What is wet felt-making?
Felting is an ancient craft. It was thought to have been discovered thousands of years ago when wool was put into leather moccasins to keep the cold out. The pressure of walking, combined with moist conditions, matted the fibre into the warm fabric we now call felt.
The art has moved on and now we can enjoy the benefits of recent inventions such as bubble wrap to help create felt.
Fine pulled wool rovings (fibres) are layered onto a sheet of bubble wrap together with fibres such as silk and recycled fabric to create a design with textural contrast. The design is held in place with tulle and then soapy water is applied to wet the materials down. Felting – the bonding together of the fibres – begins when a second layer of bubble wrap that goes on top and the design is wrapped around a rod which is then rolled back and forth on a table. The friction causes the fibres to fuse together to form a colourful fabric that can then be used in any textile project or become a work of art in its own right.
Explore the ancient art of wet felt making at a Fabric and Felt Studio felting workshop. I have been working with felt for over 20 years. I was originally taught by the exceptional felt maker, artist and designer, Wendy Bailye, and I have also taken part in workshops with Phillipa Rooke and Nancy Ballesteros of Treetops Colour Harmonies.
I love this tactile free-form art medium. Sewing is all about precision – everything has to meet and match up for a high-quality finish – whereas felting is playful and surprising. Your imagination can go wild, the process itself is fun and energetic, and the results can be quite astonishing.
If you are new to felting, my beginner class provides a hands-on introduction and will allow you to explore your creativity and produce something beautiful and original by the end of the session.
If you would like to explore the possibilities of working with felt in greater depth, take a look at the Felted Scarf class (weekday and weekend) , Felted Pods working with resist and Painting with Wool .
I also offer fun, festive classes making Christmas baubles and wreaths which are perfect for a group of family and friends.
Felting classes are held from May onwards throughout the winter months with the exception of the felt Christmas baubles and Christmas wreath classes. However, private classes for a minimum of four people are always available on request. Please call Shelley on 0419 021483 to discuss.