Wool Felting and Needle Felting
Everyone can make Wool Felt!!!
I adore Wool Felting. It is much easier than you would think to make felt by hand. Once you have made a piece of Felt you will be addicted.
Felt doesn't have to be thick, there are many Felt makers who make very fine almost cobwebby Wool Felting that is so delicate and fragile, its almost like lace. It can be very beautiful made this way.
Come along with me and read this lens and I will show you how to make felt, how to felt an old wool sweater and make it into something wonderful and I will tell you all the tools you will need to make Felt.
This gorgeous Felted Jacket pictured was made by my friend Pearl Moon!
It's amazing to think you can gather some Wool roving, some towels and bubblewrap, some Liquid washing up soap and hot water and soon you will have a gorgeous piece of Felt. Yes that's all you need.1: Lay down a few towels and put a layer of nylon mesh curtain fabric on top of it near the sink on your kitchen bench.2: Take your coloured wool roving and pull a length from the long sausage shape. Lay that down on the nylon mesh piece by piece over lapping and all going the same direction.3: Now start again with the roving pieces in the opposite direction.4: If you want thick felt, then add another layer going in the opposite direction again.5: Now its time to add another layer of the nylon mesh.6: Take some liquid washing up soap and spray that all over the mesh into the wool. Soap it up by moving your fingers all over it.7: Add some Very Hot water onto the Felt and mix it with the soap and use your fingers on it again.Our Aim here is to get the wool roving to shrink with the heat and the soap and change into Felt.8: Now roll the layers of nylon mesh and roving over a large piece of bubble wrap until it is all rolled up.9: Roll the roll backwards and forwards 100 times.10: Check to see if the fibers are all together. If they are not do some more rolling. If they are you can now ease the wool felt away from both layers of mesh.11: Bang and throw the felt into the clean sink 10 times.12: Rinse it well in the hot water then lay it out flat to dry,Well Done, you have made your first piece of felt.This amazing Scarf was made by my friend Pearl Moon from NSW
Needle felting is a process by which felt is created with barbed needles. The needles are used to force the fibers into each other, creating a web of interlocking fibers.Needle felting is simple, fast and easy. The wool fibers in a ball of yarn or wool roving will become entangled or blended with the fibers in the base fabric when a burred needle(s) are repeatedly inserted through the fibers.Needle felting is simple to learn and has become extremely popular with a variety of crafters, from quilters to doll makers.It requires minimal supplies, can be done almost anywhere, and with only a bit of practice yields beautiful, professional results.The picture is of some Felting my friend Pearl Moon did using her felting machine.
If you can buy some cheap woollen sweaters from a thrift shop you can felt them and make some wonderful things. I love felted bags for instance.To shrink and felt the sweaters, just put them into a washing machine with laundry soap and Hot Hot water.Run them through the normal cycle then dry them in the dryer on Hot.When you open the dryer you will have a shrunken sweater which has felted. You can now cut it out into any pattern you want and it won't fray or unravel at all.
More About Felting With Wool.
Wool from most commercial sheep can take up to 10 times longer to felt, and the resulting material will be coarse and hairy. However this coarse wool can be useful for needle felting.Wool, alpaca and mohair in any combination are the usual choices. The yarn cannot be chemically altered so it is machine-washable and it cannot be bleached.Wool is laid out in layers with each layer going in a different direction. Hot water and soap is added, gentle agitation begins.Wool fibers have scales and are also crimped. When these fibers are wet and softened and then rubbed together they grab each other and are permanently bound together.Wool fibers have scales which when rubbed against each other catch and lock into place to create this denser material called felt. Felting needles are used to entangle the fibers.Wool shops and specialty shops such as Winter wood Steiner Inspired Toys(online store also available, see Winterwoodtoys.com.au also carry the needles.There are two types available, a single needle in various sizes or a multiple needle holder