Tag Archives: how to felt

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

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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
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Feltmaking – Wet Felted Hats: wet-felted-hats

I got a hat block for Christmas – Lucky Me 🙂 This one is a cloche style of hat block made of styrofoam from Gillian Gladrag . These hat blocks come in 4 sizes:

Metric Inches US UK Punti
55/56 21 5/8 6 7/8 6 3/4 4
57/58 22 1/2 7 1/8 7 5
59/60 23 1/4 7 3/8 7 1/4 6
61/62 24 7 5/8 7 1/2 7

Hat Shapers
Another good source for hat blocks.

Head and Hat Sizing

If you are not sure of your hat or head size, using a tape measure, measure around the circumference of your head. Place the tape measure across the widest part of your forehead, just above your eyebrows, around the tips of your ears and across the back of your head. Take the measurement with the tape measure snugly but comfortably around your head – not too tight, unless you like a very tight fitting hat. You may need a friend to help you with this.

The Punti measurement is half the circumference of the head, down one side – from the top of the ear to the centre of the head.

I am having fun experimenting with different methods of wet felting hats.
Merino Alpaca Felted Hat
Wet Felted hat made with merino wool and alpaca.
Merino Silk Felted Hat
Wet Felted hat made with merino wool and silk.

Here are some links for how-to instructions on making wet felted hats.

Wet Felted Vessel
Here are some detailed instructions for making a wet felted hat using a balloon as a hat form.

Hat Shapers
Instructions for how to felt a hat from Hat Shapers.

Fordan Designs
How to felt a hat using both needle and wet felting methods.

How to Wet Felt a Beret


Blue Felt Hat
Blue Felt Hat

Wool Felted Hats on Etsy

Felt Making

Felted Slippers
Wet Felted Cat Bed
Felt Pillow
Felted Posey Pot
Felted Easter Eggs
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Felted cat bed

My cat loves wool and crawling into small places to nap. I have many bags of wool so I thought I should make her a own special place to hide from dog and curl up.

Felted Cat Bowl
Felted Cat Bed

I am using the wet felting method to make this cat cave. This project will take about 6 hours to do, and because you will be felting quite a bit of wet wool, it can get quite heavy to work with so take frequent breaks. You may want to complete this project over 2 days. It is fine to leave the wet felt overnight and complete the felting process the next day.

feltmaking

Start by making a thin layer of wool roving over the felting mat approx 24″ square.

Add 3 or 4 more layers of wool roving crossing them in opposite directions.

Place a fine mesh cloth over the wool and spray with warm soapy water.

felted cat bed pattern

Rub gently and add more soapy water until the wool begins to felt.

Gently remove the mesh cloth.

This will be the bottom of the cat bed.

felted cat bed pattern
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Cut a piece of thick plastic such as from a heavy plastic bag into an oval shape approx. 20″ x 24″ to use as a form for the cat pod.

Place this over the previously felted wool.

Add another 3-4 layers of wool roving over the form so that it extends over the plastic form about 2 inches around.

Lay the mesh cloth over the wool roving.

Add some warm soapy water and again rub the wool roving until this begins to felt.

Remove the mesh cloth.

Fold and Tuck the ends of the wool roving under the form.

Fold the edges of the bottom layer over the top.

Yes, the plastic form will be left inside the two layers.

felted cat bed pattern

Place the felt piece inside the bamboo felt mat and continue rolling.

Open the felting mat occasionally, spray with more soapy water and turn the felt piece around so that the felting occurs evenly.

Keep rolling and felting.

Eventually the wool will begin to shrink and the edges of the cat cave will start to curl up.

You can now cut a small hole into the felted cat bed and carefully remove the plastic form.

felted cat bed pattern

Roll the felt piece back into the bamboo felting mat and continue to roll and felt until the wool becomes quite hard and firm.
felted cat bed pattern

Place the felted wool into a sink filled with hot water and continue to felt and agitate the wool to continue the felting process.
felted cat bed pattern

Run cold tap water over the felted piece and continue to shape the wool into a ball shape.
The cold water will help to harden the wool so that it holds its shape.

felted cat bed

Stuff the inside of the felted cat pod with plastic bags so that the cat bed holds its shape while it dries.

