Hi I posted this message earlier but just figured out I put it in the wrong area. I will figure this thing out sometime. Anyway, I have a ton of Kunin plush and shaggy felt and would like to make a bear using it but I want to grunge in up. Tea does nothing and heat only melts the fabric and makes it hard. I have seen bears made of this fabric that have been made to look old and worn but all my attempts have failed. Any suggestions? Appreciate any help. Shirley
Shirley, I used the Kunin Shaggy Felt for Mimzy who was the bunny star in a children's movie called The Last Mimzy (2007).
To dye it you'd need to use disperse dyes which require a chemical for "carrying" the color into the polyester fabric. It's also requires extremely high heat and a lot of patience.... not recommended for someone new to dyeing! There are fabric crayons you could use that are supposed to work on synthetic fabric. I believe they have to be heat set though which will melt the felt.
Sandpaper is probably the best option. To add a grunge coloring to it at the same time you distress it use it to dust the house or mop your floor with. Seriously!! It's the next best thing to rubbing it on the sidewalk! This stuff will pill pretty easily so it shouldn't take too much hard work to give it a worn look.
I have also found that so long as you don't go through to the backing a blunt razor blade works well. Even one of the brushes that you would use in a mohair to brush the fur will help pill and age felt. I agree with Daphne too use it around the house for dusting, polishing etc and it will age naturally and quickly. even use the same chemicals on it that you use for cleaning around the house but make sure it is well washed afterwards!
You could try Beary Cheap - they sell synthetic dye http://www.bearycheap.com/ezimerchant/prod1294.htm Never used it myself though.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice, cleaning the house, what a novel idea, but where would I leave notes for the rest of the family when all surfaces are bright and shiny? I bought some walnut stain and am going to give that a whirl too. I will net you know my end results.