Thread: FIBERS & FELTING
03-01-2007, 07:18 AM #1
FIBERS & FELTING
First of all Suzanne, WELCOME! And thank you so much for joining us as a guest this month! We appreciate you agreeing to allow us to bombard you with questions! ;O)
What got you started is fibers and felting?
What is your favorite type of felting?
Do you prefer one type of fiber for felting, if so what?Marie Spaulding
03-05-2007, 07:55 AM #2
My felting life all started with 3 rabbits.
I was raising Angora rabbits and after I learned how to spin, I found out that not all of the fiber that I had worked so hard to havest off my bunnies was spinable. People were just calling is waste.
I consider waste a 4 letter word so I started thinking about what else I could do with my bunny fuzz.
I was out in the rabbit barn on a hot, muggy Michigan summer day and while inspecting my bunnies noticed the matts behind their ears and aroun the their legs.
What are matts but disorganized felt.
I figured if the rabbits could do it, I could.
It took a while, but finally because Pat Spark was willing to try and Leslie Samsom willing to pass on the information, I got my first felting lesson on top of an old washer in my father-in-laws basement.
I still love experimenting with new fibers when felting.
I have used all types of sheep wool, angora rabbit, mohair, camel, buffalo, dog, cat, Scottish Highland cow, llama, alpaca, beaver, and human hair.
Some are interesting but a sample was enough.
Others are just fun.
My current favorite, and I do mean current, is a 1/3 fine wool, 2/3 alpaca blend. I love the softness and halo and it felts up super fast.
I have used merino and merino top at various times and personally I don't find enough to interest me in the texture of the final product.
I like extrodinary instead of ordinary.
I love the was some of the more primative wool breeds felt and the amount of texture it gives the final felt.
I love felts with a soft hand and a halo. I guess that dates back to all that angora a felted in the beginning.
I also enjoy experimenting with putting different types of fibers together and seeing what happens.
Even the meat sheep wool fibers have their place in the feling world.
Just like with knitting, not every felting project should be created out of the same type of fiber. If you want durability, use a courser wool
If you want drape, use some of the exotices like angora and alpaca.
If you want a crisp design, use merino or one of the other fine wools.
Match fibers and design for best results.
03-05-2007, 08:33 AM #3
"Even the meat sheep wool fibers have their place in the felting world"
It is so nice to have someone say this. I have meat sheep and like the sponginess you end up with when you felt it. I makes a great saddle pad. and has to be better for your horse than the synthetic and "shredded garbage" pads they sell for horses. I was appalled at the expensive pad a friend showed me .....it had shredded plastic feed bag in it.
03-05-2007, 09:29 AM #4
Meat Sheep Wool
Exactly, the thing I was talking about
The sponging quality of the meet sheep wool is perfect when you want to have something that is going to stay lofty or in a project that needs the extra padding
I have also found that a blend that has a little meet wool in it will actually make a better blanket than a fine wool.
The fine wools felt too hard and don't leave any room in the final product for air to be trapped for extra warmth.
03-05-2007, 07:17 PM #5I love felts with a soft hand and a halo
03-06-2007, 03:25 PM #6
03-07-2007, 03:59 AM #7
I agree with Ann.
The halo is caused by the hair fibers in the felt coming out a bit without actually falling out. Angora, llama and alpaca are the fibers I see it in the most, but some of the double coated wool breeds do the same thing, its just not a delicate.
03-07-2007, 06:19 PM #8
Thank you for your replies about "halo", I had a feeling it was something like that. I have really picked up a lot of good info on the forum.
03-08-2007, 04:49 AM #9
What fibers are you using in your felting
Ok, everyone, let me hear about what fibers you are using in your feltmaking and why.
03-08-2007, 03:33 PM #10
The last hat I made out of corriedale. it was natural gray and I dyed it a forest green. with it starting out gray it made had a nice depth of colour when it was done. all the different gray in it taking on slightly different shades of the green. it felted up really nice. not itchy but firm. it came out very similar to the gotland wool. This was nice as it was what I had been going for. That doesn't happen very often. I was trying to get a similar colour to my personal hat witch is made from green dyed gotland. people are always trying to buy it from me at shows so I thought I better make one. I sold it. Now I need to do some more but can't until the the weather gets better and I can heat my workshop.