Wet and Wooly

Somehow I escaped wool felting, both wet and needle, in the years I’ve been intimate with fabric. I have done it accidentally by washing wool sweaters, but never deliberately. Recently I remedied that gap in a wool felting flower workshop I attended.

We used wool roving, but I gather other forms of wool and silk will work. After we admired the luscious colors of the roving, we got to work gently tearing off bits of the hanks and laying them down on a bubble wrap mat (this is called shingling).

Our class kit.

After we covered the desired size and shape for our flower with wool, we put mesh over it, gave it a good drench with warm, soapy water, and began rubbing circles on the mesh to get the wool fibers to interlock. Once the fibers get cozy with each other (and that seems to take a while) the fun begins – molding your flower. There’s other steps involving water, twisting your flower to shape it, and throwing it down to full it.

My first effort looks like a tiger lily after a big storm – a bit frayed at the edges.
My second flower added another layer, plus a stem.

My fellow students produced gorgeous flowers.

Our teacher, Amanda Baker of Lovingly Felted Naturally, gave us some websites for further exploration and purchases. The most useful seem to be www.sarafinafiberart.com and www.livingfelt.com.

I still have enough roving for a few more flowers, so maybe my summer outdoor projects will include wet felting.

10 Comments

Filed under Project Ideas, Techniques

10 responses to “Wet and Wooly

  1. Your flowers are gorgeous!

  2. Now here’s a craft I’ve never tried! I actually really like that first-attempt tiger lily.

  3. Aww these are sweet. They all turned out so pretty.

  4. Ann Scott

    These are beautiful! I love playing with wool roving, wet and dry. I was recently telling a student – “Sometimes we think we don’t like a technique or medium but it turns out we just never really gave it a try.”

  5. Barbara

    I bought a felting machine on sale at Joann’s a few years ago. I have had fun experimenting with it. I plan to use it in some quilting projects. It’s way less messy than wet felting.

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