Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Felting Wool -- Upcycle Sweater Tutorial

Do you have an old wool sweater that you just can't bear to part with?  Maybe for sentimental reasons, or maybe you just love the pattern/colors?  Don't despair!  There are so many fun things you can do with that sweater to repurpose it...bring it back to life!  Today I will show you how I felt old sweaters.  I use sweaters from my own collection or those I have purchased at the second-hand store.  Felting is fusing the fibers of the wool together so they don't unravel when cut (sweater must be 100% wool).

Step #1 ~~  Select the sweater you wish to felt.  Below is the one I chose.

Step #2 ~~ Wash the sweater in HOT water.  I use detergent as well, just to ensure it is nice and clean.

Step #3 ~~ Dry the sweater on high heat in the dryer.

Step #4 ~~ Wash in hot water again.

Step #5 ~~  Dry again.

Here is the end result!

Your wool sweater is now felted and ready for a new purpose!  I will be posting some fun, cute ways to use felted sweaters in the coming days here on my blog.  Be sure to check back!!!

A few points to remember:
1.  I have found at second hand stores that most of the wool sweaters have already been accidentally tossed in the washer and/or dyer....thus shrinking it and resulting in its arrival at the resale shop.  If this is the case, you may only have to wash/dry one time.

2.  As you can see below, these sweaters will shrink considerably!  I put a recorder in the picture to depict how much smaller it does get after washing and drying.  Depending on the intended purpose...be sure to choose sizing carefully!  I almost always go for at least a women's large or extra large.  

3.  You must use a 100% wool sweater in order for the fibers to fuse properly to prevent unraveling when cut.

4.  If your sweater has a musty smell or smells of moth balls (I had one of these recently that smelled up the whole house!!) just pour 1/2 cup of vinegar in with the washing.  That should take care of that!

Before Felting
After Felting

1 comment:

  1. That is cute. I made an end table out of an old suitcase. All I had to do was screw metal furniture legs to the bottom of the suitcase. It gives the room an antique feel.