Yes, this felted cat bed can be washed. Wash it by hand in warm soapy water and rinse. You can gently turn it inside out to wash and clean the inside as well.
Roll the cat bed into a towel and squeeze or step on it to remove the excess water.
Stuff the bed with plastic bags and push it back into shape. Place it in a warm place to dry.

Felted Balls
Make some felted balls for your cat to play with.

Felted Cat Bed Patterns

3 in 1 Cat Bed
Crochet Cat Basket Pattern
Knitted Cat Bed Pattern
Knit and Felted Cat Bowl Pattern

Etsy Felted Cat Toys
Felted Mouse Cat Toys

Felt Making

Feltmaking
Felted Easter Eggs
How to Make Handmade Felt
Felted Pillow Cushion
Knit and Felted Flowers
Felted Mittens
Felt Necklace
Felted Posey Pot
Nuno Felting
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Felting Books

The Complete Photo Guide to Felting
Simply Felt: 20 Easy and Elegant Designs in Wool
Felting Fabulous Flowers: 30 Stunning Designs

Creating Felt Artwork: Felting & Stitching
Simply Felt: 20 Easy and Elegant Designs in Wool
Uniquely Felt

50 Colors Wool Fibre Roving DIY Needles Felting Starter Kit Handcraft Mat Tools

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Wet Felting Project – Felted Cushion Cover

This is a project to felt and sew a hand felted cushion cover.

Felted Pillow Cover
Felted Pillow Cover

Materials used:
Wool roving for making felt
approx 1 yard of cotton fabric
16 inch zipper
19 inch pillow form

Hand made Felt
To make the felt top for this pillow, I made a large piece of felt approx 24 inches square. During the felting process the felt will shrink about 15%-30%.
I don’t like to waste wool, so I use the leftover thrums from carding for making felt. This comes from the fleece that is left on the drum carder and isn’t a good enough quality for hand spinning.
I placed a thin layer of the leftover wool onto the felting mat. I then added a second layer of gray wool roving over the wool thrums, laying the fiber in the opposite direction. I added a third thin layer of gray roving over the previous layer, again in the opposite direction.
I wet the wool with warm water and soap and rolled it up in a felting mat.
For more detailed instructions of how to make a piece of felt please see below.

Wet Felting thrums
Wet Felting thrums

After the wool was felted, the completed felt piece measured approx 19-20 inches square.
I cut 2 pieces of cotton fabric approx 2 inches larger than the felted piece.

Wet Felting Pillow
Wet Felting Pillow

I stitched the felt piece to one of the cotton fabric pieces close to the edge of the felt. I want to leave the outer edges of the handmade felt as a border on the pillow.
I sewed a second row of stitching about 1 inch inside of the outer edge, to create a border to the pillow.

Wet Felted Pillow cover
Wet Felted Pillow cover

I folded and pinned the outer edges of the felt to the inside, to prevent them from being sewn as I sewed the backing onto the pillow.
Wet Felted Pillow Cover
Wet Felted Pillow Cover

Right sides together I pinned the fabric for the pillow back to the pillow front.
I sewed one of the seams together and added a zipper.

Felted Pillow Cover
Felted Pillow Cover

After adding the zipper, I sewed the remaining 3 sides of the pillow together.
Turn the cushion cover right side out, remove all the pins and insert the pillow.
Time to put your feet up and enjoy!

Felted Pillow Cover
Felted Pillow Cover

Felt Making
How to Make Felt
Valentine Felt Pillow
How to Make Handmade Felt
Felted Place Mats

How to Sew a Zipper
Threads: How to Sew a Zipper
Sewing 101 – Zippers

Felt Making Books
Art in Felt & Stitch: Creating beautiful works of art using fleece, fibres and threads
Felting Fabulous Flowers: 30 Stunning Designs
Uniquely Felt

50 Colors Wool Fibre Roving DIY Needles Felting Starter Kit Handcraft Mat Tools

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Felting Project – Waterlily: waterlily

A great way to use up some of your handspun stash is to knit flowers and felt them.
Here is an example of a waterlily that I knitted.

