Why do I like felt? I think it is magical that just through rubbing fibres together you can create something strong enough to carry, to hold something else. By no means am I an expert and I totally rely on the organic piece that presents itself, but if you love the surprise this is something you have to try.
Remember the bag handles I make? (You can buy them here) Well I found they go very well with the organic form of the handmade felt.
This pattern is very free form and more a description of what I did to come to the final result. This is because as I said I am not a felting expert and can only give you an indication as to how you can get the size of felt I got the first time. I promise you the pictures I took of my second attempt that you see here are an indication of the technique and haven’t lead to a piece of felt I can use for a bag. A bit of trial and error going on. My mitigating circumstances with attempt 2; my youngest daughter was home and the wind decided to play along. Yes as it was going to be a messy process with the youngest helping, I was working outside.
Here is what I did to create the felt.
- felting wool (when you live in Australia, Daiso has very affordable felting packages)
- bubble wrap big enough for the piece you want to make
- warm water
- dishwashing soap
Have plenty of space that can get wet, as it is a very wet process. Lay out your bubble wrap and start to pull the strands of felting wool apart in to nice thin strands. Lay them next to each other (I have used more then one colour). When you have cover a piece as big as you think you need, start layering in the opposite direction. Meaning if you first put them down horizontal, now start layering them vertical. Then again horizontal, vertical, etc. I guess 5 layers is the minimum.
When you feel you have enough layers, take your warm soapy water and sprinkle it over the top. With your hand tap the fibres together. Keep adding water and keep tapping. Now everything is very wet and starting to fuse you can start rubbing in circles. Turn the piece around and rub the back as well. The felting process is starting to happen. To agitate the fibres properly roll the piece into the bubble wrap and roll over and over. Open up the bubble wrap and roll it over the other side. Keep on doing this until you feel the felting has taken full effect. The piece will look smaller then what you started with.
If you are happy with the felting process, take the felt to a tap and rinse the soapy water out with cold water. Then your felt has to dry. Isn’t it beautiful.
Next week the insert and how to attach the handles.