A new (to me) crafting activity I’ve recently tried is working with fulled (felted) wool. It’s a lot of fun and frustration, and a great opportunity for hoarders!
About a year ago, I found a gorgeous wool sweater at a local thrift store. I now have a chest full of fulled wool sweaters patiently awaiting a new, repurposed life. I’ve done a lot of experimentation (hence the frustration), but I’ve learned a lot in the process!
For example, I know that there are oodles of wool sweaters available at the thrift stores, but that most of them are not suitable for repurposing. I won’t buy anything again that isn’t 100% wool, as they rarely react well to the fulling process. They also need to be as large as possible, because it is difficult to make anything of any size otherwise. Loose-knit wool doesn’t achieve good results. Drying in the dryer was only attempted once! (My dryer still coughs up lint balls occasionally). I tried hand-fulling in a bucket of hot soapy water, and learned that the results weren’t worth the labour-intensive effort.
Yes, the sweaters have been worn. But, by the time the fulling process is complete, they have been washed in hot, hot water several times, so I guarantee you they are clean! I’ve made some great finds – such as a men’s extra-large, virtually new wool sweater that had a tiny hole in he front. I can work around that! It cost me less than $2.00. Even better, my favourite crafting supply scout (aka my daughter, herself a bit of a craft supply hoarder) went out of her way, little ones in tow, to get me a huge box of gorgeous already-felted, patterned wool pieces that I’m slowly working my way through.
So far, I’ve fulled about three dozen adult sweaters, and created a few little girls’ sweaters from them. Sometimes it takes cutting into three adult sweaters to make one little size 2 jacket. They are super soft, warm, and quite water resistant. I already have a pile of felted wool scraps that I can make smaller items from, when I have the time. There are so many things that can be made from a little scrap of beautiful felt, it’s a hoarder’s delight!
And that’s not even mentioning needle felting. I would love to try my hand at that some day soon!