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Wool and Felt Soakers & Felting Sweaters Question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I cloth diapered my first two until they turned one, but never used cloth or made my own diapers. I mostly used prefolds, which I like, with whatever covers I could scrape up the money for. This time around I'm feeling really crafty and would like to make some wool soakers. I have some sweaters I picked up at thrift stores and am in the process of felting. Most are fairly soft, but two of them are a bit scratchy (one is just 100% wool and the other is pure shetland wool). I got some polyester fleece remnants at JoAnns and was hoping to make the waist and leg gussets out of the fleece. If I did that, do you think they would be comfortable for baby? Or should I scrap the itchy wool completely?


Any insights would be really helpful!



post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Okay, I have another question. Is there a way to control how much things felt? Because the sweaters I felted are so tiny and tight I really can't imagine I'll be able to use them! They don't have any stretch left to them. What did I do wrong?

post #3 of 6

Felted wool isn't stretchy. But then neither is PUL really, and that works for nappy covers, so I can't see why unstretchy felted wool won't make  OK soakers, even if they aren't stretchy. If you want stretchy you may be better knitting or crocheting some soakers. 

post #4 of 6

I think it depends on how you felt it.  I don't know much about deliberate felting.  I had a beautiful wool sweater once, and my mother washed it in hot water, and that was the end of it...completely tiny and tight, it was an XL woman's, but it would barely fit a little girl after that.  I washed a wool diaper cover in water, trying to felt it a bit, but it didn't felt much.  I didn't use hot water, however.  It did get a little more close together and a little more fuzzy.  I think I washed it was some lanolin wash, and not regular detergent, and I used a gentle cycle.  So I just think it depends on how long, how much agitation, how hot the water is and how close knit it was to begin with.  The diaper cover I had was made by a friend, and he had tight stitches, but it still wasn't as tight as a machine knit sweater would be.  

He made me a big wool sweater that is so huge and kind of loosely knit. I've considered trying to felt it.  I actually did run it through the washer with a little detergent and warm water, but it didn't really felt at all.  I was wondering if maybe the wool was a blend, but I also have a machine with no agitator.  I think you would get different results based on whether you did it with a top loader vs. front loader vs. hand washing.

post #5 of 6
It depends whether the wool is machine washable or not as well. It will felt easily if it's hand wash wool, but will be much more difficult if it's machine washable
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you, everyone! That does help. I was looking for information on felting and saw a woman say she had felted the sweaters "too much" because they weren't stretchy, that's why I thought I had possibly done something wrong. 

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