Wool Yarn Scraps ⇒ Felted Wool Scrubbers
Try something fun and innovative, and ecologically sensitive too! Recycle your yarn scraps into something useful, for scrubbing your skin (I even cut small rounds like the facial buffs you can buy, for face scrubbing), or dishes, or anything else you might think to use them for. Stack them up and give as a gift! When it is time to throw out after many uses, you can cut it up and compost, for natural hair makes great compost, and nothing is wasted !
You will need:
- Yarn scraps! Gather up all of your yarn scraps which are animal fibers; mostly sheep’s wool (100% wool, NOT superwash, and course texture is best) with up to 15% of other hair/wool yarn scraps (if the fiber came off of a four-legged animal, it will felt!) If you want to use up some small balls of wool left over instead, you can just unwind the yarn and cut into bits 1″ to 6″ , as shown.
- Two pieces of lightweight cotton, such as old sheet rags, to make a ‘scrap sandwich’ from the wad of scraps.
- Needle and thread for basting.
For this tutorial I made small batches. The bigger volume of scraps and size scrap sandwich you sew, the larger sheet of felt you will have with which you can cut into neat little scrubbers. The felting method I suggest is from a method of making felted ‘batting’ I learned a long time ago, and it makes sheets of felted material.
I have tried two methods; one is yarn scraps mixed in with a few bits of course fleece roving , and the other is just wool yarn scraps, cut up mixing short and longer strands. (Also I tossed in the felting, a few knitted swatches, just to show off!)
Here’s how to do it:
- On a rag, arrange wool and yarn to be felted. Mix well with hands to homogenize all woolly bits. Spread in a layer about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick.
- Cover with another cotton cloth, sandwiching the wool in between, and with sewing thread & needle work a running stitch to quilt the layers together as shown.
- Toss in hot cycle of very hot water in washing machine, along with laundry detergent for a very long (or two) hot wash cycle, and then COLD rinse. I help the hot cycle by adding a kettle full of boiling water to make it the hottest possible. The best felting results from heat and agitation.
- When the cycle is finished, the sandwich will look very puckered and the wool hard and bumpy. With scizzors snip the threads and carefully pull the cotton rags apart~ you will have a matted felted piece of wool!
- Cut into shapes or leave as is. (you can cut the scraps from the scrubbers to include in your next felted scrubbers, in a recycle of recycling!)