How to Felt a Cashmere Sweater With Boiling Water

by Katie Tonarely

Change the look of a cashmere sweater by felting it.

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If you have old cashmere sweaters lying around, or if you knit cashmere sweaters, you can felt these items to make them fuzzy and smooth. Because cashmere is an animal fiber, it felts wonderfully, and leaves garments soft and beautiful. Felting cashmere sweaters with boiling water takes some time, but even the novice crafter can make her cashmere sweaters look professionally felted.

Items you will need

  • Two pots
  • Boiling water
  • Cold water
  • Ice
  • Gloves
Step 1

Fill a large pot with water. The pot needs to be big enough to hold your sweater as well as enough water to completely cover it.

Step 2

Bring the water to boil. While you are waiting for the water to reach a boil, put another bowl of ice water next to the pot with boiling water. It should also be large enough to contain your item, the water and the ice without overflowing.

Step 3

Soak the cashmere sweater in the ice water.

Step 4

Wring it out so that it is wet but not dripping.

Step 5

Put the sweater in the boiling water for a few minutes.

Step 6

Wring it out. Put on gloves before you start to wring out the item to avoid burning your hands.

Step 7

Rub the cashmere between your hands quickly. This will cause the cashmere to become fuzzy, and the stitches will lose definition.

Step 8

Repeat steps 3 through 7 until the item is felted as you would like.

Step 9

Block your felted cashmere. To block an item, put it on a body form that you have purchased, or leave it in a dry place while it dries. Either way, the position it dries in is the position it will stay in. Put the item near a fan to speed up the drying process.

Tips

  • If you have a washer, it might be easier and faster to felt the item in it. Place the washer on a hot wash, cold rinse and put the cashmere in the washer with some towels. Let it agitate for six minutes, and then check on it. If it is not yet as felted as you would like, put it back in the washer until it is ready. When it is, rinse it in the washer.

Warnings

  • Only cashmere items that are 100 percent animal fibers will felt. You cannot felt a cashmere item that is a blend with a synthetic fabric. Check that the tag says 100 percent cashmere or 100 percent wool.

    Even after felting, do not wash your cashmere sweater in the washing machine, as this could felt it further.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Katie Tonarely started writing professionally in 2008. Her work appears in the Springfield "News-Leader" and she provides consumer-related content for various websites. Tonarely received a Bachelor of Arts in English education with a minor in journalism from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.