Felting

Felting

Postby phred » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:25 pm

If you've not had the time to set up a loom, You could still make fabric by the felting method
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Re: Felting

Postby lewis » Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:09 pm

Thanks for that thought Phred. Can you explain for the benefit of everyone reading here a little bit about how you can produce fabric by felting?
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Re: Felting... How To in Brief

Postby Dave Z » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:14 am

Hi... been a while with no explanation, so thought I'd chip in.

Felting works best with a soft fiber that has as much friction as possible. Wool has microscopic barbs along its fiber (that itchy feeling) which grabs the fiber next to it. It also kinks tighter (shrinks) after soaking in hot water, so can tighten up and becomes more dense (wind and water resistant). Most other fibers won't work as well.

Most any fiber can be used if a binder is used, such as fat or grease (Lapplanders, I hear, used this method in severe cold).

Rags can be broken down for fiber, and types mixed as needed.

Wool Felting:

Spread loose fibers out on a flat surface, criss-crossing strands and building up a thickish layer. Pour warm, soapy water over the layers and start massaging it in place - kind of like finger painting... moving the fibers but without creating holes. Add more fiber to dips and spread out humps. Colored fibers can be laid in patterns.

The soap makes the fabric slippery and, with massage, helps fibers interweave. Warm water contracts fibers, helping them interlock. Once a stiffish, evenish layer is achieved, rinse out soap.

The resulting fabric can be simmered and cooled for increased density, if desired. If treating a finished product, start over-sized to accommodate shrinkage.

Cut and sew together for clothing. Can soak locally with warm water and mold (possibly over a carved form) for booties and mittens.

Haven't looked, but YouTube and the Web likely have lots of good tutorials.

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