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Lots of experienced knitters will already understand what felting is and will likely have had a lot of fun experimenting with producing items using felting wool. However, for our new knitters here is a brief explanation of what felting is.
Simply put, felting is the process of applying heat and agitation to wool to change its appearance. When an item knitted with felting yarn is exposed to high heat and friction, it shrinks and the fibres bond together. This transforms an item with a knitted texture into a one with a much smoother finish. The matting makes the item less flexible, which means it is still soft but far stronger. With felting yarns, it is possible to make strong bags and hats that keep their shape.
Felting is very exciting and produces some very interesting results. However, getting it right takes a bit of practice and it is important to follow the process properly.
Working with Felting Yarns
When buying felting wool it is very important to buy the one recommended on the pattern. The stitches laid out in the pattern also need to be followed precisely. Knitters who like to improvise may find that when they wash their creation, it does not shrink enough or worse, shrinks too much.
You should always try to buy a felting yarn that does not contain synthetic fibres. Items made from 100% animal fibres will shrink and felt evenly, which produces a better finish. Manmade fibres do not shrink or matte, so are not suitable for felting. You should not use machine washable wool either, because it will not matt properly during the felting process.
You will always find a good selection of felting yarns at Black Sheep Wools. We work hard to make sure that you can always buy the felting wool you want for a great price.