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Old 01-31-2010, 08:18 AM   #1  
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Default "handy" recycled stamp scrubber

My stamping area is in my unheated basement so it gets a bit chilly down there during the cold winters. I wear fingerless, felted wool gloves to keep my hands warm and found out they also make great stamp cleaners! You can make them cheaply and easily from recycled large, long sleeved wool sweaters. Have you ever accidentally shrunk a wool sweater by washing it in hot water and/or stuck it in the dryer? That's felting!! Take a dark colored 100% lambswool sweater (you can find out of style ones at Goodwill for about $2), Then "felt" it which means placing it in a pillowcase or lingerie bag (to collect the fiber lint and protect you washer) washing it by itself (or with a pair of jeans thrown in to increase the aggitation) in HOT water in your top loading washing machine on LOW water level for about 10 minutes or so, you'll know it's done by the thick heavy stiffer feel. The hot water and friction of the machine shrinks and interlocks the wool fibers and creates an extra dense felt type fabric that you can actually cut with scissors. (You can actually make your own felted embellishments from colored wool but that's another thread!) I cut off the sleeves about 12 inches up from the cuff and cut a hole out for my thumb to fit through. The cuff slides over your hand onto your wrist and you just fold down the top around your fingers. The material is nice and scrubby so you can scrub your waterbased inked stamps right on your glove. I spritz a little stamp mist on the palm of the glove and it's really a handy way to keep my stamps clean and my hands warm!! Sorry if my instructions aren't too clear but I'm sure there are plenty of internet sites to search on ways to felt wool.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:51 AM   #2  
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Interesting discovery! I've felted to make embellishments etc but never worn the results so wouldn't have guessed at the stamp scrub application!

For anyone wanting to try, felting a wool sweater will only work for ones that say "handwash only". Machine-washable wool is specially treated and the treatment means that the fibers won't mesh together to make felt. I don't know about you guys in the US but here in the UK I find it's getting harder and harder to find hand-wash sweaters at places like goodwill stores. I guess everyone likes the convenience of machine washing so the market for handwash-only goods is shrinking which means less get passed along to goodwill these days.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:08 AM   #3  
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Very interesting.
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