Wet Felting with Cynthia Shaffer

October 07, 2011, 10:39 am  Posted by needlearts

Wool roving seems pretty easy to find these days–a lot of people are needle felting, spinning their own yarn, and creating different fiber arts and crafts. Check online for sources or visit a local sheep farmer. You just never know!

Once you find roving, here’s what you do:

1. Some roving you purchase already has the fiber lined up really straight and so you can skip over this step and instead pull off small tuffs from the purchased roving. But if you have wool like the turquoise wool in the photo–which has been dyed and is very curly–you will really need to card it. Just gather a couple of colors of wool roving and card them in small tuffs to line up the fibers. Card one color at a time using a carding comb.

2. Next, lay a towel down on your table, then a piece of bubble wrap, and then a layer of tulle netting. Place the carded tuffs of roving in layers on the tulle netting, alternating the direction of the tuffs for each layer. The more layers the thicker the felt cloth will be. About 6 layers total (3 in each direction) will give you a nice working weight felt. Cover your layers up with a piece of tulle netting.

3. Make a solution of hot water and a small amount of dishwashing detergent and spoon it onto the roving layers.

4. Using just your fingertips, massage and move the roving around and around.

5. Roll some bubble wrap up and roll the roving around and around, pushing down firmly. Repeat this motion for several minutes. The longer you roll, the more the roving will shrink and felt. Unroll the bubble wrap and check the felting progress.

6. When you feel like the roving has felted as much as you like, pull the tulle off and rinse the felted piece. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the felt and pull and shape the piece. Lay the piece flat to dry.

Now what? Well, if you just made some felt you have a couple options. We’d love you to check out our new book, Stash Happy: Felt, of course! You can also click on over to Cynthia’s blog for a project idea or two!


2 Responses

    Woolensails says:

    Great tutorial, I haven’t tried wet felting yet, but your instructions are the best I have seen and simplify the process.


    Abby says:

    Hey I just wanna ask. Can I use a felt fabric for felting? Thanks a lot :)

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