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How Much Does Wool Shrink

A common question that felters have is how much does wool shrink when felting. It can depend on a lot of factors such as the type and fineness of the wool, what direction you have laid the fibres, what direction you roll the wool while felting, what temperature of water you used, etc. The best way to find out is to do a sample before you begin your project.
In this example, I have used both 21 micron and 18 micron merino wool tops. I started by laying out 2 sets of 12 inch x 12 inch squares. I wanted to see if the direction of the wool layout made a difference in the amount of shrinkage.
For each sample I laid out 3 layers of merino wool.
Felt Sample 1 – Landscape
For the sample on the Left (Blue) I first laid out a thin layer of wool, laying the fibre from left to right (Landscape)
The second layer was in the opposite direction: Top to Bottom (Portrait)
The third layer was again in Landscape (Left to Right)
So in this sample there were more layers of wool in Landscape direction, wool laying across the fabric.
Felt Sample 2 – Portrait
In the second sample on the Right (Red) I laid the fibres in the opposite direction, having 2 layers laying up and down (Portrait) and 1 in Landscape.
First layer: Up and Down (Portrait)
Second layer: Left to Right (Landscape)
Third layer: Up and Down (Portrait)

felt sample

I rolled and felted both samples at the same time so each had the same amount of felting. I rolled the samples in bubble wrap about 10 times, then opened the package, turned each sample 1/4 turn to the right and rolled again another 10 times. I repeated the rolling and turning of the samples until they felted.

The Result
Both samples felted and shrunk the same amounts, but in different directions. The wool shrunk more in the direction of the fibre.
i.e. wool that was laid side to side, shrunk more in that direction.
wool that was laid up and down, shrunk more in that direction.
I think this could be because when wool has been processed into roving, it has been stretched into a smoother and longer length. When the wool felts it regains some of its natural crimp and it shortens back to its original state.

felt sample

Fibre Direction Starting Size Felted Size % Shrinkage
Landscape Width 12″ 7″ ~ 40%
Landscape Length 12″ 9.5″ ~ 20%
Portrait Width 12″ 9.5 ~ 20%
Portrait Length 12″ 7″ ~ 40%

More About Making Felt

Felting with a Washboard
Felt Art: Painting with Wool
Felt a Cat Bed
Felt a Necklace

 

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Current price:
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Ends in:
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Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Seller: eBay

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking Kit 5974 Santa With List 16 inch NIOP

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Current price:
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Ends in:
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Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Seller: eBay

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Felt Art: Painting with Wool

Over the past several months I have turned my attention from my loom and spinning wheel to the world of feltmaking. Needle felting, wet felting, making decorations, felting hats, bags and other smaller items. In April I had the opportunity to book a place in our local art gallery for a 2 week spot in August. I was very fortunate as usually there is a waiting list that is a year+ long.

Since I was now committed to this big project I went to work. My kitchen table was taken over with wool, soap, bubble wrap, bamboo mats. If I had known how long this project would take, I probably wouldn’t have taken it on. Felting is a very physical activity and hard work. Adding up my time, I think I have put in +400 hours so far. But I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and am starting to think what will I do next?

Painting with Wool

felting poppies

felt poppies

Here is a preview of the felting show.
Oxmarket Gallery – Painting with Wool

Some of my felt art works are now available at Saatchi Art.

 

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Current price:
$14.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 32m
Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Seller: eBay

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking Kit 5974 Santa With List 16 inch NIOP

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Current price:
$18.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 32m
Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Seller: eBay

Bucilla Junior Set Crewel Kit 2 Designs + Frames

Bucilla Junior Set Crewel Kit 2 Designs + Frames
Current price:
$49.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 33m
Bucilla Junior Set Crewel Kit 2 Designs + Frames
Seller: eBay
 

Wet Felting with a Washboard

The old fashioned wash board is quickly becoming my most used felting tool. I use it for the final fulling process when wet felting. What it does is it straightens out the top layer of wool and smooths it out creating a harder surface of felted wool.
When wool hasn’t been felted enough it starts to pill as the fibers continue to move around in the felted wool, break and rise to the surface. Fulling your felt sufficiently prevents this from occuring.
I had a bag that I felted recently. I was a bit impatient and didn’t felt it completely. Soon my lovely bag started to get little wool balls rising to the surface.

