Where’s me jumper – Part 3 – Hmmm fail

Posted on: July 28, 2011

I know some of you have been wondering how I went with my felting of jumpers.  It didn’t quite go as I expected, which iswhy I haven’t shared before now.  I am pretty disappointed with the results.  But I figure sharing failure is just as good as sharing success. You may learn from my mistakes.  I hope so.

So what did I do?  I put each cut up jumper into its own pillowcase and tied a knot in the end and bunged them all in the washing machine.  After all this is a fluffy process and I didn’t want my machine getting clogged up.  I did the hottest wash I could do (90 degrees C) and left the machine to do its work.  Once when walking by the machine I noticed that some bits had escaped their pillowcases.  A knot in the pillowcase is obviously not enough.  I should have used safety pins as recommended.  After it had finished, I very excitedly went to check my results.

Lets look at the results one by one, starting from most successful to most dismal.

1. The blue surf dude jumper

Wow – this felted amazingly well.  I knew it would as it had some felting signs from wear when I bought it.  It shrunk a LOT.  I’m talking at least half.  The bad news is that it is too thick for my pincushions.  I will have to come up with another idea – a bag maybe?  Not sure yet 🙂

Blue jumper felt - thick!

2. The olive green cardy

This also felted quite well – it was pretty much felted before hand.  It’s probably the one out of the 6 that I will actually use.

yay - it worked! olive green felt made from a jumper

3. The gorgeous red cardy

I am so sad about this one. The colour was so wonderful and the jumper so soft.  I had really high hopes for it.  It felted a little bit.  You can still see the weave of the jumper though, and it just looks like a really old bit of jumper and is not really suitable to make anything with. It was one of my escapees and if you look closely at the olive above, you can see red fluff on it.

Not really felt, just an old jumper

4. The purple turtleneck jumper

Another one I had big plans for that just didn’t quite get there.  The results are pretty similar to the red jumper – it just looks old.

Purple not quite felt

5. The black turtleneck jumper

No felting at all.  This one must have been treated to stop the felting process when made.  There are very little signs of felting action.  The edges frayed a bit, but that was about it.

Frayed black not felt LOL

6. The green work jumper

Total fail!  This one has no felting effect at all and also must have been treated.  The edges frayed a lot during the process as you can see.

a frayed mess

I put all the “fails” through the machine a couple more times and there was no improvement in the results.  I even tried the dryer as well.  No change.

Where did I go wrong?  Well I don’t think I did anything wrong as such.

I have a front loading washing machine which may have been a factor as they are generally gentler on clothing, but the blue felted so well I am not convinced this is the issue.

I believe my fails are due to the wool being treated so it cannot felt.  I guess the issue is how do you tell if something has been treated?  I am thinking the labels may give me some clues.  While they don’t say “this has been treated” the washing instructions are a little more flexible than pure untreated wool washing instructions.

So I can now say I have attempted felting my own wool.  I would like to try again and I will once I source some more jumpers that have the “be very careful’ washing instructions still attached.

PS I know its really called “fulling”  😉


5 Responses to "Where’s me jumper – Part 3 – Hmmm fail"

That’s really interesting – I love your process, Shelley! With the paler pink one that “looks old”, could you dye it?

Thanks Kate – no – its the surface texture that is wrong. The picture doesn’t really show it too well – its kind of just pilled looking

The blue and gray look great. Do you think they others just werent pure wool. What is making me think that is that you said they just look like sad jumpers? I have always lived by only pure animal fibre felts, but have recently read that silk can felt also?

Hey Simmone 🙂 Some of the others were a blend – 90% wool with nylon & I think 80% for another. But the black one was 100% wool.

Silk felting? off to google!

I don’t know much about felting, but I think you are doing really well. My favorite is the olive green cardy. Wow. I can’t wait to see what you are gonna do with them too. 😀

Keep up the good work!!! 😉

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