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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Felting on a Silk Scarf

I love yarn. 

Frustrating for someone who does not knit or crochet.  I’d signed up for some knitting classes at a local shop but they pulled one of those ‘over night closings’… so there went my lessons. 

So what else is there for a yarn-aholic to do? 

Felting! 

There’s a new yarn shop in town and they offer a variety of classes – to include needle and wet felting.  Sign me up!

My first class was on felting onto a silk scarf.  This is a great recycling/use-it-up project as you use snips and pieces of wool yarn.  Or you can make snips and pieces out of wool yarns you love.

 
I started with this silk scarf.  Love the dye patterns on it.

And with this pile of wool ‘fluff’.  It has to be 100% wool so it will felt.  There were a few sparkly fibers in the mix to give it some jazz.  As long as you have just a few it’s OK.

And this is loosely woven ‘yarn’ called “roving”.  It isn’t necessary but I like the contrast it gave. 

These are the tools of the trade… felting needles.  You can’t see it in the photo, but the bottom of the needle is has tiny barbs along the shaft.  This is what ‘felts’ the wool.  The top tool is a “felting needle tool” (real original name, huh?) that has five needles.  It’s spring action so you can really go fast with it.

To get started you place your yarn in whatever pattern you like.  For my first attempt I did a free form that followed the contours of the patterns in the silk scarf. 

Then you start punching the wool into the scarf.  This is what it looks like early on in the process.  As it compacts more and more you no longer see the needle holes.

The backside of the silk scarf.  This is what it is supposed to look like – wool fibers coming thru the cloth. 

Moving right along…

When you get it all compacted down as you’d like, you wet the entire piece with a very diluted soap and water solution.  Just enough that you can feel the soap is there but not enough to make a bunch of bubbles.

 
Then the method this shop uses to felt is to wrap the piece in a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom and a piece of netting over the top.  Roll it tightly and tie closed.  Then for about 10 minutes roll the tube back and forth to agitate the fibers together.

Once you’ve done that, when it is unwrapped it should be nicely felted.

From there you rinse it in the sink with hot water.  Then – and I’m not sure why – you fold it loosely and slam it down into the sink at least 35 times.  I had no idea felting was such an aggressive hobby!  LOL  Good one to do when you're feeling a bit frustrated!

Then all that is left is to let it dry. 

And this is the finished product!   

Close up of the felting


 
The entire length of the scarf. 




3 comments:

  1. Very cool! I'd never heard about this before.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Terri, I haven't heard about this either. That's so cool. I love learning new crafts!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow!! How fun, beautiful and useful! Love it.
    Rachel

    ReplyDelete

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