How to Felt a Sweater


Making Fabric and Yarn with Sweaters


Lesson Info

How to Felt a Sweater

So let's talk about pelting a sweater are you familiar with that term when I use that you are most of you are not everybody is so belting a sweater by accident is what most people are familiar with so maybe you have a really nice j crew sweater that you really really like this is just a friend of a friend that I'm talking about and maybe that friend's husband wants to be really nice and wash the clothes including the one sweater that you hung over the side of the hamper because you were going to take it to the dry cleaners and maybe your sweater comes out looking like this which looks like it was like an american girl this is a felted sweater so basically you've shrunk it you've taken most of the stretch out of it so this is not wearable anymore you really can't stretch it there's just not a whole lot of give anymore but this is crafting gold that's what you need to remember so that is what felt ing a sweater is washing it having it shrink to the point where it really can't shrink anym...

ore and to do this you need to look a certain kinds of sweaters so when you're in the thrift store you're going to be looking at labels for instance it needs to be at least eighty percent animal fiber animal fiber like wool alpaca and dora kasur anything that's you know wool virgin wool anything like that that's probably going felt and if it's eighty percent arm or it will felt occasionally you do get a sweater that is wolf that will not felt and that is because it has been treated with something in the arm form that makes it machine washable so that's kind of the chance you take you know most of them that's kind of a fairly new type of process so most of the time you're going to get a sweater that will felt if it's at least eighty percent the ones that do not felt that have really pretty yarns but they still won't work cotton acrylic nylon ray on metallic yards anything that is synthetic will not work and you can usually again just just you're going to be looking at the labels and just see you know what they're made of because those will not work but most of the natural fibers will work and here's another example of what happens and so this was a men's sweater that I bought and threw it in the wash and what happens is your matting the wool fibres together you're creating rather than a net your crush a stitch you're just creating this mesh of fibers and so it's going to shrink and this this one actually changed color a little bit it lightened up but what happens tio if you cut into a felted sweater, it doesn't ravell the edges don't travel anymore, whereas if you cut into a knitted sweater, you're going to catch a tale that's going to unravel. So that's, what happens when they talk about how you do it? It couldn't be easier he threw out the washing machine. You want hot water? You want normal detergent? I mentioned shampoo because if you have a man, older washer shampoo makes natural fiber sweaters really soft because you're dealing with an animal hair like human hair, so it actually softens it. But if you're using a front loader, you'll have bubbles coming out everywhere, so just use your normal detergent and the way I do it is I put it in, I think I have ah longer agitation setting that I put on mine and I just let it go and I'll set my phone to check it in fifteen minutes and I'll stop it, I'll look at it, you can tell when it's wet if it matting together, and if it feels like it needs more time, I just reset it and then just go back and s o do that until you feel like you've gotten it and then driving a hot dryer just to continue the melting process, I would not. If you come home with a lot of different sweaters in different colors from the thrift store, I wouldn't watch them together like, for instance, I might watch these together, but I wouldn't put that in there the red and I wouldn't necessarily even wash these together because it creates a lot of little lint pieces and those will kind of it here to the top of this so you might be end up washing some sweaters by themselves but that's ok that's ok to any questions on felt ing it's like the easiest thing in the world right on so let's get you yes, sorry before we go, what are there certain fabrics are certain types of sweaters or what? Whatever it is that you're looking for when you are shopping for those like certain color, certain textures or whether they're braided or so when you're in the thrift store and you're looking for sweaters to felt, you could always find good wool sweaters with lots of the usable fabric in the men's department, but those colors aren't usually as exciting as the ones in the women's department. So I look in both places and you don't need a lot of felt for most of the projects that need felt that need this sort of felt his sweater wool so you can get by with a smaller one but like this is a men's, this is pretty indicative of what you would find in men's area this is a cashmere sweater that I found in the men's area but then, you know these air, really great colors that you find in the women's area. So looking both and the other thing I would recommend is look in the sweater section as a label, but also look in the t shirt section, because a lot of times, they will put here's what I've been cutting into. But this is a cashmere sweater, but because they're so thin, sometimes they will put them in the t shirt section. So look in the t shirt section or the niche shirt section. I know you have another class here on creative live. That is how to strip shot of thrift shop. We're going to take everybody through thrift store. Yeah, because there's definitely a way to get the most out of it, and we'll talk about this sort of thing. Exactly.

Class Description

Over time sweaters can lose their shape and their appeal, but through felting and yarn-making they can find a new purpose. In Making Fabric and Yarn with Sweaters, you’ll learn how to transform old tops into new and useful goods.

Blair Stocker is committed to bringing new meaning to old stuff. In this class, she’ll teach you two ways to transform old sweaters. First you’ll learn about felting – Blair will teach you how to:

  • Assess the potential of the fabric
  • Turn your wool sweater into felting fabric
  • Shape felt into flowers

You’ll also learn how to disassemble a sweater and turn it back into yarn. You’ll learn how to:

  • Unravel a sweater to preserve length
  • Handle the materials so they are easy to reuse
  • Get started on your next project with a simple crochet stitch

Not only is reusing existing materials good for the environment, it is also a great way to unwind and relax. Blair will offer tips on managing the process so it’s fun, mellow, and produces raw materials you’ll be excited to create with again.


Carol Willyn Maple

I just love learning new ideas for craft projects. I wish I had known about this when I ruined all those wool sweaters in the wash. I could have made felted flowers. The reason I wanted to watch initially was to learn how to unravel sweaters to save money on yarn.