felt the project until it shrinks and creates a thick, solid fabric.
Wash the felted project as many times as necessary to achieve the desired result, then remove it from the machine.
- Make sure to remove your project from the machine before the rinse and spin cycles begin.
Rinse your felted project in cool water to help "set" the fibers in place.
Roll the felted project loosely in a towel to remove excess water.
- Don't twist or wring the fabric, as that will stretch it out of shape.
Stretch the fabric gently into the desired shape and use T-pins to pin it to a blocking board or on a dry towel stretched over clean carpet.
- You may need quite a few pins to create even, flat edges.
Leave the felted project in place until it's completely dry.
- If it turned out a little larger than you expected, heavily felted fabric is so solid that you can trim it to size.
Felting by Hand
Fill a tub with hot water.Add a few drops of liquid laundry detergent.
Immerse the felted project in the water and agitate it, working it back and forth in your hands or across a washing board to encourage the fibers to fuse together.
- Use waterproof gloves to protect your hands.
QuestionMy project did not shrink as much as I wanted. Can I wash it again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. If you're machine washing, find a safe way to increase agitation. For hand felting, you would repeat until the size desired is achieved.Thanks!
QuestionWhat size hook is the best to crochet with?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt really depends on what you are making.Thanks!
- Remember, felting is a 1-way process; once you've felted crochet work, you can't undo it.
- Only protein fibers like wool and llama will felt.
- The felting process is inherently unpredictable, and even small changes in the temperature of the water, length of the wash, and even the color of the yarn you use can alter the finished product. So treat each felted, crocheted project as a unique work of art and you'll never be disappointed.
Video: How to Felt Crochet Without a Washing Machine : Felt, Wool, & Other Fabric Care
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