Last weekend I discovered a new yet very old artform .. felt making. Apparently felt is one of the oldest methods of making fabric. Maybe it came from early cave man days using wool wrapped in hides as some primitive form of shoe – the compressed wool became very durable … who knows!

Hot water felting

When you read about felt making, they explain that wool fibers have very tiny scales and when rubbed together they interlock and bind tightly. So to make felt you start with dyed wool, lots of water, a bamboo mat, decorations and plenty of room to make a wet mess. You layer your colored wool strands into pictures and patterns like the beautiful image below, then roll it within a sandwich of bubblewrap/bamboo/hot water/detergent for over 120 times until you have compressed the wool to create felt. It does sounds like hard work!

Tracey McCracken Palmer

Tracey McCracken Palmer

 

Tracey McCracken Palmer 3

Tracey McCracken Palmer

 

Tracey McCracken Palmer 2

Tracey McCracken Palmer

 

Children rolling felt in China (image by Annie Chan, Penn Museum)

Children rolling felt in China (image by Annie Chan, Penn Museum)

 

textile artist moy mackay

textile artist moy mackay

 

Sweet Pink and Moss Green Felt Flower Brooch by Brigite on Etsy

Sweet Pink and Moss Green Felt Flower Brooch by Brigite on Etsy

 

Needle Felting

Needle felting is also known as dry felting, something which I was able to try at the Seven Sisters festival in Melbourne last weekend. Needle felting mimics hot water felting process, but instead of agitating the wool with water, you are agitating it with a needle by stabbing it several hundreds of times with a barbed needle into a foam block. Not too hard and plenty of needle stabs later and you can create amazing 3d sculptures.

Stephanie Metz

Stephanie Metz

 

Stephanie Metz 3

Stephanie Metz

 

Stephanie Metz 3

Stephanie Metz

 

Stephanie Metz 2

Stephanie Metz

 

Shana Kohnstamm

Shana Kohnstamm

 

SAMSUNG DIGITAL MOVIE

Needle felting a strawberry – simply add wool and stab, the wool sticks to itself.

 

Needle felted cat by Katya Kozunenko

Needle felted cat by Katya Kozunenko

 

Needle felt hares from the book 'Needle felting Workshops with Jenny Barnett'

Needle felt hares from the book ‘Needle felting Workshops with Jenny Barnett’

 

Marjolein Dallinga

Marjolein Dallinga

 

Marjolein Dallinga 4

Marjolein Dallinga

 

Marjolein Dallinga 3

Marjolein Dallinga

 

Marjolein Dallinga 2

Marjolein Dallinga

 

Liz Emery - Felt Artist

Liz Emery – Felt Artist

 

Liz Emery - Felt Artist 2

Liz Emery – Felt Artist

 

Jennifer E Moss fiber art sensation.

Jennifer E Moss fiber art sensation.

 

Japanese felt artist Atsuko Sasaki

Japanese felt artist Atsuko Sasaki

 

Japanese felt artist Atsuko Sasaki 3

Japanese felt artist Atsuko Sasaki

Japanese felt artist Atsuko Sasaki 2

Japanese felt artist Atsuko Sasaki

 

Felted scarf 'Fruit Sorbet' by doseth on Etsy

Felted scarf ‘Fruit Sorbet’ by doseth on Etsy

 

Felted Scarf Felt Cowl - FeuerUndWasser on Etsy

Felted Scarf Felt Cowl – FeuerUndWasser on Etsy

 

Felt Dogs by Domenica More Gordon

Felt Dogs by Domenica More Gordon

 

Felt Dogs by Domenica More Gordon 2

Felt Dogs by Domenica More Gordon

 

Andrea Graham

Andrea Graham

 

Andrea Graham 3

Andrea Graham

 

Andrea Graham 2

Andrea Graham

 

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Always the artist

Dina