Wet Felting

So this months Fiber guild was focused on wet felting. Prior to this my experience with felting was unknowingly washing and drying a wool sweater.

So with high hopes I made my way over excited to felt some thing on purpose.

The first thing we needed was a mold. This was a sheet of padded plastic packing sheets, think the kind of stuff you use between dishes. I picked a small oblong one to work with.

Next, we started out laying out small pulls of wool roving. (Basically, just give a light tug to get a small amount of the fibers out) You lay each of the fiber going in one direction with enough to fold over the mold. Once you get a good layer you lay the next layer vertical, making a grid. You then do one more the original direction.

From here you add a squish or two of warm water to your wool nest. Lay the mold on top of that and give it squishes to move the water all around. You don’t want to knead it like a cat more a rubbing motion. Get the water all under the mold and then pull the edges up and work the wrinkles out to make like a wrapped present. You will need to use some soap to help keep it from being a sticky mess. You can use plain bar soap so don’t spend a ton. But go light you are not washing just lightly applying lubrication After that on the top of that do another three layers like the first. This time you may need some tule to move the water. I found light patting and soap was ok.

The next turn you add one more layer of new wool and then just start working the wool with a rubbing patting motions. Be patient, this takes some time. You want to work the edges to make them smooth and part of the main piece. You are then ready to knead. Put the wool puck between two sheets of bubble wrap roll it up and roll it about 25ish times back and forth. Repeat turning your piece 90 degrees each time. You want to keep it even, so pay attention. From there you work on rubbing the piece to keep felting it and smooth it out.
You know you are ready when you pinch the center and it lifts. Wash out some of the soap if it has gotten to bubbly. At this point, you realize this is the inside….not the outside. The magic is cutting a small slit in the wool then rubbing the cut edges to felt them together. After that, you wiggle the mold out and then flip it in side out. At this point, you can shape your little felt pocket how you want. You also need to keep rubbing it to get out wrinkles and help finish the felting process. Balloons and plastic bags can be used to help it hold its shape till dry. Once you have it the way you want you do need to rinse out the soap, reshape and let dry.

Once it is dry you can decorate it up. I made a little polar fleece lid that looked like a leaf added a felted button and some cord so I can keep it on my belt. Super simple and cute. I plan to put some A&S tokens in there for the next time I am at an A&S event.

I may have skipped a few steps but over all this was the process I was taught and I rather enjoyed making it.

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