Wet Felting – The Felting Part

This part of the felting process is the most mysterious. I’ve laid out my design and backing using wisps of loose wool fibers. I use old synthetic curtain panels to carefully cover the pile of wool. Then with a large sponge I press lukewarm soapy water into the entire piece. It is a thick pile of wool so thoroughly wetting it all the way through is important. The soap helps the fibers slip into each other when I start rubbing. Wool fibers are covered with tiny scales , like a mini snake skin, that lock into each other. The friction of rubbing interlocks the fibers and eliminates the air between fibers. After continuously rubbing the entire 4’x 7′ surface for about an hour, the loose wool holds together in one large sheet. There is still more work to be done such as rolling and then rinsing before it is complete.

 

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Filed under art business, Felting, Fiber

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