Monday, July 26, 2010

Wet felting guide

I went to a wet felting workshop this weekend and let me tell you it was excellent to be shown how to make good felt. Of course I hadn't known how physical it would be as we rolled our felt 2500 times!

here are some photos as I documented this its not a real tutorial just a guide for beginners as I've used many photos as an example throughout the day.

I used merino tops in
white for the base
chocolate brown for decoration
navy blue for decoration
polyester glitz for decoration
Kid mohair for decoration

we started laying out the wool in little whisps by putting out thumb over a little bit of wool and pulling the wool away. Two layers are needed in two different directions. We then put the decoration on top I shaved bits of the polyester glitz and layered that with the blue and the chocolate wool. At the ends of my scarf is kid mohair.

We then wetted the wool with a mixture of olive oil soap and warm water, using a spray bottle. When its wetted enough we rolled our wool tight but not too firm around a rolling pin with the bubble wrap over the rolling pin. We then tied the bubble wrap with lace ties securely.

Now is the rolling time for this workshop we started rolling in 200 stages, we did two of these adding to 400. We then went onto 500 stages and did four of them adding to 2400 rolls in total which took about an hour. I can tell you for the next couple of days my arms and legs were sore! our tutor said the best way to save your back was to have one foot in front of the other and our bums sticking out so I can only imagine what I looked like. I took my shoes off for added comfort as I was still recovering from an operation on my foot.

After rolling we unrolled the bubble wrap and then massaged the felt over bubble side up to help to full it more. Some threw there's to help stiffen there's but as mine was a scarf I didn't need to. I then rinsed mine under hot and cold water to help it to shrink more.

After the water I rolled it on a towel and helped it to shape by pinching it to make it more even and gently pulling it this is called blocking.

And then after the six hours of workshop my scarf is finished. Obviously that was the learning process and when I attempt something later on it hopefully wont take as long but I did use coarser wool for the base which took longer to wet. Usually wearable felt wool is 19 to 21 micron the base of my scarf which is the white was 29 micron. It's ok to use but not as soft but it still feels lovely.

Hope you enjoyed my guide.

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