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Felted Furball

Begin by giving your pet a good brushing or combing. Each pet is unique, so the type of ball you can make from your pet's fur or hair will vary. In fact, I know from experience that not all pet fibers will work. But since it's free and uses something that would simply be tossed, it's worth a try! Collect your pet's fur or hair for an extended period. I keep my cat's fur in a plastic container with a lid, and empty his comb into that bowl. If you have a super-furry cat who is going through a shedding period, it's possible to make a cat-sized toy after one or two thorough brushing or combing sessions.

To make the fiber easier to work with, it's nice to try this technique: Take the collected fur in a ball in one hand. Slowly pull it with your other hand, twisting it as you go. Once you have twisted about 18 inches tightly, fold this directly in half and allow the two halves to twist together, creating a two-ply yarn. This is easier to work with than a ball of fur, especially if you will be felting it completely by hand.

Now, create a ball shape, continuing to make small lengths of yarn to wind around it.

If you have a felting needle, it helps to do some strategic needle-felting so that the mass doesn't completely fall apart during the soap/water felting method.

Next, we'll move on to felting! Fill a bowl with the hottest (yet still safe to the touch) water you can get from your faucet. Put a blob of liquid soap (I used mild shampoo) on the ball. Continue to roll this in your hands between your palms as you press and dip it into the water. At times, run it under cold water, and reload the soap onto it.

Is the ball getting too small for your liking? If so, you will need to add more fur to it. It's best to do this before it's completely felted.

Once the ball is the size and shape you would like it to be, rinse out the soap thoroughly, and let the ball completely dry.

Says:

This all started as a whim. I've made felted wool balls for my cat, and they're his favorite toy. After giving him a good combing one day, I wondered if he could help contribute a bit to his own toy stash. Surprisingly, I've found that his fur felts much more quickly than the wool balls I've made for him. The resulting toys are also a lot more dense than lamb's wool. He lost the "model ball" in the photo within a day or two. That's what he always does with his favorite toys!

Have fun!

Providing crafts since October 2011. Felted furball project created in October 2011. Copyright 2011- and all contents by Millie. Resulting products can only be kept or given away as gifts. Always keep safety in mind.