Felted Waterlily
Felted Waterlily

The pattern came from a book I purchased from Amazon – Knitted Flowers, 20 to make.
The pattern calls for double knitting weight yarn. I substituted this for my woolen hand spun in variegated colours.

Knitted Flowers (Twenty to Make)

To make the flower first knit the set of outer petals in garter stitch following the instructions given.
knit waterlily

The inner petals of the flower are knitted in a similar fashion, but slightly smaller in size.
knitted waterlily
The center of the flower is knit in a contrasting color by simply casting on and casting off. For this I used another hand spun wool yarn dyed in yellow.
knit waterlily

After knitting the flower sections, sew them together following the pattern instructions.
Then I felted the completed flower, by putting it into a sink full of hot tap water with a bit of dish detergent. I rubbed and massaged the flower quite vigorously until it felted. I further felted the flower by dipping it into cold and hot water repeatedly.
felted waterlily

Flower Knitting Pattern Books

100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet: A Collection of Beautiful Blooms for Embellishing Garments, Accessories, and More
Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers
Flowers to Knit & Crochet
75 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit & Crochet

Felting Projects

Wet Felted Cat Bed
Felted Pillow
Felted Mittens
Felted Posey Pot
Needle Felted Dolls

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Felting Project – Felt Necklace

This easy felting project makes a felted necklace with a bit of handspun yarn, crochet and wool roving.

I had a bit of leftover handspun single spun merino wool yarn that I crocheted for the base of the necklace. Using a 4.5 mm crochet hook, crochet a chain of approx. 100 stitches ( 36 inches). Join. Using a slip stitch work the ends into the chain for about an inch or two.

Wet Felted Necklace
Wet Felted Necklace

How to Crochet a Chain Stitch

If you are new to crochet, here are some instructions to get you started.

chain crochet
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I used a similar method to felt the wool balls into the crochet chain, as I used when I made the hand felted Easter eggs.
You will need:
1 bowl of cold tap water.
1 bowl of hot tap water.
Add a bit of dish detergent to the bowl of hot water.
Small bits of dyed merino wool roving.

Begin by felting the crochet necklace base. Dip it in the hot soapy water and rub the necklace vigorously between the plam of your hands until it begins to felt.

Take a small piece of dyed wool roving and wrap it around the crochet necklace, forming a small ball.
Dip the ball of wool into the bowl of hot soapy tap water.
Rub the wool roving in the palm of your hand, forming a ball or bead shape.
Continue to rub it vigorously and continue to dip it in the hot soapy water.
The wool will start to harden and form a ball shape.
When it starts to harden, dip it in the cold water and continue to roll it between the palms of your hands.
Alternate between dipping the wool ball in the hot water and cold water, squeezing out excess water.
When the wool ball has become quite hard (about 3-4 minutes of rolling)
Pinch and shape the ball into a around ball or egg shape.

felt necklace

Continue to roll in your hands and dip into the cold and hot water
until you are happy with the consistency of the hardened felt.

If you wish to make larger ‘beads’ wrap a bit more roving around the partially felted ball and continue the felting process. Dip it into hot water and continue to rub between your hands as above. Alternate between hot and cold water and rubbing.

felted necklace

Then continue making more felt balls working your way around the necklace. Use different colours of wool roving and have fun!

If you try this project, I hope you will post a picture on our Facebook page.

Felting Projects

Wet Felted Easter Eggs
How to Make Felted Easter Eggs

More about Feltmaking

Felted Posey Pot

How to Make Handmade Felt
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Felting Books

Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads: 25 Artful Designs
Quick & Clever Felting
Felt Frenzy: 26 Projects for All Forms of Felting
Heartfelt: 25 Projects for Stitched and Felted Accessories

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Felted Posey pot

Recently I purchased a feltmaking kit from my favourite local sewing shop – Clothkits. The felting kit was made by Gillian Gladrag.

The felting kit contains all you need to get started with feltmaking – a large bamboo mat, a piece of netting, and an assortment of dyed wool roving.

felt posey pot
I also purchased a kit for making a handfelted purse.

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felting kit

The purse kit contained enough dyed wool roving for making the purse, full how-to instructions and a plastic template that was used to shape the purse.

