I have been reading ‘Nuno Felt’ by Liz Clay (A&C Black, 2007) and ‘The Art of Felt’ Francoise Tellier-Loumagne (Thames & Hudson, 2008), and thought I’d have a go at some of the techniques I have seen for myself. The picture above is of my initial attempt, felting a lattice pattern of dyed tops wool to a chiffon scarf. The trick is to start with cool water and avoid sudden shocks of temperature to ensure good adhesion to the scarf. As a slightly impatient crafter at times, this was quite a challenge for me. I’m not sure if I didn’t distress it for long enough, but I waas hoping for a little more distortion of the fine fabric. I do like the result though.
Next I felted some thick braids of tops wool, torn strips of sheer fabric and art yarns. I can see that this may be useful in the weaving project or for couching or tassels.
Finally today, I tried making a layered sausage of felt with sheer fabric wraps in between, and with glass millefiore in mind, I cut the wraps into quarter lengths, and wrapped them together in a larger sausage. The resulting felt was then sliced into discs and assembled into a sheet. I was wondering how to felt these together, and attempted it by layering wool tops on the back and between the discs. This was a success in terms of them holding together after felting, but I think I should wrap the sausage in longitudinally arranged tops fibres before slicing and then add tops to the back of the piece, to avoid long fibres running across the front of the work. I could also try dry felting techniques from the reverse.
There is an element of unpredictability in the results of felting, but I think that you can embrace this and be excited by the possible results rather than too frustrated that it doesn’t look exactly as intended.