Carrying on from yesterday’s post, which explained the equipment and supplies I use, this post covers the felting process. If you already know how to felt you maybe want to wait for the next post about constructing the lampshades.
There are many instruction videos on Youtube that talk about felting. This is how I do it, rather than how it must be done.
Prep: I lay a towel, then the blind, the bubble wrap (bubble side up), then lay the decorated pre-felt on top.
- I put some olive oil soap shavings in a jug with warm water. (See photo at the bottom of post.)
- I sprinkle the soapy water over the fibre to make sure it is damp.
- To make sure it is all soaked in I put another peace of bubblewrap over and press down to ensure everything gets wet.
- I then lift the top bubblewrap off, lay a piece of net curtain over the fibre.
- With the olive oil soap bar I rub over the fibre that is covered by the net.
- Once it is wet and soapy its time to start adding some friction. So with the different fulling tools I start rubbing.
- Once the fibres are starting to bond together and to the pre-felt, I place some bubble wrap on top and then roll it all up like a swiss roll and start rolling.
- Repeat the rolling and keep checking the progress.
- Unwrap it and do some more rubbing and so on and so on until it all appears to be felting together.
- I then fill the sink with hot water and drop it in, swish it around and then squeeze out and dip it in a bowl of cold water. Then repeat with hot.
- You’ll find the soap washes out so you’ll end up with dirty water, so empty and refill with clean hot water and repeat. Then lay it out and measure. You want it to still be slightly bigger than the backing template, because it tends to shrink a little more when drying.
- Once you are happy with the size and feel the decorative wool is full flat and felted together you can do one final rinse, squeeze gently excess water and then leave to dry.
Once it is fully dry you may want to add some needle felted detail. Place the relevant part of the fabric on a foam block and I use a 40G Twisted needle to add detail. I find the twisted needles best for securing detail without leaving obvious holes.
For sheep I use some of Roxy the sheep’s undyed wool and then black merino for its face.
Next time I will have some details of how to go from a 2D piece of felt to a lampshade.
Interesting! I’ve only tried to felt a small bowl and small coasters in my washing machine, and then finishing off by rubbing the pieces with something rough (like the unglazed ring on the bottom of a mug). It wasn’t a completely satisfying finish, but I was kind of proud of what I’d made. Since then, I haven’t given thought to or researched how others felt. This sushi roll method sounds worth a try. I look forward to reading part 3! 🙂
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Very cool! I have tried needle felting, but never felting flat things like your art. So interesting!
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