I followed the instructions for making the purse – and it did turn out as the instructions said it would. However, I was not entirely happy about the finished size. I thought it was a bit too small to make much of a purse. I tried to stretch the felt to make it larger, but it was too thick. This was my mistake – not the maker of the kit. I think I should have used thinner layers of felt as I was laying them out on the felting surface. Then it would have been much easier to stretch the purse into a larger shape.

Felted Flower Pot

But all is not lost – I decided to reshape the purse into a flower pot instead and fill it with felted flowers.

How to Make the Felted Flower


To make the felt flowers, I felted a few different coloured pieces of felt. I made these much thinner this time so that they would be very pliable. The felt squares were approx 8 – to 10 inches in size.


Once the squares were felted using the rolling mat, I continued the felting process by dipping the squares alternately in hot and cold water to felt them further to quite a firm stage. The felt squares shrunk a bit more to about 5-6 inches.

I folded the felt piece in half and half again, and cut out a circular, petal shape from the centre leaving about an inch of trim around the outside.

The inner circle will be the base of the flower, and the outer trim the petals.

Arrange the petal trim around the base of the flower, starting with the outside and working your way in.

Begin to needle felt the petal trim to the base of the flower, felting along the inner edge, and leaving the outer edge loose, as petals.

Keep felting your way along to the centre of the flower, arranging the petals in a circular shape into the middle. Use the felting needle until the petals are firmly in place.

Turn the flower over and using the felting needle, felt the bottom of the flower so that it is firm and holds the petals in shape. Needle felt a few indents into the flower so that the bottom of the flower doesn’t lay flat but is also shaped.

And to add a finishing touch, felt a bit of black wool into the centre of the flower.

felted flowers


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More Feltmaking Projects

Felted Necklace
Needle Felt Dolls
Felted Eggs
Making Handmade Felt
Nuno Felting
Felting

Feltmaking Books

Felting – The Complete Guide
Combine painting and sculpture, wrap it up in the delightful texture of wool, and you have felting.
UK: Felting

Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques
How to make the cutest little miniature animals, using just a few simple tools and some wool roving.
UK: Little Felted Animals

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Wet Felted Easter Eggs

How to wet felt Easter eggs in 5 minutes – This project makes small quail size felted eggs. Good for a beginner felters of all ages.

felted quail eggs

    Time required: 5 minutes

    Supplies needed:

    Small quantities of wool roving, both natural white and dyed colours
    (Merino wool top works best)
    Small bits of wool yarn
    1 bowl of hot water
    Dish detergent
    1 bowl of cold water

Fill a bowl with hot tap water and a bit of dish detergent.
Fill a second bowl with cold tap water.
Take a small piece of white wool roving and form it into a ball shape.
Take another bit of coloured wool roving or wool yarn and wrap it around the formed ball.
Dip the ball of wool into the bowl of hot soapy tap water.
Rub the wool roving in the palm of your hand, forming a ball shape.
Continue to rub it vigorously and continue to dip it in the hot soapy water.
The wool will start to harden and form a ball shape.
When it starts to harden, dip it in the cold water and continue to roll it between the palms of your hands.
Alternate between dipping the wool ball in the hot water and cold water, squeezing out excess water.
When the wool ball has become quite hard (about 3-4 minutes of rolling)
Pinch and shape the ball into an egg shape.
Continue to roll in your hands and dip into the cold and hot water
until you are happy with the consistency of the hardened felt.

How to Make Felted Easter Eggs

The music for this video was kindly supplied by Moby
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Feltd Egg Shells
Feltd Egg Shells

Feltmaking
Wet Felting at Waldorf
Making handmade felt is part of the curriculum at Waldorf schools.

rainbow birds
Etsy: Rainbow Birds
Folksy: Rainbow Birds

Felted Necklace
Felted Posey Pot
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Feltmaking Books
Felting – The Complete Guide
Combine painting and sculpture, wrap it up in the delightful texture of wool, and you have felting.
UK: Felting

Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques
How to make the cutest little miniature animals, using just a few simple tools and some wool roving.
UK: Little Felted Animals

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