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 Fewer creases when felting in frontloader washer
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Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2009 :  10:56:11 AM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have recently discovered a way to get fewer creases when felting in a fronloader. I have a tiny one that is both a washer and a dryer (I live in a motorhome, you see), I love this little machine mostly because I hate laundromats. They are made in Europe where I understand they are quite common because they take such little space.
http://www.splendide.com/splendide_wd2100xc.htm
This show the new model which takes a 15 lbs load, mine is 12 lbs.

I also felt - over 200 pair of Fiber Trend slipper clogs made. It is true that a top loader does a better job. Not that a front loader won't felt, it will, but it mangles the item a lot more Those creases you get are not so easy to remove, I have even pounded them with a mallet to get rid of them.

However, here's my most recent discovery: front loaders lock the door because the water would spill all over your floor if you opened it at the wrong time - we know that. So, what is the "right" time to open. I experimented with my machine and, in fact, if I stop it right after it has drained the wash water and has started to spin (just seconds of spinning, please), before it starts to fill for the rinse: bingo, significantly fewer creases. By stopping I mean turning the dial to the end of the entire cycle, let it think it's finished and then it will unlatch the door. It's smart enough not to let you do this if there is water left in the tub so make sure it's drained and lightly spun before trying to open.

You may notice that the felted item has not been rinsed at this point. Well, I literally only put 3 drops of detergent in the wash so I don't worry about rinsing. If you must rinse, run the cycle again to the same point without soap. Don't let it get to the rinse cycle.

The slippers I have felted since this discovery, are all nice and smooth with rounded edges, just the way I like them. I'm convinced it's the high speed spinning that causes all the mangling.

I do make these babies almost exclusively out of Lamb's Pride which can shed quite a bit in the wash but, alas, my cute little machine drains all that stuff out and never clogs up. It doesn't even have a lint catcher, it is designed to remove all lint down the drain which is OK in a motorhome - plumbing is different. I told you I loved this little guy.

I have yet to try this on a full sized frontloader... can't test these things on frontloaders at laundromats - they don't have a dial to turn 8-( so, when I'm at our place in Maine next summer I will try it in the full sized frontloader there and report back.

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
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