I have been making several wool purses in preparation for an upcoming craft fair next month. I love working with wool in all of its forms. One of my favorite things to do is to shop thrift stores for wool jackets, skirts and suits. I dismantle them and “harvest” the wool to make new items. Wool is so much fun to dye, as it soaks up the color beautifully. I though you might be interested in how to reclaim this wonderful fabric for your own crafts. Wool skirts are my favorite find, as they typically have an easily removable liner and have larger expanses of cloth. But it is often easier to find suit coats, and so I will share with you how I go about deconstructing a jacket.
First, I pull the liner from the bottom edge. They are often basted down with loose stitches, and a hardy pull will usually break the stitching without hurting the wool. You can also reuse the lining fabric, if you want.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Then, I basically cut out all of the lining with my scissors…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And cut out all of the seams. There will be a little waste, but not much. You could use a seam ripper and actually remove the stitching, but I find this tedious and really not worth the extra time.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There is typically a fair amount of stabilizer used in a suit coat. If you are going to be lining the items you are making, just leave it and cut out the wool however you like. I have found that trying to pull off stabilizers can often be a chore, so unless it is really necessary, don’t bother. In the picture above, you can see a white tape type of interfacing.
Here is a sleeve after I have removed most of the seams.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Finally, I have a pile of wool in the upper right hand corner of this picture, the lining material I harvested is on the left and in the bottom left hand corner is my pile of waste. Oh, and don’t forget to save the buttons! This coat had some nifty buttons that looked like they might be made of horn. Now you can dye it, sew it and create with it!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I hope if you decide to craft with recycled wool, share what you’ve made with me, and go make life DIY!

Advertisements