I decided to give it the washboard treatment to see if I could stop the pilling. I pulled off the little wool balls from the surface of the bag. Then I filled the kitchen sink with warm soapy water and gave the bag a quick and gentle wash. I refilled the sink with more soapy water and put the bag back into the water. I squeezed out most of the water and took the bag to the wash board.

washboard felting


When you are felting with the washboard do not rub the wool back and forth against the washboard as this can break the fibers. What you should do instead is gently roll it up the length of the washboard using the pressure of your fingers to press down as you roll.
I started by working from the top of the bag. Because the bag is a round shape I worked my way around the bag in circles from the top of the bag to the bottom. Using both hands, I placed the tips of my fingers on edge of the rolled wool.
Using both hands (Picture shows only one hand as I was clicking the photos with my right hand) gently press down on the rolled edge and push up the bag with your fingers until the bag rolls up to your palm.

Keep rolling until you have reached the top of the wash board. Lift the bag and move it back to the bottom of the washboard and continue working your way around the bag.

Move your finger tips back to the edge of the roll and push up again.

After a few rolls your fingers will become more sensitive to what is happening to the wool. You will feel it compressing as the air bubbles are being pressed out of the wool. The wool will shrink in the direction that you are rolling.

This picture shows the partially fulled bag. You will notice that the top part of the bag where I have rolled has shrunk considerably.

It took a few times of working my way around the bag to get it fulled to a smooth and even consistency.
I am using a glass washboard. I think a metal one would work equally well . I cut the legs off the bottom of the wash board so that I could sit it flat on the table and be able to pull it close to me as I sit as I found that the legs were getting in the way as I was working.

Sami Felt Art

Sami Felt Art

Etsy: Sami Felt Art – The Sun

 

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Current price:
$14.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 32m
Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Seller: eBay

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking Kit 5974 Santa With List 16 inch NIOP

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Current price:
$18.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 32m
Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Seller: eBay

Bucilla Junior Set Crewel Kit 2 Designs + Frames

Bucilla Junior Set Crewel Kit 2 Designs + Frames
Current price:
$49.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 33m
Bucilla Junior Set Crewel Kit 2 Designs + Frames
Seller: eBay
 

Gilmore Jack Loom for Sale

Gilmore Jack Loom for Sale
THIS LOOM HAS NOW SOLD

1940” Gilmore Jack Loom, 45” weaving width, 10 shafts, 13 treadles, 2 back sectional beams, castle
Asking $500, reasonable offers will be considered.
Buyer must pick up in Nacogdgoches, TX or pay for shipping

Contact Patricia Day
512 858 4319
pday1383@yahoo.ca


Gilmore Jack Loom


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The buyer of this loom has the continuing support of Fireside Looms for questions, current documentation, and reasonable prices for replacement parts and accessories.

Contact Patricia Day
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pday1383@yaho.ca

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Walnut J Made Loom for Sale

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Buyer must pick up in Nacogdoghes, TX or pay for shipping.

Contact Patricia Day
512 858 4319
pday1383@yahoo.ca

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Seller: eBay

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Simplicity Hand Held Felting Machine

I have been doing quite a bit of felting lately. I have been making some larger art pieces using a wet felting method and then adding detail and embellishing with needle felting. I find it to be quite strenuous on my hands and thought that I should investigate electric needle felting and embellishing machines. My budget doesn’t quite allow me to spend a huge amount of money right now, and also lack of storage and table space for yet another sewing machine led me to look at smaller hand held alternatives. I did some research but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of options available. I did find a Simplicity hand held needle felting machine that I hoped might work. I looked on YouTube and read reviews but again, didn’t find a lot of helpful information about this product.

But then I thought it might be worth a try. It seems like a simple enough tool – it holds 6 felting needles that go up and down. Needle felting is as easy as that, so this might work. It is portable and you can use it by needle felting onto a foam backing the same way as in single needle felting which is what I was looking for.

I ordered it and it arrived promptly as Amazon products always do. The box contains the hot pink needle felting machine, a pair of tweezers and a small Alan key for undoing screws when you need to replace needles. It doesn’t come with replacement needles so I recommend that you order some extras at the same time.

I first tested the needle felting tool on a piece of wet felted fabric that I had made some time ago and now use for testing new bits of felting techniques. The machine is quite simple to operate. Place the needle head on the area you want to needle felt and press down. This activates the motor and the felting needles move up and down on the fabric, similarly to when you are needle felting by hand. There is a clear plastic guard around the needle so that you can avoid getting your fingers acupunctured.

