Washing Laser Cut Felt

by Ryan Schenk on January 2, 2010

I had some of my mobile designs laser cut out of wool felt through Ponoko, a fantastic service that makes laser cutting almost laughably easy. The mobile pieces came out looking great, but there’s two problems.

When you laser cut felt, it smells very strongly like burning hair (go figure), and it leaves a charred halo around the edges. Some people recommend dry cleaning to remove the smell and char, but that was too expensive and environmentally unfriendly for me. I experimented with a couple ways of cleaning the felt, and this is what worked best for me.

  1. Make a mixture of cold water and dish soap
  2. Soak the felt for 15-30 minutes
  3. While still submerged, go around the edges with an electric toothbrush
  4. Rinse with cold water
  5. Pat dry on a tea towel, then leave on the counter to air dry

This method is pretty quick, easy, and works. Just remember to use an old toothbrush head.

Photos after the jump

Here’s some before and after photos!

Raw vs. Washed

Raw Feet vs. Washed Feet

As you can see below, the felt will shrink, but it’s not too bad.

Minimal Shrinking

Shrinking in the Wingtips

One comment

[...] user Ryan Schenk posted some tips on his blog for washing your laser-cut felt designs. As you have noticed, the laser leaves charred [...]

by Washing Laser Cut Felt « Ponoko – Blog on January 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm. Reply #

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