Introduction: Repairing Holy Wool Slipper Socks W/ Needle Felting

It's going to start getting cool again, and that means it's almost Cozy Slipper Time! These wool slipper/socks/moccasins are my favorite to wear while lounging around the house, but they have taken a beating over the years and the bottom just continuously gets holes. I have repaired them using a traditional method - sewing holes shut with similar colored yarn, but the holes always come back. I decided to try to repair them using needle felting and similarly colored patches of felt, and the look is amazing! Not only does it reinforce the padding and thickness of the bottom, but it really adheres well to the wool and makes for a wonderful fix. Mind you, it works with these because it is the underside of the slippers, but I think you could fix sweaters in inconspicuous spots using the same method, too!

Step 1: Gathering the Materials

  • You need your holy socks/slippers (or scarf or sweater, whatever you want to fix).
  • Patches of felt in the desired color (crafting felt is ok)
  • Scissors
  • Small Felting Needle Mat or Pad (in this case small enough to fit inside the cocks)
  • Needle felting tool (I used the Clover 8900, which I like because it has a protective cover and makes it super easy to "punch" in and out while you needle felt

Step 2:

First, turn the socks inside out. Decide which hole you want to tackle first. Slip the needle felting mat or pad inside the sock, immediately under the hole you want to repair. Cut a piece of felt that fits over the hole you want to repair (best to add a few inches on either side, just to be safe!), and place it on top of the hole. You will start on one end and then have to adjust the mat/pad and do the other end, so just focus on one side of the felt patch first.

Step 3: Punching Away!

Make sure the felting tool has enough of the mat/pad underneath to comfortably go in and out...and start punching! Watch the video for the pace. There is a rhythm to it, and it can be lots of fun - sometimes I even like to do it to music :-)! You want to especially focus on the edges, but you really want to make sure you needle felt all over the surface of the patch and overlapping edges around it. Once a side is well felted, time to shift to another side of that patch. Stop needle felting, and shift the mat/pad carefully by reaching inside the sock to move it over a bit. Then, resume until you have fully needle felted the patch. Once you are done, remove the mat/pad and flip the sock right side out again.

Step 4: Tame the FUZZ

When you flip it right side out, you can see the fuzzy result from all your hard labor on the other side - the fuzz of the punched fibers from the felt patch and the wool sock itself! At this stage, keeping the right side facing out, we are just going to slip the felting mat/pad back inside the sock and go over the spots we felted from the other side. It basically tames the fuzz a bit and sends it back onto the other side. You don't have to do much here, just enough to make it look uniform with the rest of the sock.

Step 5: Check for Any Other Sneaky Holes...and Patch 'em!

Once you have patched most of the holes, you just want to slip your hand inside the sock and check that you didn't miss any wee little holes...I realized I had a little one next to a big patch I had added. If you find them at this stage, you can repeat the last few patching steps with smaller pieces of felt!

Step 6:

And you are done! Ok, so they aren't *exactly* as good as new...but they'll last me another cozy winter, at least!

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