Simplicity Needle Felter

The On/Off switch is conveniently located on the top of the handle so you can easily turn the motor on and off as you pick up the tool to felt. I recommend that you switch this to the OFF position every time you put the machine down, to avoid accidentally turning it on if you press on it in error.

I am planning on using this electric needle felter on my larger felt art pieces so wanted to give it a good test run to see how it works before I use it on my other work.

I decided to see if it could be used to make a flat piece of felt from wool roving.

Simplicity needle felting machine
I laid out a thin layer of wool roving onto the felting foam vertically from top to bottom.
Then I laid a second layer horizontally above the first layer.
The third layer was again placed vertically.

dry needle felting

I began to needle felt across the piece, gently pressing down and lifting the needle felter up to move to the next section.

needle felting wool

I turned the piece over and felted the other side.

Then turned it over again and refelted with the needle felter.

I repeated this a few times until I got an even finish across the piece.
>

Then I added some additional bits of green merino wool to create the grasses in the picture.

needle felting art

To make the flowers, I used hand spun wool yarn and shaped these into a flower shape and lightly needle felted over these before placing them onto the picture. I continued to use the felter to fix these in place.

Simplicity Hand Held Needle Felter

Though Simplicity really should have come up with a better colour than hot pink, I think this is a good product and I would recommend it if you are wanting to do some small needle felting work. Because it is a hand held piece of equipment I would think it doesn’t have a very powerful motor so would not be able to handle larger pieces of work. It seems to get a bit warm during use, so could possibly overheat if used for too long at a time. I recommend using it for about 15-20 minutes at a time and then turning it off to cool down. By then your hands should have a rest as well.

needle felt art

US: Boye Simplicity Electric Hand Held Felting Machine

US: Simplicity Felting Machine Needles

UK: Simplicity Hand Held Felting Machine

UK: Simplicity Felting Machine Needles
Sami Felt Art

Etsy: Sami Felt Art – The Sun

 

FELT PURSES & SHOULDER BAGS Collection 2 Fiber Trends KNITTING PATTERN AC-9

<div>FELT PURSES & SHOULDER BAGS Collection 2 Fiber Trends KNITTING PATTERN AC-9</div>
Current price:
$4.99
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<div>FELT PURSES & SHOULDER BAGS Collection 2 Fiber Trends KNITTING PATTERN AC-9</div>
Seller: eBay

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793

Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Current price:
$14.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 32m
Merry Made Holly Christmas Tree Skirt Craft Kit Felt 40” Leisure Arts NIP 46793
Seller: eBay

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking Kit 5974 Santa With List 16 inch NIOP

Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Current price:
$18.99
Ends in:
0d 0h 32m
Design Works felt Christmas Stocking  Kit 5974  Santa With List  16 inch  NIOP
Seller: eBay
 

How to Sell your Work on Etsy

I have recently become more active in promoting my hand crafted products and am using the online shops of Etsy and Folksy.

I have had Etsy and Folksy shops for some time now, but didn’t have a lot of products displayed on them, partly because I have also been working at a ‘real job’ so haven’t had a lot of time to devote to crafting. And also I didn’t realize that the number of items listed in your shop affects how many visitors you get.

I thought I would do a bit of research on how to succeed with Etsy/Folksy so did some reading. The advice that most sellers tell you is that you need to have a full shop. When you think about it, no one likes to go to a store where the shelves are empty. You turn around and walk back out rather than staying to browse.

The same principle applies to online shopping.  So how many items do you need to set up a successful Etsy shop? The magic number from what I have analyzed is about 100 items.  Activity starts to pick up at around 50 items.

For some time I had around 20-30 items listed in my shops, and had steady trickles of sales. Once I realized that more product is needed, I got busy and bumped up my work to about 50. I quickly noticed that I was getting more visitors, more enquiries and more sales. I am working my way up to the 100 item goal now.

The other important point is to not spread your products over too many categories until you have enough of each type of item to do so. When you set up your listings and organize them into Sections (Etsy)  or Collections (Folksy) try to have enough items to fill up the page. If you haven’t yet made enough products then combine items into related Sections until you create more products.

Take good quality photos and size them correctly. Take photos in natural light or near a window. Take more than one photo of your product from different angles so that visitors can get a good idea of what you are selling.

The recommended pixel size for images for Etsy is 800 – 1000 pixels wide. Try to make the first image in your listing square, so that it displays correctly in thumbnails and your product doesn’t get cropped.

