This third part of this is where we allow the felt fabric to undergo a washing. It is a gentle hand washing process. All the steps of the experiment are documented. Hopefully, it will clear up any questions or differences that may produce differing results.
Part 3 (Washing the Felt Fabric)
I follow the same wash and block technique that I learned when washing sheared wool. This method is also one to use when washing and blocking any wool knitted item to keep it from felting or shrinking unmanageably.
1. Run cold water in a clean sink. Plug the sink and let the cold water start to fill the basin.
2. Add a gentle cleaner. I use “Basic H“, sold by Shaklee. (I used to sell the stuff.) I believe that Amway makes something similar with it’s L.O.C. I believe that either of these two are gentler than even Woolite. In the past, I had learned that Woolite really isn’t that ‘gentle’ on embroidery/stitching fibers as it is on wearable clothing that it is made for. Maybe that is untrue. I don’t know. I’ve never experimented with it. When I learned to clean wool, right off the sheep, we used dish detergent to strip off the oils of the wool. Dish detergent is a pretty harsh cleaner. I wouldn’t recommend using it for your embroidery/stitchery. If you have any other cleaner you can recommend, please do so in the comment section as well.
3. Here I add just a smidgen (literally) of Shaklee’s Basic H into the running cold water.
4. Let the bubbles build.
5. Turn the running water off and hold your piece above the water and gently let it sit on the surface. Don’t push it in. Just let it sit there and slowly soak up the water.
6. Watch it slowly absorb water and sink a little at a time. Until it is totally submersed in the soapy water.
(Let’s check it to see if the color is still there) Gently move the bubble out of the way and see if the piece has sunk to the bottom.
7. Sometimes I swirl the water around, very gently.
8. I do NOT swish the piece around. I only move the water around gently.
9. After a short time, maybe 1 or 2 minutes, give or take a ‘swish or two’, take it out from the bottom of the bubbly water and take a peek at it. If the background area appears clean to you, then it is ‘done’. Let it fall back into the water gently and move on to the next part.
10. Depress the plunger and let the bubbly water out of the basin.
(Notice the little piece still there in the bubbles)
11. Gently lift or slide it out of the way…
12. While running clean cold water in the basic while the plunger is up and the drain is opened. Run this until the bubbles are all out of the basin.
13. Press the plunger again to fill the sink.
14. Run new, fresh, cold water into the basic.
15. Once filled, gently lay the piece on the surface of the water and wait for it to once again sink to the bottom of the basin.
(Eventually it will sink)
16. Let it sit in the rinse bath for a minute or 2, then gently lift it out of the rinse water. Now you are ready to ‘block’ it dry!
2 of 4 is here, Coloring the Felt Fabric and Melting the Wax to Tint the Felt or on the Tutorial Page here
This post is 3 of 4