This hat was hand spun and knit from the fleece of our alpaca, Cher. After knitting it extra-large, I fulled it by wetting it in hot soapy water and throwing it into the dryer. I won Best hand spun article as well as a 1st place ribbon at the Maryland State Fair, 2002.
Fulling the alpaca makes the hat look more dressy and it is also warmer. It is often called 'felting' by mistake but true felting refers to alpaca (or wool) fiber that is pressed together into a shape without any knitting or weaving. We sometimes call fulling 'cheater's felting' because it is easier than true felting, especially with alpaca. I also hear people say that coarser alpaca fiber is 'good for felting.' This is wishful thinking as finer fibers felt easier than coarse ones.
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