Textile Process: Felting


3-9th April

After having a tutorial with Danielle and my introduction to felting and the way it seamlessly fuses materials together, the time had come to try it myself. The technician Gwenneth gave us (a group of textile students) a step by step tutorial on how to complete this process, and provided us with the equipment we needed:

  • Towel
  • Bubblewrap
  • Mesh fabric
  • Warm soapy water
  • Sponge
  • Rolling Pin
  • Wool and other materials we wanted to include

Once she had completed the tutorial we were able to go away and produce our own. To do so we had to firstly lay the towel onto the table. This soaks up any excess water that may escape. On top of this bubble wrap- bubbles facing in an upwards direction, and then on top of this the mesh material. These speed up the process of the friction. When I had these laid on the table I then picked my materials. I chose a grey wool as the basis of the piece. To start I ripped off the wool from the bundle and separated it into a fine layer (mine were about 15 inches tall 4 inches wide) I Continue ripping off the wool and laying it down ensuring each strip was slightly overlaying the previous one until I had a rectangle. Then I repeated the last step, however, I placed the wool in the opposing direction (horizontally) again overlapping each strip a little. I repeated this step again but instead placed them in vertical lines, then again in horizontal thus I had 4 layers of wool. I then added the scraps of materials and the litter I had found into the wool. Because I was incorporating litter into my wool, these are obviously not a natural fibre so I had to ensure I put extra wool over the top- this way although the litter wasn’t fused to the wool, the wool on top was fused to the surrounding wool. I also added a little green wool to the sample, and some pearl essence thread to see what that would look like. After I was happy with the design of the sample, I put another piece of mesh material on top and took my sponge and soapy water to saturate the sample, when I was sure it was all wet, I put another piece of bubble wrap (bubbles facing down this time) to the sample. Now I had to rub the sponge onto the bubble wrap in different directions. The friction produced with the motion, mesh and bubble wrap along with the warm water causes the fibres of the wool to interlock and shrink. Once fully felted, the sample needed to be air dried.

The making:


The final piece:


Overall I could not be happy with this sample, I think it looks so beautiful and really illustrates my context of the entwinement of pollution and nature becoming one extremely well. The only part of it I don’t really like is the pear essence yarn I added, I feel it makes the sample look tacky and unnatural.

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