Dry cleaning is the safest way to clean wool felt and is the best method if you wish to avoid misshapen felt and colors running. If you choose not to dry clean, please read over the following information. In many instances, good results can be achieved when washing by hand but you must be careful and willing to take responsibility when it does not turn out like you had hoped. A Child's Dream is not responsible for any damages that occur during the washing or drying of your felt so test, test, test.
Wool felt must be washed with care as washing and agitation will cause it to continue to shrink. Also color fastness can vary and color bleeding or dye migration can occur. Prewashing individual pieces separately removes most excess dye so if you plan to wash your finished item then this is something you might want to consider. We recommend you test in advance by washing with your preferred method. Using wool felt on clothing or an item that requires frequent washing may not be practical.
Pre-Washing Wool Felt for Appliqué
Wool felt can be used for applique'. Some people like to pre-wash it but this will likely make the felt bubble and is no guarantee colors will not run on subsequent washing. Small pieces can be pre-washed by hand; larger pieces can be pre-washed in a washing machine on the gentle cycle. Shrinkage is greater if washed in warm or hot water and the end result will be thicker felt. Air dry by laying the felt on a towel and turn it once in a while or tumble dry larger pieces in a dryer on the air only settings as hotter settings will greatly increase shrinkage. Check the felt periodically as it dries and reshape as needed being careful not to stretch or distort while doing so. We strongly recommend you do the entire procedure with a sample piece first as results will vary.
Making Boiled Wool Felt
Some patterns ask that you felt the wool felt before using for a “boiled wool” look. Allow extra material for shrinkage and wash by hand in warm or hot water. Colors may bleed. Rinse in cold water and dry in a dryer with a fabric softener strip until slightly damp. Large pieces can be washed in the washing machine in hot water on a gentle cycle and rinsed in cold. There will be more shrinkage this way and the felt will become lumpy. Ironing helps to smooth the lumps. It’s much easier to control shrinkage and texture when washing by hand. We are not responsible for over shrinkage or any loss that may occur during the process of washing or drying your felt.
Washing Garments and Blankets Decorated with Pre-Washed Felt
Wool felt often continues to shrink once it's on the garment so it is best to wash as gently as possible: by hand in cool water or dry clean. COLOR BLEEDING: Some colors may bleed even with hand washing in cool water. For best results, we recommend dry cleaning or spot cleaning to avoid color bleeding and shrinkage. You might be able to prevent dye transfer with a product like Shout Color Catcher. Experiment in advance. Roll article gently in a clean old towel, lightly squeeze to remove excess water then lay flat to dry. We are not responsible for any damages that may happen during the process of washing or drying your felt.