Physical felt.

Made some neat felt samples last week. I love felting class. It’s really a full-body art form. Your arms are so tough by the end of the day and you have so much texture to show for it!

This one was a secondary fibre sample, a variety of different wools, silks, I can’t even remember what all. It is coloured with acidwash dyes in island blue.

And so with this one. As you can see the colour is very uneven, by design. This is accomplished by putting very little water in your dye pot, stirring it not at all, and never letting it boil too robustly. Oh, and it’s best if you use a dye that is a mix of many colours, like chestnut, plum, and island blue. This causes the dye to split in the pot and you get a whole collection of colours on your felt.

This next little guy is the product of resist felting. You put down a couple layers of wool, then a bit of bubble wrap, then more wool, then more bubble wrap, until you have a nice little tumour. Then you rub rub rub until it’s nice and felty.

Then you cut open all the layers of your lovely little boil, and pull out the bubble wrap. It practically jumps out at you! The felt shrinks around it and so it gets all balled up in there : ) This one has some plastic mesh in one of the layers. Wouldn’t it look cool with a big marble in that hole?

This one has nylons felted in. Yes, nylons as in pantyhosen. It has just a tiny bit of sparkle and a bubbly monster skin effect.

This next one uses polyester organza, and has beautiful dimpling. This happens when you felt into secondary structures like porous fabrics. As you felt the barbs of the wool latch onto your cloth. Then as the felt shrinks, it gathers the cloth along with it. I dyed this piece later and was shocked that the polyester took the colour. I knew acidwash would dye nylon but not this kind of thing. Super cool.

I also biffed this silk hankie in on top of my chestnut dye pot when I was colouring the resist pieces above. While they came out brown and green, this guy ended up mustard and navy blue. Just goes to show the number of colours that go into that dye.

Our next project for that class is a scarf inspired by a photograph of a sky. I chose a nebula. Specifically this nebula (found here).

Thinking about trying to felt in some glass bits for the stars. We shall see how that works out. Little behind on the schoolwork what with finishing off the light fixture masterpiece, but c’est la vie. I have only exciting projects left so it won’t take a whole lot of motivation : )

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5 comments

  1. I loved looking at all your photos! Your felt is gorgeous and thank you for explaining the processes. I am a beginner at felting and I love making it, but haven’t dyed my own fiber yet. Afraid it will felt up in the dyepot. After reading your post though, I think I will give it a try!

    • Allison Green

      Thank you so much, I am so glad you liked them! The pieces in the post are actually dyed after they are felted, but you can certainly do it the other way around too. I have an example of that in my newest post. The trick is not to let it boil, just a low simmer. Let me know how you get along!

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