Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Repurposed Wool Series Part 2: How To Prepare Your Wool...

If you missed Part 1 of this Series, you can read it here: 

Gather your Wool Skirts and a good sharp scissors...
In Part 2 we will be looking at how to prepare your wool.

Begin by cutting the buttons off of the skirt.
(Save these and add to your button jar !)

Now remove the waistband, staying as close to seam as possible.  (Depending on the skirt, I have on occasion saved the waistband to use as straps on Tote Bags, etc.)

Begin cutting along the seams to "open up" the skirt.

Cut along both sides of seam,
staying as close as possible to seam.
(I don't cut through the actual seam with a seam ripper because it would be time consuming with very little fabric to be gained.)


Cut around kick pleat, zipper and pockets.
If the skirt has pockets, I will often save the pocket if it is beautiful wool. They are just the right size for applique or penny rug use. 

If any fusible webbing or lining is present, either peel it away or cut around it.

You should now have "clean", flat pieces of wool remaining.
You will now need to decide on the hem...

If it has a deep hem, I will usually take the time to remove the hem by nipping the threads and gently pulling apart the hem.

If the wool piece doesn't have a deep hem, I will usually cut off the hem close to the stitching.

I always leave the darts in the wool skirt.
In the garment industry, usually the "straight of grain" runs from top to bottom of the garment.  By leaving the darts in the pieces of wool, it gives me a visual for "tearing my wool" on the "straight of grain".  This is important if you are using your wool to rug hook or simply just need it to be cut "square" so that it lays nicely.

You should now have:
  • a small pile of buttons for your button jar
  • a large pile of scrap to discard (zippers, linings, kick pleats, waistbands, etc.)
  • a nice stack of usable Wool Fabric


NEXT IN SERIES:  How To "Full" Or Felt Your Wool...

If you missed Part 1 of this Series, you can read it here:

(For remainging Series:
 Part 3 and Part 4)



  1. I have 3 skirts and 2 pants, ready for the next step! Woohoo!

  2. 99.9% of the wool I use for my rugs come from recycled thrift store clothing and I do exactly as you - with one exception - I also save the clothing labels and now have a huge collection of them - SOME day I will think of something fun and clever to use them for! LOL

  3. I have to laugh.
    I always save my wool labels, but I didn't put that in the post !
    I'll think of you every time I save a tag !

  4. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I just found several wool skirts yesterday and wasn't quite sure how to proceed. I've just started working with wool and am having fun building my stash and trying new techniques. I want to try rug hooking and have ordered a small beginner kit. Thanks again, Ronda

  5. Hi Ronda...
    I am delighted that the Repurposed Wool Series is helpful to you.
    I remember one Christmas, my husband packaged up a Refrigerator Box (think BIG box), full to the
    brim with wool skirts. What a Christmas gift ! Wool Nirvana !
    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Excited to try this! Just picked up some very large wool coats! A red and a purple one! Cheap way to get wool! Cannot believe I didn’t look at thrift stores before!


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would love to hear your thoughts !