Janet Major

 sustainable styling, sustainable textiles

 

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Felt Making

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.

Firm Felt
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 to see 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 the brim.                                                                                                                                                                        




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!

           

 

See 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 projects.

Individual or group teaching; demonstrations, talks, presentations and workshops available.

 

janet major carleton rode norfolk 07990 702223     info@janetmajorimage.co.uk