Sunday, December 23, 2007
Fulling Commercial Felt - Making a Hat and Scarf
Off the bolt, most commercial wool felt is flat and thinish. Most felt sold with the name wool felt is largly rayon or polyester with a bit of wool. The nicer feel and hand is the rayon. 20% wool 80% rayon is reasonable price - not cheap but not over $5o a yard like 100% wool felt. Created by a dry process - a loom full of barbed needles punches the fibers, enmeshing them with a compressed non-ravel fabric the result. This felt is a non-woven.
Washing it fulls it - makes the fibers shorter and fatter. Yep, shrinking it- but while smaller it is thicker, beefier. This is not the same as wet process feltmaking, but does give an end result that looks and feels more like labor intensive wet felting.
So at this time am playing around with shrinking commercial wool felt to create single layer items.
For the scarf, cut the shapes and hand sewed them onto a length of blue/black felt, then fulled them. The photo here shows the back of one side and the front of the other.
For the hat, put pieces of both of the colors of wool felt through the wash, then cut and sewed them together.
Then washed/fulled them once more.
There does not seem to be much difference in the final product. Both fulled to the same final stage, and not much difference in the look of the applique. It was a fun experiment however, and some good learning.
Now to decide what to do with this set. Offer it as a set, or each piece individually. Put them up on Etsy, send to Artist Mercantile, or at Grandma's Attic. Am leaning to trying them on Etsy. As always, opinions and comments welcome. Thanks for reading.