How do I brush the fabric?
Take it slowly and enjoy the magic of brushing
Once you’ve made some swatches, you’ll be ready for the fun bit – brushing! First of all, you need a brush. It doesn’t have to be a special brush, but it needs to have fairly fine, stiff, short bristles with pointed rather than rounded tips. We used the shorter bristles on one side of a nail brush, which cost 60p. If you have a brush you think might work but you’re not sure, just give it a try and see what happens. You can always make another swatch and try a different brush afterwards.
Step 1 Place your swatch and brush on a firm work surface. Hold the swatch in place firmly.
Step 2 Take your brush and position the front bristles in the place where you want to brush.
Step 3 Move the brush across the fabric in short, sweeping motions – you need to brush firmly enough to draw out the fibres of the stitches, but gently enough that you don’t just pull the stitches and distort them. Holding the fabric firmly should help with this, and using a nail brush is good because the bristles aren’t too stiff, so the effect is fairly gentle and gradual.
Step 4 Brush the fabric just a little for a subtle fuzz. For an even effect, try brushing one row of stitches at a time.
Step 5 Brush the fabric for longer to get a fuzzier finish. Keep brushing until the fabric is as fluffy as you want it to be. If you create too much fuzz, trim it back with scissors.
Step 6 It’s normal for your brush to have some fibres stuck in its bristles, especially with a wool yarn, but it’s best to brush the fabric slowly so you can be sure that you’re not pulling out too many fibres. Turn over the page to see how brushing different yarns results in different fur effects.
Tip If you’re not getting the result you want, even when you’re brushing a lot, experiment with a different yarn.