Hi! Felting Question

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Hi! Felting Question
Fri, 09-30-2005 - 6:33pm

Does anyone know what the wool content on a yarn needs to be to felt well? I found some that was 80% but wasnt sure if it would felt well.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2004
Fri, 09-30-2005 - 8:09pm

Hi Mia!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 10-01-2005 - 9:50am

Thanks Heather!

I would like to make some slippers, a large note bag, maybe a hat. I've not decided what to start with yet. I do have some 100% wool that I can use. It's just that I found some of the really neat novelty yarns at Tuesday Morning that had between %70 and %80 wool and wondered if they would work. They would make some nice scarves and hats tho.

Thanks again!


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2004
Sat, 10-01-2005 - 11:34am

Those are great projects - you'll have to share your progress with us.

Yesterday when I was looking for an answer, I came across this article (http://knitting.about.com/library/weekly/aa021604.htm)

Felting With Novelty Yarns

by Barbara Breiter

Felting is a fun and creative way to produce unique knit (and crocheted) projects. During the process of felting, the microscopic scales intertwine, causing the fabric to shrink and mat.
Some projects, like many of my patterns at Knit A Bit, also combine novelty yarns, adding to the final look that's achieved. -->

If you're following a pattern and using the designated yarns, the novelty yarn has already been pre-tested and you can be assured that it will work. But sometimes you might want to change yarns or you might even want to design your own projects.

Almost all novelty yarns indicate on the label that they should be hand washed or dry cleaned. Obviously, if you're using it for felting, you'll need to wash it in very hot water and abuse it. Will it hold up?

Remember that the felting process will only occur once. If you use the same novelty yarn in a sweater or afghan, you may wash it over and over again. So the real test is if it will hold up once in the wash. None of the yarns tested here fell apart or otherwise showed any adverse effects from being put through the wash.

The second thing you'll want to know is what it actually looks like once it's felted. A novelty yarn may look great in it's original form but decidedly different (or actually the same) once it's combined in a felted project. If you're not using a yarn that's already been tested in a pattern, the only way to find out is to do a swatch and see for yourself. The final result will also depend upon what wool you're using. A very thin thread-like novelty yarn may get "swallowed up" in the felting process if knit with a very thick wool.

Here are examples of various novelty yarns that I've knit up in swatches. They were then felted. Look at the difference! Some look the same, while others don't.


Whisper with Labrador wool, a thick and thin yarn (bottom) and Iceland wool (top) by Crystal Palace Yarns.

This now looks quite different than before felting. Instead of a soft, halo effect, the eyelashes are now straighter. You also can no longer see that the bottom part of the swatch was knit with a thick and thin wool.


Tingle with Labrador wool by Crystal Palace Yarns.

There is no discernable difference other than the swatch is now smaller. The eyelashes remain full and lush.

Joya by Katia with Nature Spun wool by Brown Sheep.

Although the thick parts of Joya mixed well with the wool before it was felted, after the wool shrunk these same parts now look very loose. The result is a swatch with what appears to be many loose loops. Retesting this yarn with a thicker wool may eliminate the problem or the results may be the same.

Light Pipe by Crystal Palace Yarns with Nature Spun Wool by Brown Sheep.

The colored "flags" did not come loose and the iridescent nylon holding thread melted nicely into the wool, resulting in subtle veins of colors.

Metallic FX by Berroco with Nature Spun wool by Brown Sheep.

The two yarns "melted" nicely into each other in this swatch.


Squiggle with Iceland wool by Crystal Palace Yarns.

After felting, you can see that there appears to be many more "squiggles" than originally because the wool around it has shrunk.

Maybe one of the yarns you were considering is here.

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