A lot of people, after seeing the special form, complex surface and various bright colors of felted objects, fear that it is hard or even impossible to clean them. Well, the good news is: it is not!
The best way to clean your treasures made of felt is the way they were born: washing them carefully in lukewarm soapy water. For this purpose you may use wool detergent but the cheapest liquid soap is suitable as well. You shouldn't be anxcious about using soap and water on the felt, they can't do any harm to it. Although, you have to be careful to wash felt only for a few moments (not like when it was made), otherwise the overall effect of the heat, water and rubbing will restart the felting process. There is no need to wash it for a long time: the stains will run out of the wool, just like in the case of a nylon pantyhose. After that rinse it thoroughly.
After washing remove as much water from the material as possible, just like you would from any other kind of textile. Press the water out or use a spin dryer. The tensile strength of felt is very high so you can be sure you won't tear the fibers and this procedure will not activate the felting process either and you don't have to worry about the surfaces sticking together. This is all true even if your felt is Nuno which means it is combined with pure silk.
Spinning the felt will reduce the amount of water in it (hooray!) but the felt might also lose its original shape so you will have to repair it to its original form later on. Delicate and light scarves and stoles containing a lot of silk details should only be shaken and put out dry!
If you are not satisfied with the result or your felt is thicker, lay it down and smooth it out with your palms forming it to its old shape. Objects with a hollow should be repaired to their original form and then stuffed. After that leave the felt to dry but never in direct sunlight because due to sunlight the material of the wool decays and so its strength decreases and the colors fade. After drying, iron the felt on the back side with a vapour iron if it's necessary. Ironing does not harm pure silk, moreso it makes it beautiful again!
If your hat is too small or slightly large:
Though the changeability of the wool can be a problem while washing it, it opens wonderful possibilities at the same time. If you have already set your mind on washing your hat, you can decide whether you would like to change something on it! When wet, wool is transformable. The size of the hat can be inscreased or decreased by about one centimeter while washing. You can make new wrinkles or, on the contrary, you can flatten them out. If you'd like to make your hat larger, grab both sides of it by its brim and tug on it, stretch it all around, little by little, equally everywhere. Try it on from time to time to see if it fits already so as not to make it too big.
If your hat is a bit large, felting is just right for you. Grab the wet brim with two hands, keeping 2-3 centimeters between your hands and rub, just like when washing. The heat, the moisture and the movement will cause the wool to shrink.
If you have set your mind on this complicated task (or your beautiful hat had some kind of an "accident"), you might have to fix the form of the round dome of the hat as well. The easiest way to do this is with a hat form but if your household does not happen to have any, the best advice for you would be: pull the wet hat over your head and smooth ot on all sides, this way it will take the shape of your head. The wrinkles, brims and foldings should be repaired with the help of a mirror. If you are satisfied with the result, gently remove the hat from your head and just leave it to dry. Be careful not to change what you have already sorted out because this will be the final form of your hat.
If your wristwarmers have stretched out a bit in the use or you just want it to fit tighter on your wrist, rub and twine it between your palms like it was broomstick while washing. This process will wonderfully refresh the surface of your felt, the loosened threads, the fluffs will once again nicely felt into their places. Do not forget to check sometimes how far you have progressed so that you can stop at the right time.
And of course, if it accidentally becomes too tight, place your hand inside the wet wristwarmer and widen it with careful movements.
When washing jewellery made of felt, there is no need for any kind of special treatment. Squeeze it in lukewarm soapy water (for about half a minute), rinse it carefully and press the water out of it. Form it back to its original shape if it's necessary before you put it down to dry.
Felted rings may deserve some extra words as well. If you wash your hands with the ring on, after a while it will become smaller and smaller until eventually it will be too small for you. If this happens to you, you can stretch it back to its original size when it is wet. Although, it might be easier to remove it before washing your hands (and don't forget the ring on the edge of the sink...).
All this means that felted rings don't really have sizes: if it's too big for you, out with the soapy water and - for example while watching TV - play with it: pull it, rub it, crease it until you are satisfied with its size.
If your ring is small, wet it and stretch until it fits you.
Moths are big enemies of felt and other clothings. Regularly used objects are safe, those are avoided by pests but things aren't often used need to be protected and checked sometimes. To protect your things against moths, it is the best to use some kind of a repellent or put a small bunch of aroma filled plants, such as lavenders or tobacco leaves beside them in the closet. These need to be replaced regularly because they lose their scent over time. If you notice moth pupae on your felt, put it immediately into the freezer or out into the open air in winter for several days if the temperature is below 0 Celcius. Cold will kill both moths and pupae. Boiling water also kills the eggs of moths as well as the larvae. Put the felt into boiling water but do not boil it any further. When it has cooled down, spin-dry it and put it out to dry.
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