Fulled fabrics are so much fun. You get all the joy of weaving without worry, then throw the fabric in the washing machine to shrink it. Taken to its extreme the yarns fuse into felt.
The resulting fabric can be used in any way your imagination takes you—wearables, accessories, stuffed animals*, sachets, pincushions, coasters, trivets, ornaments, sculptures, travel mug sleeves, patchwork blankets, and the like.
You can also mix yarns that shrink with yarns that don’t for a phenomenon called differential shrinkage. You can see that at play in these slippers from my first book Weaving Made Easy.
To finish them, all you have to do is cut the fabric in the shape you want. We’ll also explore a number of decorative stitches for seaming and finishing off raw edges.
Fulling—more widely known as felting, and we will discuss the difference—has a long, illustrious history in the weaving world. When I first learned to weave, I was a little obsessed with the possibilities. Join us as we explore the art of shrinking your fabric on purpose.
I have a bin of handwoven fulled scraps that is full of warps that just did not work out. I weave them off with a wool that will shrink, toss them in the washer and dryer, and toss them in the bin.
Read on for the who, what, when, and where.
This weave-along is appropriate for beginners. I assume you know how to warp your loom and are familiar with basic weaving terminology.
We will weave a set of 4-inch coasters. I’ll provide a pattern for a set of coasters along with fulling and finishing tips. I’ll also share other ways you can use this technique to create a variety of projects.
There is no cost to register for the weave-alongs while they are active and you have free access to the information until we start the next weave-along. After that time, you will either need to pay a small fee or become a Patron and gain continued access to this and all previous weave-alongs.
Rigid-heddle loom with at least an 8" weaving width; 8-dent rigid heddle; 1 shuttle.
2 colors of worsted- or DK-weight non-superwash wool (wool that will shrink in the wash).
Warp Yardage 120 yd (60 yds of 2 different colors)
Weft Yardage 80 yd (same or multiple colors, each coaster uses about 15 yds of weft)
This is a great opportunity to use up some of your half balls of yarns. Although I won’t be covering colorwork specifically, you can mix your colors in warp and weft for different effects.
This technique is dependent on the miraculous properties of wool. I understand that there are folks who prefer not to work with wool or have wool sensitivities. In this one case, there isn’t really a good alternative to create this project.
April 14: Registration and pattern link available, welcome information, tips on selecting yarns and modifying the pattern.
April 21: Warp
April 28: Weave
May 5: Finish
May 12: Share!
I host the weave-alongs at the Yarnworker School of Weaving, a community-funded, virtual classroom for rigid-heddle weavers. There is no charge for the weave-alongs, and the pattern is offered on a name-your-price offering. For more information about the Yarnworker Weave-Alongs and School, check out this FAQ.
A big shout out to all the Patrons who keep these weave-alongs going. Patron producers get a vote in what we weave next.
*These types of projects are not appropriate for babies or toddlers.