Sunday, 25 January 2009
Well, here we go - this is my very first attempt at felting! I'm so excited that I've photographed both pieces before they are dry even...
I used the simplest wet felting method I could find - laying out the fibres cross ways in three layers on bubble wrap on a bamboo mat, sprinkling with soapy water and placing more bubble wrap on top which I then rubbed and pounded with soapy hands. Having done that a while, I rolled up the mat and gave that a good rolling back and forth. Then I took the piece of felt - amazing how much it shrinks, up to 20%! - squeezed it into a ball and threw it repeatedly at the table. These processes I repeated a couple of times for each piece. Then I rinsed the felt and laid it to dry.
The smaller, less colourful piece has turned out stronger and less textural because I teased out the fibres more finely. For the larger piece I used slightly bulkier strips of fibre. I'm very pleased with both for a first attempt, though I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. While the finer texture of the smaller piece would lend itself to being made into a bag, for example, I don't think I've made it thick enough. On balance, I think they are both going to end up being embellished with embroidery and framed.
I was worried the soap and water would wreck my hands but of course it hasn't, my hands feel incredibly soft now.
In my usual unprepared fashion I haven't yet copied the links either to the lovely seller on Folksy who I bought the beautiful Bluefaced Leicester roving from or to the website where I found the method. I will rectify this!