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Felted Wool Jersey Jacket

MarMax | Posted in General Discussion on

Love the coat in the current issue, but have never sewn with wool. I can’t find 100% wool jersey. What I am finding has polyester in it and is $25 a yard and I’m leery of spending that much on material and end of destroying it. Does felted wool shrink lengthwise and crosswise? The article said the grain markings can be ignored and pattern pieces placed to conserve yardage? Why would it be necessary to purchase double the yardage that the pattern calls for?

Replies

  1. starzoe | | #1

    The fabric won't felt if it
    The fabric won't felt if it has polyester in it...well, let's say that it won't work for this type of pattern....unless. I have run wool mixes through a very hot wash and gotten varied results, none of which I had to throw out, just different textures. In felting, wool shrinks both lengthwise and widthwise and the amount of shrinkage depends on the weave, type of wool, the finish on the wool, etc.

    It's important not to get intimidated by the price of the fabric you use. If the jacket doesn't work you could (1) make a vest out of it (2) make a tote (3) use it for insoles (yes, felted fabric makes great insoles) or (4) use it for various crafts (glass cases, etc.) You will have learned a lot in the process, next time you will be prepared for a successful outcome.

  2. woodruff | | #2

    I have felted quite a bit of wool for various things. Pure wool jersey, especially merino, is the most reliable. Some "wools" will not felt at all, and in my experience wool/synthetic mixes are among them.

    The reason you have to buy so much fabric is that the wool can shrink a LOT, depending on how many cycles of washing and drying you put it through. To get the right, slightly-boiled-wool texture I like, I generally use three cycles. After that, four yards of wool jersey usually has shrunk to about 2 3/4 yards in length. The width shrinks from 58" to 38 1/2." It is not a money-saving process.

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