Monday, November 12, 2007

To Felt or Not To Felt

About a year ago, I learned about a process called felting. At that time, I was not interested in trying this myself - it seemed too complicated. However, one year and a few months later, I have decided that now is the time. Therefore, this weekend's project...FELTING!

My next few posts will be dedicated to felting...What is felting? How do you felt? Why I want to felt? What yarns are the best to use when felting?

The attached pictures are felting products from Whirlwend. They are absolutely adorable! This at least is the answer to "Why?" I want to felt. Felting gives you another creative outlet.

What is Felting? Very simply, felt is matted wool. Wool becomes felt when it is subjected to moisture, heat, and pressure. Hot soapy water makes the wool slippery, and causes tiny scales on the fiber to "open up". The scales prevent the fibers from backing up again after they slide across each other; with agitation, the fibers get hopelessly tangled together. When cooled and dried, the scales close and lock the wool into the tough, durable material we call felt.

Useless, but fun fact: If domestic sheep were not shorn, over time their wool would felt or "cot".

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