It’s All About
Merino, Corriedale, Norwegian, Icelandic and Blueface Leicester are some of my favorite’s.
The use of warm water is necessary to open up the fibers.
I use an organic olive oil soap.
My hands do all the work! Each piece is rubbed, rolled and thrown.
I lay out the wool roving or batt of choice into even layers in perpendicular directions. The layout varies depending on what I am making. Since the piece is not usually sewn together, I use resists and layout to create shape, form and seams. Once the base is laid out, I wet it down with warm soapy water and press down the fibers. Next, I create a design with pre-felted wool and sometimes a variety of silk or other embellishment fibers. Sometimes I incorporate other non-felting items such as beads, quilt batting or cotton fabric into the piece.
I evenly wet the whole piece down with warm soapy water. This softens the scales or outer portion of the fiber.
I use my hands to felt the piece together by gently pressing and rubbing. This causes the fiber scales to entangle with each other. Once the piece has been lightly felted together, I am ready to move on to the fulling process.
Fulling involves rolling, throwing and kneading. Each piece is rolled several hundred times. This shrinks the piece evenly in all directions. Each piece will need to be shrunk down by 30-40%. When the fulling process is complete, I have a nice stable piece of felted wool. All of the soap is rinsed out and it is left to dry.