Felting A Purse: The Process

After reading through my books on how to felt in a washing machine, I decided to just do it. I tell ya, I had lots of pause moments. Lots of what if’s.

What if…..

  • water isn’t hot enough
  • fibers clog up the washing machine
  • purse falls apart
  • purse shrinks too much
  • purse shrinks not enough
  • no shrinkage happens AT ALL!!

Well, guess what? I worried for nothing.

The water was REALLY hot. And stayed hot enough for me to run the purse through three washing cycles. I didn’t trust that I would be at the machine right at the moment BEFORE it went into a spin (spinning is a no-no), so I stayed in the laundry room watching it like a hawk.

Instructions said to “look” at purse during the process. So… I stopped the wash cycle several times to look. The first time, I didn’t see any shrinkage at all. 😦 2nd time. A little. 3rd time. Now we were cooking with gas!! Yes!! Finally. The wool fibers were starting to tighten.

I didn’t need to worry at all about fibers clogging up the hose and drain. Since I put the purse in a zippered pillow case.

Here’s the amount of shrinkage. The outline shows the measurements before felting.

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Still drying. Stuffed with plastic bags, per the instructions.

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I LOVE IT!!!! It can stand up on its own.

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If you plan to felt anything in your washing machine, here’s a few things you need to know. Don’t allow the item to go through the spin cycle. Any folds or creases formed will be permanent. Always put the item inside of something to prevent wool fibers from clogging up your washing machine. Put a few other large items in there to assist with the agitation. I put in two pairs of old jeans and a huge dark towel.

Another suggestion: Try it first with an item you won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t turn out as expected. Not your dream project that you spent months making.

I used Patons Classic Wool that I got at Michaels for half price. Perfect for a 1st felting project.


Here’s the BEFORE picture. Colors are brown, dark navy-almost black, royal blue, turquoise and beige.

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13 comments on “Felting A Purse: The Process

  1. Anne says:

    wow~ It came out great! I don’t normally like the felt look. But this is so cute.

  2. Debra says:

    Wow! It looks great!

  3. don_mae says:

    Thanks!! I am going to make another one.

  4. Grandma V says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! I love it – I don’t usually like crocheted items but it felted beautifully.

  5. digipicsphotography says:

    Great!

    I read an article in my Knitters Magazine where a lady knitted 2 large squares, felted them, embroidered on them and then re-covered an old kitchen type chair. It was beautiful!

    You’re learning all kinds of stuff!

  6. Olivia says:

    Fabulous purse you made it perfectly. I love the colours and it stands up just great. Lovley blog you have. :0)

  7. Grandma V says:

    Wouldyou share the pattern info?

  8. Wow, Donna. That turned out right pretty.

  9. don_mae says:

    Thank you everyone!!

    Yep, I am learning lots. I wish my fingers could crochet faster. 😀

    No pattern actually. I had one I started to follow in the beginning but abandoned it once I decided to go “large.”

  10. jenn says:

    yes, patons classic wool is a great felting yarn!

    your purse looks great. thanks for sharing your tips. i didn’t know that about the spin cycle; i’ve gotten creases in my items before and didn’t know why.

  11. Kokopelli says:

    That looks perfect! I really like it!
    I read instructions about washing machine felting and it said to put some tennis balls in with the item.
    Is the yarn just natural wool or especially made for felting? Just curious.

    • don_mae says:

      Hi Kokopelli, the yarn was 100% wool and per the label, perfect for felting. I bought all the store had in that color. It was on sale 1/2 off. The color was “weird” which is probably why it didn’t sale. But I like the end result. I hadn’t heard about the tennis balls but that makes sense. The agitation is what does the felting. Tennis balls would do the trick. Thanks!!

  12. lulu says:

    thanks for the tips! I tried to felt a swatch – it ended up in the dryer by mistake and the result was scary.

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