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Pammypoo | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have sewn for year, but I have never sewn with felt, so I don’t know alot about it.  Can anyone tell me, can I make a shirt or jacket with it?  Does it wash up good?  Can it be lined for better protection?  Can it be used as lining?


Please help.


  1. starzoe | | #1

    Clothing is not usually made of the felt that is sold for crafts, but a felted wool (boiled wool) is sewn into beautiful jackets which are very expensive as RTW.These items are not washable, they have to be drycleaned. I would not think boiled wool would make into a shirt unless it was very light in weight. I have, with success, felted 100% wool fabric in my washing machine and sewn coats with it. Sometimes very beautiful fabric emerges from ugly or orphan lengths of 100% wool after felting.I've never lined felted wool (not necessary, it's very warm), and wouldn't use it as lining (too stiff). The fabric does not ravel, so seam finishes aren't necessary. It can easily be made reversible using a faux flat-fell seam. Simple patterns are needed, no facings necessary. Some of my coats are trimmed with ultra-suede bindings instead of hems and cuffs.I believe Threads magazine has had articles on working with boiled wool fabrics. There is probably a good deal of info on the internet as well.

  2. decoratrice | | #2

    I like to sew with felt--even made a felt quilt (no batting or lining needed).  I buy wool sweaters and wool knit garments at thrift stores, dollar or bag days are worth waiting for, and wash them a couple of times in hot water with towels for friction.  They won't shrink with washing after that, but I always use cold water.  Some of the wool jerseys would be suitable for shirts, no lining necessary, but lining the collar stand would add comfort.  Of course, the yardage you get is limited, but I enjoy combining fabrics in a garment or project.  Bonus:  pieces can be joined by an edegestitch so fabric for seam allowances isn't needed.  I hope you will have lots of fun with felt!

    1. katina | | #3

      Playing around with felted bits and pieces is great fun; if I'm unhappy with the results I use the pieces for pet blankets. Do you cover your seams once you've joined them? What stitch do you use for this? Did you ever see the article on Koos van den Akker's work? He covers the joined fabric pieces with bias tape - in my experience this makes the seam on felted wool too stiff.


      1. sewfar | | #4

        I made a little felted sweater / jacket for my grand daughterfrom an old sweater.  It has a very basic design  and I used hand faggotiing to join the pieces and it is very flexible.  I know there are machine stitches that can beautifully join edges such as felted wool when they are butted together.   I also vaguely remember a method where two bias strips were joined by sewing down the middle and then each "flap" encased one felted edge.  It avoids bulk and the bias adds trim.  I think it would be beautiful with bias batik to compliment the wool tones.

        1. katina | | #5

          Thank you very much for this info - I'll give faggoting a try. It seems perfect for the task. I'll experiment with perle cotton as it's stronger than wool yarn.


          1. sewfar | | #7

            I also used pearl cotton for fagotting my felted sweater.  

          2. katina | | #8

            Thank you - sounds like you were pleased with your results.


      2. decoratrice | | #6

        The stitch on my machine is called the lace joining stitch--2 straight sts, needle swings to right, 2 more straight sts, needle swings to left....I can set the width of the swing so I get a good bite into the felt.  I use a contrasting thread but don't cover the seam.  Koos is my hero!  Ever since that article in Threads all those years ago I've been using his method--I like to use Madras plaids for the bias tape--very lightweight and the varied warp and weft threads makes a very good bridge between colors.  The joined bias-overlap technique sounds very attractive, too, you wouldn't have to turn the edges under, either, just let them bloom.  Oh, I think I feel a jacket coming on---

        1. katina | | #9

          The stitch you describe sounds very interesting - I'll check and see if I can do this on my machines.

          Thanks for your Madras plaids idea - it's ideal for this job! I'll have to check out the bias idea.

          Have you seen this book?




          1. decoratrice | | #10

            Yes, I have it and it is wonderful--glad to know it's still available.  Can't remember if it was reviewed in Threads or if I discovered it some other way.  Have you made the skirt in his Vogue 2971 pattern, the one with the striped blouse?  It's a lot of fabric, even for a muslin--I've been holding off.  We should start a Koos thread!

          2. katina | | #11

            I'd love to start a Koos thread - great idea!


          3. decoratrice | | #12

            Done!  Look under "patterns".

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