As well as spinning, wool can be used for felting and over the past three weeks I have been playing with felt to make scarves for Christmas gifts. Wet felting is done by criss-crossing layers of wool and then agitating them with soap and water until they form a fabric. There are books and information on the internet, but this is just an account of how I have been doing my experiments!
Wet felting is usually done on bubble wrap but I used a foam sheet which also works. It helps to have a large table that you can get wet. I have been using a merino/silk blend with a contrasting or complimenting colour sandwiched in the middle. The silk zig-zags across the scarf like lightening.
I start by gently opening the merino/silk top and laying it on the foam.
Then I lay the contrasting colour (shades of blue) at a right angle to the merino/silk.
Depending on how thick I want the scarf I put more or less wool over the merino/silk blend.
When there is enough contrasting colour I lay another strip of merino/silk blend on top.
I then gently pour water and soap over the entire scarf and press it down so that all the wool is wet.
Next I fold the foam over the top and roll the scarf up.
I gently roll and unroll the scarf from both ends. I work gently, rubbing and turning the scarf until I can feel the fabric forming and the scarf is holding together. I then lift it off the foam.
And gently scrunch it up to felt it more. This is where it shrinks the most.
I lay it out to see how the scarf is forming.
And when I am happy I rinse it and let it dry.
Finished lightening scarf.
This one I have made for myself and scarves with different colour combinations for gifts, (in case anyone checks out my blog)! I like that these are quick to make, (compared to knitting and weaving) and the silk looks spectacular in the sun.