|Just a few of the colours of Merino Wool we used|
We began with a sheet of bubble wrap over which we placed separated stands of the Merino Wool Fibres all laying in the same direction to create the first layer. We then added the next layer with the stands laid in the opposing direction. Finally we had the third layer in the same direction as the first. This creates a three layer weave an allows the scales on the thread to interlock with one another. You can use more layers but three is normally quite sufficient.
The first layer is normally the backing layer and is not visible on the top surface of the felt but the second and final layers are visible and these are the layers in which you can create the artistic and colourful effects you want to see in your final piece.
Once you have made up this three layered sheet of fibres you now add soapy water. Using Antibacterial washing up liquid is the best to use as it prevents mould forming on the felt.We added the soapy water using a fairy liquid bottle. Add it slowly so the fibres become wet then lay a sheet of netting over the surfaces and gradually smooth the surface to gradually bring the felt fibres together. Do not tap the surface, use smooth stoking movements as these will ensure the scales of the fibres interlock taping will not it merely closes the scales and prevents the interlocking taking place.
For our first piece we created a flower brooch ( still to be completely finished)
To do this we made two pieces of felt (pre-felt) one using green fibres to create the leaves and the other using the colourful fibres to create the flower.
Once the sheets of pre-felt had been created we cut out two squares one from each colour. The green square should be larger than the coloured piece to be used for the flower.
Taking the piece to be used for the flower cut out a flower shape. This can be done easily by simply rounding off the edges of the square then dividing this into five sections to create the petals. Be very careful when cutting into the shape not to cut right into the centre. Place the flower shape once it is cut out onto the green pre-felt and then cut leaf shapes out of the green pre-felt
|This picture shows the two pieces of pre-felt joined to be gin to make the flower. Note leaves still to be cut|
|This shows how the leaves and flower have been cut out and joined together|
In the class we also began to create a felt panel and some felt beads.
|The start of the panel I am working on|
|The panel showing the netting sheet which you place over prior to smoothing the fibres together|
|The beads I have begun to make|
All these pieces will need to be worked over the next week to make sure the felting is complete. You know when this has occurred because you will find none of the surface fibres will come away when gently picked. Once the felting has finished you can then apply some additional pressure using a rolling pin or simply bashing on a work surface.
The items must then be washed in hot water to ensure all the soap is removes and then left to dry thoroughly. If you have a tumble dryer this is easily achieved.If you don't have a dryer then it will simply have to air dry.
Once dried you can add beads stitching and any applique work you might fancy. We will be doing more of this next weekend
I will do another post next weekend to show you the final pieces as these are just work in progress.
There are plenty of sites on the internet but you could give http://www.feltbetter.com/feltMaking.asp a quick look or better yet book yourself on a course. If you're in the Hertfordshire region you might try http://