Felting, Fulling, Or Boiled Wool?


To dismiss among the essential knitting commandments,”Thou shalt not put wool into heated water” would be always to risk suffering the dreaded effect of such activity – very small, very inflexible, little sweaters to which no relative would ever want to cultivate. As a distinct reversal of texture and appearance outcome from the felting process, simple stocking stitch knitting might be transformed all without knowledge of complex quilting technique.

Felt is just a warm, windproof fabric that although its own matted texture remains remarkably lightweight and soft to the touch. To create a sensed fabric, the basic raw material is always the exact same but the production method could vary. The raw material that is common to all techniques is a protein fiber produced from an animal source, most often boiled wool fabric . Why just creature fibers? It is because those fibers have a special surface structure that is composed of overlapping scales. These scales in reaction to being slipped into heated water, open and latch on to one another creating new structures. This interlocking procedure is further helped by massaging against the scales together through some sort of overtraining like kneading by hand or the action of a washer. Further scale mixing is accomplished by making the scales slippery with the help of a sudsy, soapy alternative. Once these scales are finding their new rankings on the surface of the fabric, there isn’t any going back. These newly-positioned scales remain locked together in their own latest relationships as well as the happy result is felt.

“Felting” may be the word most frequently used to define the conversion of a protein fiber in this warm and wonderful fabric. The term”filz” can be within Old High German. This terminology was used prior to the 12th century, also an indicator that if felting now we’re continuing to research an extremely ancient craft.

“Fulling” could be the procedure of producing sensed fabric from animal fiber dye that is already woven or knitted. Fulling chooses the woven or knitted fabric through the procedure for hot water and agitation in order to facilitate shrinkage and make felted fabric. The consequences of the cleanup action would shrink and matt the fibers creating a cloth which would not unravel. The period fulling stems from”fullare”, a Medieval Latin word meaning”to drift or trample”. This procedure emphasizes the agitation that’s necessary in coaxing those fiber scales . Today, it’s much more common to see Fuller’s Earth used as an ingredient in a decorative face mask, where it sets its own shrinking powers to additional endeavors.

It’s the feature fabric produced in Austria and used to fashion chic Tyrolean jackets embellished with braid binding and pewter buttons. Again, the raw material is still wool yarn. The procedure is the same as fulling but done in an industrial level in order to ease the treatment of larger quantities. Computerized controls finely melody water temperature levels and agitation strength as a way to create a frequent result. The yarn is dyed, then knit and hastens minus the aid of chemicals.

Allow yourself the time for you to test out the felting process and the way the yarn reacts. Knit test types of stocking stitch at a pure wool yarn. One caution must be detected. Do not work with a wool yarn that has been processed because an superwash yarn, to put it differently a yarn that can be machine-washed without the fear of shrinkage. Since it’s shrinkage that is the target in felting, these yarns aren’t suitable for felting projects. Knit several samples, even perhaps in different yarn weights and colors, while making note of their knitted dimensions of every. Put these samples in the hot water cycle of the washer, removing the wash and spin dry bicycles. Square up the edges of the samples and let it dry flat. Measure the samples and compare to the first measurements. If felting has happened, it’s not just suggested by the reversal of measurements however in the texture of the fabric. Holding the felted fabric sample into a robust light, one needs to hardly be able to distinguish the grid of both rows and hinges. The felted sample should be very matted and if you cut the knitting, it won’t unravel. Notice that the knitting remains soft and lightweight, not stiff and unpleasant.

If you have proceeded onto altering your hand flapping right into a felted garment, you may be thinking that’s has gone through the many vigorous and tortured wash which knitted yarn could ever endure. Now and forever more, you assume that you can throw that felted garment into the popular wash cycle. Treat your felted garment with”yarn principles”. Hand wash with a mild soap or wool detergent in lukewarm water and do not rub or make to soak as further felting may occur. After thorough rinsing, dry level. Felted hand-knitting can often be improved with brushing and a good light pressing with a hot iron to produce a smoother surface appearance. If you are storing felted clothing for an protracted amount of time, be sure to tuck a moth repellent inside the garment.

If you take the dip and experiment with all different yarn weights, both colors and brands, you will increase your knowledge of what happens whenever a particular yarn meets hotwater. After all, the Praise is simple and the outcome can be glorious.

© Maddy Cranley 2007.

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