Here I am discussing felt made from fibres and not felted
knitting or weaving. If you think felt making is messy and something you want to
avoid, think again, it need not be at all messy and some projects can be done
sitting in a chair keeping half an eye on the television if you so wish.
By making felt you have another fabric at your disposal, which is quite unlike
knitted fabric or woven fabric as fluted fibres go in all directions. The felt
that you make can be very thick - as needed for slippers, or very fine like
cobweb felt or somewhere in between. The felt can also be held on a base layer
such as silk , in which case the fibre layer can be very fine as shown below in
my Nuno felt examples. But however fine you make the felt it will not have the
same drape as can be achieved with fine knitting or weaving.
Although I have some felt clothing I am more likely to use felt for making
accessories - deciding where you are aiming on the on the drape- firm spectrum
is key to success with felt projects.
This is ideal for slippers, but if making your own I suggest for a
professional finish you do need lasts to mould over and will need to allow about
twice as much time as you first thought. Think in terms of 2 days per pair and
the rest - for the one detail.
These are the
first pair of slippers I made and still my favourites- my Monet pair!
Wonderfully comfortable, but they did eventually wear out after many years. They
are made from very thick felt and merino wool was only used in the decoration.
See also here
slippers made in a workshop I ran
Less firm than slippers, but still needing a firmness is the hat category.
Whether it is a beret or more convention hat that you wish for. Again,
you can make any colour or design you wish for virtually.
If you have
not made a felt had before a beret is a fairly easy way to start.
This needs a hat block to get a good shape. Note the inkle
woven braid round it. This is also finished with wire in a fine hem around
Bags can be good made in felt, these are the first ones I made.
They are inspired by the Peak District landscape and remain favourites.
(The picture quality is poor, I apologise, I will replace as soon as I can.
Beads are good in felt and can be made to match any clothing. Again you
will be surprised how long it takes to make a good bead. If the beads are too
soft and not felted enough they come apart in wear! Making them the exact size
is the result of careful weighing and timing!
here for fine felt - cobweb felt
and nuno felt
My favourite felting fibre:
white fine merino
My best tip for felting: go away
for 10 minutes when you have added the water
I am still adding more information here and I regularly blog about current
Individual or group teaching; demonstrations, talks, presentations and workshops