How to Make Felted Wool Mittens


When wool is felted, it makes a thick fabric that can be cut without unraveling. This fabric can be used to make all kinds of cold-weather accessories, including hats, scarves and mittens. Using felted wool is a way to get use out of an accidentally shrunken wool sweater, or a sweater that doesn't fit.

Things You'll Need

  • Wool sweater
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine
  • Clothes dryer
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Yarn to match or contrast
  • Pencil
  • Printer paper

Felt the Sweater

  • Choose a sweater that is 100 percent wool, and has a ribbed waistband.

  • Fill your washing machine basin with hot water and detergent. Add the sweater and let soak for about 30 minutes.

  • Allow the washer to complete it's cycle.

  • Check the sweater for felting. The fabric will have shrunk, causing the fibers to knit tightly together. If the sweater has not felted enough, repeat the wash cycle with hot water.

  • When the sweater has felted, dry in the clothes dryer. This will complete the felting, and give you a tightly woven fabric you can cut without unraveling.

Making the Mittens

  • Make a pattern by laying your hand on the printer paper, fingers together and thumb out as if wearing mittens. Trace around, including about 3 inches down your wrist. Cut out this pattern.

  • Cut the sweater through both layers across under the arms. You will be using the bottom part of the sweater.

  • Set the pattern on the bottom of the sweater, with the wrist at the ribbed waistband. Position it so that the thumb faces left. The goal is to have the ribbed part of the sweater around your wrist, so move the pattern so the bottom of the hand part is just on top of the ribbed waist. Cut around through both layers of sweater.

  • Flip the pattern so the thumb now faces right and reposition at the bottom of the sweater so the ribbed waist is at the wrist. Cut around through both layers.

  • Match up the two sides of the first mitten with the wrong sides facing. Use the darning needle and yarn to sew all the way around the outside of the mitten. The bottom is already finished. Turn the mitten right-side out. Repeat to finish the other mitten.

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  • Photo Credit Mittens image by Veniamin Kraskov from
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