Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Sari Silk Felt in the Washing Machine

I've been asked quite a few times how I do this so here's how I make my Sari Silk Felt in the washing machine. I'm sure there are many different ways to do this but this way has worked for me. It may seem a nuisance to keep taking it out of the washing machine and separating it from the net but if you didn't the net would become well and truly felted to the piece. Hope if you have a go it works for you too - all washing machines are different but hopefully not so different to effect the outcome. Any feedback would be welcome!

Lay a piece of tutu netting down and place a piece of sari silk on top with the right side facing down. I use a 40cm net and a 35cm piece of silk.

Lay a thin layer of fibres on top of the sari silk with the fibres running in one direction.


I usually use similar colours to the sari silk but different colours can create a good effect. Continue until you have covered all the silk.

Lay down a second thin layer with the fibres running in the opposite direction to the first layer.

Continue until you have covered the first layer. I find this is enough wool since it becomes much thicker once it is felted and shrinks.

Cover with another piece of tutu netting (the same size as the piece on the bottom).

Carefully fold over from the bottom and roll everything up. Place the parcel inside a knee high tight and knot the end.

Wash in a 30 degree wash for 30 minutes, or a similar cycle if you don't have this one.
Take out and remove from the tights. It should have already shrunk a little and the silk will be attached to the wool in places but it is still quite delicate so remove the netting as carefully as you can. The wool side will be particularly stuck to the netting.
Roll the piece of felt up in the netting again and put it back in the tights and wash on another 30 degree wash for 30 minutes.
After this cycle it should be quite well felted but I find it best to put it back in for a third wash but not in the tights this time.
After this wash check to see if it is felted enough for your requirements.

I like to use it for making flower brooches and I've also used it for bunting. I guess you could make small items such as purses or glass cases or sew pieces together to make a patchwork sari felt cushion, which I'm hoping to try soon.

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