How do you wash Felt Fabric: Tips and Tricks - ICE FABRICS

Felt fabric is a versatile material made from wool fibers that are matted together using heat, moisture, and pressure. It has been used for centuries in various applications, from clothing and accessories to home decor and crafts. However, cleaning felt fabric requires special care to prevent damage and maintain its shape and texture.

You may have many questions about washing felt, such as Is it OK to wash felt? Or How do you clean felt fabric?

In general, it is safe to wash felt fabric when done correctly. However, it is essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and use appropriate cleaning methods to prevent damage. With proper care, you can maintain the integrity of your felt fabric and enjoy its benefits for a long time.

Here we will discuss some useful tips and tricks for a successful cleaning experience.


What is Felt Fabric?

Felt fabric is a non-woven textile created by matting together wool fibers. It is known for its softness, durability, and insulating properties. Felt is made through a process called felting, which involves subjecting wool fibers to moisture, heat, and friction. The fibers interlock, creating a dense and cohesive fabric. Felt is available in various thicknesses and colors, making it a popular choice for a wide range of applications.


How Do You Clean Felt Fabric?

Cleaning felt fabric requires a gentle approach to avoid damaging its structure and appearance. These approaches are best for everyone who is looking to get fair advice on How to Wash Felt Without Shrinking It.  There are two main methods of cleaning felt that prevent it from shrinkage: machine washing and hand washing.

 Discover More: Can Felt Be Washed and Dried?


1. Can You Wash Felt Fabric in a Washing Machine?

While it is generally not recommended to wash felt fabric in a washing machine, certain types of modern felt may be machine washable. However, it is crucial to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer before attempting machine washing. If machine washing is permitted, follow these steps:

  • Select a gentle detergent specifically formulated for wool or delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the felt.
  • To protect the felt fabric from excessive agitation and potential stretching, place it in a mesh laundry bag.
  • Set the washing machine to a delicate or wool cycle, which typically involves lower water temperature and reduced agitation.
  • After washing, reshape the felt fabric and lay it flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid hanging the fabric, as it can lose its shape.


2. Can You Wash Felt Fabric by Hand?

Hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning felt fabric, as it allows for better control over the process. Follow these steps for hand washing:

  • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the felt to shrink.
  • Dissolve a small amount of mild detergent suitable for wool or delicate fabrics in the water.
  • Dip the felt fabric in the soapy water and agitate it gently with your hands. Avoid excessive rubbing or wringing, as it can distort the fabric.
  • Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean water. Rinse the felt fabric by gently submerging and agitating it in clean water to remove any remaining detergent.
  • Carefully press the fabric to remove excess water without wringing or twisting. Use a clean towel to absorb the moisture.
  • Reshape the felt fabric to its original form and lay it flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can cause shrinkage and fading.

Enhance Your Knowledge About: What is the best hand sewing needle for felt?


Can Felt Fabric Get Wet? What Happens When Felt Fabric Gets Wet?

Felt fabric can get wet, but its response to moisture depends on the quality and type of felt. Traditional wool felt has inherent water-resistant properties due to the natural oils present in the wool fibers. However, prolonged exposure to water can lead to the fabric becoming saturated, losing its shape, and potentially shrinking. Therefore, it is important to minimize contact with excessive moisture and take appropriate precautions during cleaning.


Does Felt Get Ruined in Water?

Felt can tolerate exposure to water. Prolonged soaking or improper washing techniques can damage it. Excessive agitation, heat, and harsh chemicals can cause the fibers to become matted, shrink, or lose their shape. It is crucial to handle felt fabric with care during the washing process to prevent ruining its texture and appearance.

Read More: Is Felt Good for Soundproofing?


Is Modern Felt Easy to Clean? 

Cleaning modern felt is generally a straightforward process, but it does require careful attention to avoid damaging the fabric. Many modern felts are made from synthetic fibers, such as polyester or acrylic, which are more resistant to shrinking and can be easier to clean compared to traditional wool felts. However, it is important to note that not all felt fabrics are the same, and individual care instructions provided by the manufacturer should be followed for optimal results.

When it comes to routine maintenance, regular vacuuming or gentle brushing with a soft-bristle brush can help remove surface dirt and debris from felt fabrics. This step is particularly crucial for larger items like carpets or furniture upholstery. By keeping the felt fabric clean, you can prolong its lifespan and maintain its appearance.



Does Felt Shrink When Washed? 

Felt has a tendency to shrink when exposed to water and agitation, especially if it is made from natural wool fibers. To determine whether your felt fabric is likely to shrink, always check the care label or any instructions provided by the manufacturer. If the label suggests dry cleaning only, it is advisable to follow those instructions to maintain the integrity of the fabric. Dry cleaning ensures that the felt is cleaned professionally without exposing it to water or other potential causes of shrinkage.

Can You Clean Felt with Vinegar?

Vinegar can be used as a natural and mild cleaning agent for felt fabric. However, it is important to dilute it properly before use. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and use a soft cloth or sponge to gently dab the solution onto the stained area. Blot the area with a clean cloth dampened with water to remove any vinegar residue. Allow the felt to air dry completely.

Can you put Felt Shoes in the Washer?

Washing felt before sewing is not necessary in most cases. However, if the felt is new and you want to remove any potential dirt or residue, a gentle hand wash with mild soap and cold water should suffice. Allow it to dry completely before sewing.

Do you Need to Wash Felt Before Sewing?

Felt can typically hold up to gentle hand washing or spot cleaning, but it may vary depending on the quality and type of felt. To maintain its shape and integrity, it is advisable to avoid excessive washing and opt for spot cleaning whenever possible.

Does Felt Hold up to Washing?

Felt can typically hold up to gentle hand washing or spot cleaning, but it may vary depending on the quality and type of felt. To maintain its shape and integrity, it is advisable to avoid excessive washing and opt for spot cleaning whenever possible.

Can you Steam-Clean felt?

Steam cleaning is generally not recommended for felt, as it can cause the material to become misshapen or damaged. It's best to use alternative methods, such as spot cleaning or gentle hand washing, to clean felt items.