Felting In A Front Load
Washing Machine

Are you wondering if felting in a front load washing machine is possible? Well, I'm here to tell you..."Yes, it is."

It's basically the same as using a top load machine, with a couple of twists.

The agitation in a top loader is caused by the back and forth motion of the middle section. The agitation process for felting in a front load washing machine is caused by the rotation of the drum. This rotation causes the project to be dropped from top to bottom of the drum repeatedly as the machine goes through the washing process.

Another difference between using a front loader and a top loader for your felting projects is that front loaders usually lock shut during a cycle. This means that you can't stop the wash mid-cycle and open the door to check on your project like you can in a top loader.

Some front loaders allow you stop the cycle and drain the water as soon as the wash part is done. You have to be on the spot and catch it before the spin starts, drain the water then remove your piece and rinse it by hand.

That may sound daunting, but if you've done your homework and tested your swatch, as I recommend then you should have no problems.

Here's what you should do to ensure a good felting experience...

  • Place your finished item in a mesh laundry bag or pillow case which is large enough that your project has room to lay flat and move around. Make certain that all your ends are finished off BEFORE you felt, as once the felting is complete, you'll have a hard time...A. threading your ends through a needle, B. getting your threaded needle through your felted project.
  • Set your washing machine to HOT WASH - COLD RINSE and SMALLEST LOAD SIZE.
  • Use just a little wool friendly detergent such as Woolite or Eucalan (regular detergents contain enzymes which are harmful to wool).
  • Place your felting project into the washer alone. My best results have been when I washed my felting projects by themselves for a larger project or with only one pair of pre-worn jeans added to the load.
  • Set your washer away, and now you're felting in a front load washing machine.
  • At the end of the wash cycle, remove your project and adjust to shape. If you're not yet happy with the way it has felted, then repeat the washing process again. You can wash it as many times as you like until you reach your desired result. I like to felt my items so that I can no longer see any stitch definition, so it's like a totally different fabric from when it was first crocheted.

If your machine does not allow you to stop mid-cycle, then you have no choice but to go through the spin cycle too. In this instance I'd suggest that you only use bulky yarn, as allowing some finer yarn projects to spin after felting can cause creasing which cannot be removed.

So - felting in a front load washing machine truly is possible, but make sureyou do exactly the same process with your swatch as with your finished item. That includes doing EVERYTHING the same...using the same size hook, same yarn, same cycle and measuring all the way. See my felted crochet page for more information on which measurements to take.

So - I hope you enjoy felting in a front load washing machine. Try it - take the plunge.

Basic machine felting instructions

Try wet felting by hand

Return to Homepage from Felting In A Front Load Washing Machine