Monday, August 31, 2009

More experiments in texture and needle VS wet felting

I have been working on a needle felted scarf the past two nights and this is the backside after about 12 hours of felting . I am still debating water felting it to blend the colors more but then am afraid I will loss all the softness . I really look forward to feeling some wet felting to see what it is "supposed" to feel like . This needle felting is about 1/2" thick and feels super soft but is spongy and has no drape but easily bends around the neck . My only concern is how long will it last ?

The method I use for this is very different then wet felting and I use much thicker layers of wool.

First , I lay down about 6 rows of black roving (east to west), only spreading it out a little to over lap. I then lay much thinner layer of yellow going north to south and another medium thick layer going east to west again . After I needle that for about 6 hours on both sides, I lay down another thick layer of orange on top of yellow...very simple design, as this was an experiment . and needle felted this down for about an hour . At this point, I had done as much as I could with the 8 needle tool and switched to an individual needle .

The whole time I am doing this I am thinking....wouldn't it be faster to wet felt this...but wanted to see if I could retain the softness and achieve the durability on an item this large . I needle felted another 5 hours with the individual needle trying to tighten up any areas missed by the 8 needle tool .

This is the front side and if you click on it , you can see a bit better that there are no "lose wool hairs"...but...will it eventually pill up if rubbed against someones winter coat collar while they are moving about ?
This is a scarf made in a similar fashion , needle felted about 12 hours but I then threw it in a hot water washing machine cycle . This is very durable and probably is closer in texture to body armor then a scarf . It's merino, so it is not rough and scratchy like the crappy wool I wore as a kid but it has lost the fluffy texture of the needle felted scarf . It actually looks better then when I first took it out of the drier . I used an old razor and shaved off some of the black that had migrated over the colors and they are much brighter now .

" To wet felt or not to wet felt...that is the question.Wither tiss better to bear the hours of poking and blood loss or to bear the messy water and suds and outragious rolling ?"

Below is another gorgious fiber package from "Fat Cat Knits" on Etsy . I am in love with her tencil/merino blends . Magical colors and soft as silk , can't wait to start felting it .

...and my kitty seems to think the litter containers I have been collecting and cleaning out for storage belong to him !


  1. VEry interesting article and approach. Guess wearing both this winter will give a good test and very personal and upclose information.

  2. I don't think I could wear or sell the wet felted scarf with out putting a backing of silk, fleece or velvet on the skin side . I am just to sensitive to texture and only wear super soft textures . I was considering cutting it up to use as cuffs..also backed in something soft against the wrists . I think it would be easier to add backing to cuffs then a scarf that would have to be tacked down with more needle roving .

    Whatever I do with it...I don't plan on wasting all those hours of poking or all that merino...I love to experiment but don't like waste.

  3. I loved reading about and looking at your projects! Great shot of your "kltty".

    Thanks for visiting my DZFANTASY blog and for your comment.



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