Treasury Lists

If you have the time, get involved in helping promote others in the Etsy/Folksy communities. What makes this type of marketing work, is people helping each other to succeed.
One way to do this is to create a Treasury List of your own. As you browse through Etsy and find things that you like, help to promote them by adding them to your Treasury list. Try to think of a theme for your list and a catchy title. You will need to include 16 items to your list.
Treasury lists are only active for a few days and then are replaced with other content.
If your products are successful in getting into someone’s Treasury do acknowledge it and thank them for adding you. If you have a blog add a link to their page so that you can promote their work as well.

Here is a Treasury List that I created recently.

‘Crafty Tools’ by Paivatar1

A selection of unique crafting tools for the crafter, functional yet beautiful.


8 Handmade Crochet Hook Hand…
$75

Doffer pin for your drum car…
$12

Travel style. Russian style…
$36

Orifice Hook for spinning wh…
$28

Hand Felted Knitting Stitch …
$15

Needle felted pin cushion- c…
$88

Green Pottery Yarn Bowl, Kni…
$36

Flat Tatting Shuttle for Yar…
$48

Windmill style – Sapele Yarn…
$139.95

wood 2 yard Niddy Noddy with…
$20

24 Tablet Weaving Cards Medi…
$35

The Lucet is an ancient tool…
$20

Polished antler Nalbinding N…
$25

Sheep Knitting Needle Gauge …
$10

Figured Ulin Wood Nostepinne…
$10

Double Holed Rigid Heddle Lo…
$215

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

Here are a few Treasury Lists that I have been on recently.

‘THE SPRING HAS SPRUNG ( at least in CYPRUS…)’ by tsomogyi1

Visit our shops and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year on Cyprus!


Woman fairy costume, adult c…
$120

Crochet Flower Scarf Lariat,…
$11

Red tote bag, large leather …
$180

RING Ceramics Green Brown S…
$12

Felt Art: Cyprus Lighthouse
$70

Handmade pincushion. Made of…
$9.99

FREE SHIPPING – Lefkara eleg…
$55

Cyprus Cat – Fine Art Photog…
$10

Crochet Tunic / Top
$55

50 Small Butterfly Die Cuts …
$2.5

Blacksheep. A single back sh…
$22.5

GrEEn MoNSteR
$129

FREE SHIPPING African fabric…
$15

kuklos hair pins
$4

Blue Route bowl – handpainte…
$25

faux leather bag, crossbody …
$24

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

‘Colour!’ by CwtchBugs

This is a Knit1Treble2 Team Treasury Challenge entry!Inspired by the crochet baby bonnet by BeautifulBabysBonnet .


Cotton Table Topper, Table A…
$60

Hand knitted baby boys red c…
$25

hand knitted womens wool soc…
$20

Newborn Babys Crochet Photo …
$21.99

Crochet Blonde Doll Amigurum…
$55

Set of 6 Funky Spring Croche…
$14

Little Boy’s / Girl’…
$24

Red baby blanket, crochet, r…
$20

Felt blanket, patchwork blan…
$100

Coronet pincushion, crown wi…
$10

Sari Silk Ribbons Mixed Pack…
$4.5

Womens Scarf, Hand Knitted E…
$42.97

Sunflower Scarf – Wool – Ha…
$57

Knitted Chunky Colour Scarf
$45

Handspun Merino Wool Yarn: R…
$13

Handmade felt rose brooch, h…
$7.5

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

‘Woollen mondays’ by PALOMILLA


Skirt set in black wool hand…
$170

Cable Knit Mittens Eco-frien…
$45

Apilat white wedding wool A-…
$620

Scandinavian style “Bot…
$100.99

Knitted Hottie Cover in Crea…
$50

3/4 sleeve wool dress, midi …
$165

Nalbinding Merino Wool Yarn
$17.5

VOLCANO hat (knitted hat woo…
$32

MacBook 13″ PRO RETINA …
$85

geometric wool shawl – super…
$59

Cozy Tweed Dress, Black Dre…
$94.9

Cotton fabric chunky necklac…
$15

black winter cape, Wool hoo…
$108

Felted wool bowls / light gr…
$37.9

knitted pillow cover 20 x 20…
$45

Cat Bed Cave Cocoon House gr…
$35

Sponsored by send bulk email from excel.

This page last edited on August 15, 2014

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