wahey! finally finished
patchwork blanket made from charity shop jumpers fulled (felted) in the washing machine.
the hardest bit was getting the buggers to felt properly. once i’d narrowed down my criteria it was easier. i had very little luck with 100% wool jumpers, i found it much better to look for things with a proportion of angora or mohair, the best sign being “hand wash only” or “dry clean”. i found most of these jumpers had a percentage of nylon, up to 20%, which didn’t adversely affect the fulling at all.
then there was a cost . i think i finally used 10 jumpers, averaging Â£2-3. then there’s the ones that didn’t work… then there’s the thread… i used upholstery weight, maybe 8 reels? then there’s the tape… i used close on 50m of cotton tape to support the butted seams. so by no means a cheap project, although much cheaper than something of similar quality (lambswool, angora, mohair) would cost in the shops. it is very warm.
on the up side the actual sewing together was much easier and quicker than i’d anticipated. after a lot of thought i decided to butt the seams, partly because i didn’t want ridges along the seams and partly because i didn’t want to loose any of my precious fabric having to turn it under. i did 11 x 11 6″ squares in the end. it would have taken at least another 3 jumpers to make it 12 square. i used a stretch zigzag (hence the huge quantity of thread) and just fed the two squares next to each other over the tape. it’s by no means perfect but much easier than i’d anticipated. a friend said you could do a butted seam without the tape with a serger, but i’m not sure i’d want to test the strength of the fabric in that way – it would be a hell of a lot of work for it to disintegrate at the first wash. there was some rippling at the seams, especially with the least-felted (most stretchy) squares, but a heavy steam and press helped massively.
so i’m left with a have a huge pile of felt scraps to play with, and a bedroom that reeks of imperial leather (got a load on cheap for the fulling).