It is easy to create projects that use only wool fibres, water and soap, using wet felting techniques. By agitating wool fibres, at the same times as shrinking them with hot water, the wool turns into felt, a wonderfully versatile and sturdy fabric that has been used throughout history for practical and artistic items. The range of items you can make using felt is very large, from simple beads to clothing, hats and shoes.
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One of the first things that most people make when they try wet felting is either a rope or a bead. Easily formed by hand rolling felt, you can make balls and ropes into jewellery, which can be made all the more striking by layering different colours of wool to create stripes and swirls in the felt. Make bangles by starting with linen thread tied into an appropriately sized loop to form the wool round.
Wet felting lends itself to producing large flat pieces of fabric, often seen in the form of scarfs. By changing the shape to a triangle the scarf becomes a shawl. Use heavier layers of felt to make table runners or table mats, or even smaller pieces as coasters. Add colours to the flat projects. Create an image or abstract design to produce an art quilt that can be added to and embellished or left as is and displayed as a wall hanging.
Shape felt into three-dimensional forms during the wet felting process. Cut furniture foam to use as a mould. You can produce various items this way, such as baby bootees, felted bags and hats. You can also shape the wool by hand during the wet felting process to create shapes. Flowers and leaves for embellishments or broaches are popular choices. Sew together a chain of flowers and leaves to make scarfs, hairbands or jewellery items.
Cut and Sew
You can treat felt as you would any other fabric. Cut out panels and sew them into a different form. Felt, when made properly, is sturdy stuff. Use it to make a strong coat, although this takes quite a lot of felt, or other clothes. Sew it to make simple totes or handbags, or make stuffed toys or ornaments. Or cut shapes from it and use it to add applique to cushion covers or other soft furnishings.
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