You made or purchased a felted wool sculpture. Congratulations! Now what? There are ways to properly care for your new wool art. Here are some tips to keep it looking its best.
How to remove fuzz
Fuzz happens. It can be minimized by making sure your wool sculpture is well felted, however sometimes that's not even enough. A big don't when it comes to removing fuzz is don't pull it! This will just create more of an issue that you don't want.
Instead, use a small sharp pair of scissors or a fabric shaver. The scissors I love best for this are these sharp sewing scissors that arrived in a needle felting kit. The nose of these scissors is thin and pointy which makes it easy to get those tiny bits of wool strands sticking up.
The fabric shaver I use is the Remington Fuzz-Away Fabric Shaver. You don't need anything heavy duty and this one is inexpensive. I hold the metal top flat against a felted sculpture and gently go in small circles on the area I need to de-fuzz. (In the video below it might look like I'm pressing down hard on the sculpture, but I'm actually just grazing against the surface of the sculpture).
Beards, Hair, and Fur
It can be tempting to brush that beard on your gnome or the fur on your long-haired sculpture, but stop! You will risk pulling the "hair" out of the sculpture. If you need to comb it then you can use a sturdy needle. For fuzz, follow the scissors or fabric shaver method above.
How to remove dust from your wool sculpture
If there's one thing I know about things sitting on shelves it's that they collect dust. Wool sculptures are no exception, but don't bust out the duster or microfiber cloth.
Instead, you can use the hose of a vacuum with a thin / nylon sock rubber banded over the wand. If your vacuum has a vent to adjust the amount of suction, then turn it to reduce the suction. Then gently pass the wand over the wool sculpture to remove the dust.
Water is evil!
Well, water is evil when it comes to your wool sculpture. Wet wool can become moldy thus ruining your piece of art. If it happens to get wet, then let it air dry thoroughly. You do not want to use heat - including hot water - on your sculpture. Heat and water can damage and misshapen your sculpture. Treat your wool sculpture like a gremlin and keep it away from moisture.
What about dirt and stains?
The best way to treat a stain on your sculpture is to not let happen to begin with. I know that sounds obvious, but wool likes to be pampered and can turn on you if you mistreat it. I have read that you can treat stains using Woolite Laundry Detergent on a q-tip, but I have not tried this myself so I can't vouch for it.
For dirt you can use a soft paintbrush to gently sweep away the debris. Again, if your wool sculpture gets dirty, do not use water! When sweeping away, avoid too much friction or sweeping harshly which can create more fuzz or pull wool out.
Should I worry about moths?
Since your wool sculpture is made of wool, moths could potentially be an issue. I haven't had a problem yet but it could happen. To prevent this you could keep a little lavender sachet or wooden cedar balls with your wool sculptures. You could also use a cotton ball with a couple drops of lavender or cedarwood essential oil on it. Lavender and cedar are natural insect repellants.
Will my sculpture be okay if I handle it?
It should! The more you handle your wool sculpture, the more you risk it getting fuzzy or worse, snagged on something. When handling it be sure to wash your hands first to remove oils, lotions, or anything that might stain your sculpture. Oils from your hands can build up on the wool over time when handled often.
To sum it up
In summary, don't use water, heat, brushes or combs, harsh soaps, or friction.
Caring for your wool sculpture is easy. As long as you remember the don'ts then you'll be just fine!