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sophiedecort
New Pal

United Arab Emirates
2 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2007 :  08:26:17 AM  Show Profile Send sophiedecort a Private Message
When felting dreadlocks (=sausages) I have a totally different outcome when I felt in Dubai (where I live) compared to when I was felting in Belgium (on holidays). After putting the water on the merino wool it totally collapses so that the diameter of the dreadlock is 1/3 of the diameter obtained after felting in Belgium. The merino wool used was the same (28 micron)in both places. The water I use in Dubai is not too hot neither too cold.
I even tried with Evian water (I thought the tap water was `too hard` in my house in Dubai) ?
Can anyone help me ?
To obtain the same diameter of dreadlock I have to use 4 times as much wool ????
Help help, what is wrong ?
Sophie

Fie

LJ
Permanent Resident

USA
1938 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2007 :  11:17:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message
Sophie, first, welcome to the KR!

As far as the felting...are you hand felting or knitting and then felting in a washing machine?

I don't have a definite answer for you. I do believe you are on the right track with the differences in water.

Perhaps someone else has a more definite answer for you.

Linda in Va


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Dottie Mae
Chatty Knitter

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2007 :  2:47:00 PM  Show Profile Send Dottie Mae a Private Message
Welcome to KR, Sophie. Somewhere on this vast site there certainly will be a knitter who knows all about felting in Dubai.
I only know about felting in Michigan USA, but there are only so many variables that affect felting:
agitation
water temperature
chemical nature of the water (ph)(additives)
nature of the wool (Merino is not the most easy to felt.)
If you are using bottled water, are you using a washing machine? I can't imagine filling a washer with Evian. Are you wet felting? All things being equal, I think you are on the right track with suspecting the water. I have a hunch that it is the ph of the water. I'm not a chemist, but I know that wool likes a slightly acid environment. Perhaps the water is too basic. You might try adding a little vinegar to the water to make the wool felt less.
I'd love to buy some Dubai water if it felts as successfully as you say.
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sophiedecort
New Pal

United Arab Emirates
2 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2007 :  11:26:27 PM  Show Profile Send sophiedecort a Private Message
Hi Linda & Dottie,
Thank u so much for your reply, I am really greatful. I have been breaking my nerves on this ... (and my husband`s, haha !)
I am wet-felting. I mean, there are scarves I felt totally with hand, till the end, some of my nuno felted scarves I put in the washing machine.
So, this morning when waking up (and being really happy with yr reply) I started again with some dreadlocks. I DID put vinegar to my water-soapy solution Result : the dreadlock collaps still but not as much. The other problem coming up, as you said, it felts reallllly slow. Arch ! And ... it does not felt together so good.
I guess I`ll have to be satisfied with smaller dreadlocks !
But I was wondering, do you think my nuno felt scaves would also felt differently in Europe ?
Do I live in the wrong place ???
Hahaha,
Bey bey felters,
Sophie


Fie
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Dottie Mae
Chatty Knitter

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2007 :  6:48:41 PM  Show Profile Send Dottie Mae a Private Message
Hi, Sophie, I'm still mulling over your question days later. This one really stumps me. I do a lot of felting and I never have had your experience.
Why not just move to Michigan? We have fantastic water.
Seriously, I have a few more questions. Are your merino dreadlocks knit and then machine felted? I am wondering just how the dreads are constructed. Are they like the things I would call "lamb's tails"? How do you know the micron count of the merino? That is a detail that felters in my area ignore. We usually aren't told and don't care. The only time micon count matters is when we spin and want the most luxurious fiber.
But the micron count of your merino may have something to do with the crazy way it felts.
Here is one more thought. Soap is alkaline and the opposite of the acidic environment that makes wool comfortable. I use soap (Shampoo to be exact) to felt because I want the wool to be uncomfprtable and thus felt. Perhaps your soap was super alkaline.
Whatever are you felting dreadlocks for? I am picturing a wig.
I incorporate my lamb's tails in felted bags.
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Felted-Bag
Seriously Hooked

640 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  8:14:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Felted-Bag's Homepage Send Felted-Bag a Private Message
It's been my experience that the water in Brussels is extremely soft (compared to the States). I had to rinse and rinse and rinse to get the soap out of my hair. I've never felted in water that soft so I don't know what kind of impact it would have.

Felted-Bag
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