Most felting starts with wool fibers! What about wool fibers makes it possible to press the fibers and make it into felt you might ask? I found this awesome article in a 1988 issue of National Geographic. Here is an explanation of how it works. It “lies in the structure of the fibers, which absorb moisture, insulate against heat and cold, resist flame, and maintain their resilience. Unlike cotton, linen, silk, or polyester, wool fibers are covered with tiny scales, making them look like tiny scales. When one fiber’s scales rub against those of others, they pull the fibers together in irreversible tangles. When compacted under heat and moisture, the wool shrinks into felt”.
In the last 25 years women all over the world have managed to use the fibers from the fleece of sheep to make the most wonderful creations! I am so grateful for those women who give classes and make videos on Youtube!
My first attempt was a far cry from wet felting (which is described above). “Make Kindle holders” my daughter Ellie said. E-book readers were becoming popular and might be a good seller.
An easy way to make felt is to shrink wool sweaters. This is actually called fulling (the final stage in felting). This makes a great fabric to sew upon. The edges don’t ravel. I cut out the pattern then needle-felted a design. The needle is very sharp and barbed. It punches the raw wool fibers and the wool yarn into the piece of shrunken fabric. The photo below also shows a tool with four needles.
Where am I Now? Artistic Portland making scarves!
If you are at all interested in felting there are many YouTube videos and classes online and in your area. Just google “Felting”!