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How To: Felt Wool

Monday, January 7, 2013

Felting wool from old sweaters is a wonderful way to give something old a new life. If the sweater is out of style, out of size or even if it has been attacked by moths you can give it  a new use by felting. Do not be intimidated by this process. It is fun and really easy. Remember that the process is irreversible.

Felting wool sweaters:

1. Select your sweaters. If you notice any holes, you can repair them now by closing the holes with a few stiches.

2. Add your sweaters to your washing machine. For best results, you want your washer to be full of clothes. Use your best judgment, keeping in mind that you want your sweaters to stay in the hot water (not floating) and go through the agitation process. If you are felting several sweaters then you can fill the washer with the just the sweaters but if you are only doing one or two you might want to consider adding something heavy like old jeans to help weight down the sweaters.

3. Set your washer on “hot” and add whatever detergent you typically use.  Let your washer run through the entire cycle.

4. Take out your sweaters and inspect them. Some may have felted tighter than others. Each sweater will be different and how long you felt each of them may differ.

5. Put them in your dryer. Check them occasionally for how “shrunken” and thick the wool has become. In general, they are done when you can cut the wool with scissors and get a crisp cut. In some cases, you will barely be able to see the weave of the sweater.

6. As I said before, each sweater will be unique and you might need to repeat the process to reach your desired results.

7. This can be messy and leave you with a lot of lint in your washer and dryer. Be sure to clean your lint traps frequently during this process and consider saving the woolie lint for a future project.

8. Go visit pinterest and start pinning away your next upcycled wool project!

Happy Upcycling,



**Image of sweaters from ehow.com


  • Becky S said:

    I loooooove felting 2nd-hand sweaters and making things from the felt! The only thing I do differently is that I put a few sweaters at a time in a pillowcase, tie it shut with a large rubberband then put in washer with some more clothes that can take the heat and agitation…. I heard the pillowcase keeps a lot of the fibers from clogging pipes. My sweaters felt just fine, too.

  • Jill (author) said:

    Thank you for the tip Becky. Great idea!

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