Friday, February 17, 2012

Almost Felt

I love days like today. I woke up 2 hours earlier than my alarm because I was so excited to start my day. I got up, walked in to the kitchen, fed the howlers and started warming up my big pot of water. Today I'm dyeing felt! Or, almost felt.

Some of you may have noticed that I'm branching out a little bit beyond spinning fibers and dyed yarns. I've started dyeing fabric, my mom and I are working on launching our own line of bias tape (so you don't have to make it yourself), I'm carrying angelina sparkle/flash for carding, I sell Soak wash, I've toyed with dyeing silk ribbon, I brought in a line of hand dyed ribbons not dyed by me, and today? Today I am working on a new product that I'm calling Almost Felt.

Almost Felt is basically my version of pre-felt. Pre-felt is a huge sheet of loose wool (merino for me) fibers that have been needle felted just enough to hold together. It is not unlike wool batting. It isn't quite sturdy enough (yet) to call it fabric, but it doesn't fall apart when you manipulate it, either. I am taking these huge sheets of wool, cutting them down and dyeing them. Some of them will be left as pre-felt, some I am lightly felting. Some will be kept in larger sheets, some will be cut down in to smaller pieces.

3 sheets dyed yesterday. I don't think this picture even begins to do show how fun these pieces are
So what do you do with pre-felt? What can't you do with pre-felt? Pre-felt saves you a step and some time. Since it is already mostly felt, it just takes a little bit more manipulation to turn it in to felt. It is thin enough to still manipulate and strong enough to handle it.

Use it to felt soap. You can use it as a canvas for needle felting. You can nuno felt a scarf. You can cut petal shapes and make a flower. You can stretch it thin and needle sculpture a bird. You can make your own pieces of felt. You can felt it, cut it in to strips and rug hook with it. You can shape it and layer it around a hat form. You can sew it in to bags and then felt the bags. You can collage with it, cover journals and books with it, make dolls with it, felt it (or buy the lightly felted) and quilt with it. 

I'm going to try really hard to persuade my crafty friends* to make me an octopus from the purple or green and a pin cushion from smaller pieces I'm dyeing today.

Smaller pieces of Almost Felt will be in the Etsy shop in the next few weeks. The larger pieces of Almost Felt and art felt will be in my booth at the Green With Indie show in Webster Groves, MO on March 10. 


3 comments:

  1. I use handkerchiefs on my bike rides, I must admit I am waiting for you to put hand dyed handkerchiefs in your shop!

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  2. I've been using them as practice for larger pieces. I didn't even think about selling them! I don't know how much to charge for the hankies. I'll think about it, Shells!

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  3. This is a neat idea. I had no idea about pre-felt and all the different uses for it. Makes me almost want to try my hand at felting, that is if Bob can face me having one more hobby.

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