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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