Monday, February 4, 2008

Wool Felt Tutorial

Hello Fellow Wool Felt Lovers and Wannabes!

Thanks for your interest in a tutorial on how I make wool felt and what I do with it. I appreciate you tuning in after a week, (holy cow sorry about that) this home schooling mom of 3 is pretty good at multi-tasking but I am NOT that good. So, thank you for the grace period.

I love, love, love taking old things and making them new and useful, with new purpose and practicality! I admit it I am a recycling junkie! Frugality is part of my personality, it must be the Scottish stock I come from. I am all about efficiency and being a good steward of my time. Why do something in 5 steps when you could do it in 2? Wool felt is wonderful for all of these reasons!

Wool felt is utilitarian in nature but that is what I like about it. I favor wool felt over common craft felt, believe it or not, there is a difference. Wool felt is a natural fiber and uniformly dense. Common craft felt is a synthetic fabric and often irregular in it's density. Craft felt is good in a pinch and comes in a variety of types, plush for example. But my favorite is wool, it is durable, wears great and nowadays comes in an array of amazing colors. I love using this fabric as the base for fabric collaging and other sewing projects because it doesn't need to be hemmed or finished-super cool! It is a great fabric to teach young ones how to sew and stitch on too! SO...Let's begin.

Wool comes in different forms:

1. Roving which is loose combed wool before being spun into yarn.

2. Wool fabric is woven wool yarn

3. then store bought wool felt.

The process I am talking about is taking wool fabric and turning it into felt . This process is so easy you are going to be amazed!

Take your 100% wool fabric and wash it alone, with a small amount of gentle detergent (woolite) using warm water cycle. Dry on hot heat. This can be done more than once to achieve the desired thickness and density for your felt the more you wash it and dry it the denser it becomes. It is important that you use 100% wool. I have felted wool blends with some success but the higher the wool content the better your results so I would advise you stick with the higher wool content fabrics, 80% and above, you will be happier with the results. For 100% wool 1-2 washings should do. Wool blends may take 2-4 washings, depending on the fiber the wool is blended with.
Remember, I said I am all about recycling-another thing that I like to do is look in second hand shops-my favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon- for wool sweaters, felt them and then cut them apart for other projects, and appliqués. Here is a sweater I made for my niece using recycled sweaters. The sweater itself, strawberries, leaves and flowers are from old sweaters.

Thanks for letting me share with you my love of felt and now you know why I love it, hopefully I have made a felt lover out of you too!

1 comment:

Nathalie Thompson said...

NEAT! I am all about re-using, repurposing myself, but never thought about wool. I am a paper and metal person myself. Although I HaVE come across sweaters I have almost unraveled for the fiber embellishment they would provide (just WAAAAAAAAAY more than I could ever use! haha!)