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Felting Tip: When felting, add 1/4 of vinegar to each wash cycle to reduce color fading.

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 Felting with a Front Loading Washing Machine
Yes, It Does Work

Felt a swatch first.  This will tell you a lot about how to bag is going to felt.  Sometimes, felting with a front loading machine takes a little longer than with a top loading machine.  You are not going to be able to open the machine and check your progress.
Place your bag into a zippered pillowcase before placing in washing machine.  We recommend that you DO NOT use a mesh bag, as these bags sometimes act like sandpaper and can imbed unwanted fiber particles into your bag.  We also recommend that you include a Shout Color Catcher in the zippered pillowcase with the bag.
Include towels or old jean in the machine to help with agitation.
No Spin Cycle Available.    If your machine has a no spin cycle, use that and check the bag after each cycle or try the method below.

If you only have spin cycles, here what we do:   After placing bag into zipper pillowcase, we toss it in the machine with a couple of towels and some old jean.  We run it through a complete regular hot/cold wash cycle, letting it spin on "regular spin" -- NOT "fast spin".  Then we switch to the pre-wash cycle (may be called pre-soak on your machine).  We run it through on hot pre-wash, quickly remove, shape, and run it through on cold pre-wash.  Our pre-wash cycle is 12 minutes long.  Don't let the bag cool off; it needs the cold water shock to help is shrink. We repeat this until the fabric is the texture that we want.

If the swatch felted really fast on the first time through, we will go straight to the pre-wash cycle, skipping running it through a complete regular wash cycle. Swatching is important!

In our pre-wash cycle the water drains but it doesn't spin, so there is a lot of water in the article at the end of the cycle. But you aren't pulling it out of the machine that's full of water. If you were felting with a top loader you would be pulling it out of the machine when it is full of water and checking, but with a front loader, we have to do some "work around" tricks. So far we've found the pre-wash cycle to be a good trick.

Between each cycle, remove the bag and shape it.  This reduces wrinkles and self-felting issues.  As it flops around in the machine, it gets all twisted, that's why it is important to shape it each time.  When you bag is the desired shape and texture, blog the excess water with towels and shape it to dry.

No Promises!  This is the method that works for us.  We make NO guarantees that it will work for you.  Your machine, water temperature, etc., will be different from ours. Experiment with a swatch.

Other Questions:  Email us at patterns@felted-bags.com

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