Wet Felting? Dry Felting?

A common question we hear in the shop is people wondering what the difference is between wet and dry felting. The quick answer is that wet felting uses water and soap where dry felting does not. The full answer is a bit more complicated because there are really more than only two techniques of felting and they could all be used together in the same piece!

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Owl by Kyla Corbett

Wool becomes felted when its fibers become entangled and meshed together. This can be accomplished through the use of needles with barbs that work to tangle the wool each time they are passed through the bundle of wool. Typically, this technique is used to create three dimensional objects, or to add fine detail to a wet felted piece. Entire “flat” pieces of art can be created with just needles. Our gallery for July features art by Kyla Corbett who uses exactly this technique.

Another way to get wool to felt it through the friction of the fibers rubbing against themselves. Heat, water, and an alkaline PH (usually achieved by adding soap) are combined to allow the opposing layers of wool to tangle together. All three of these elements are present in your washing machine which is why wool sweaters can shrink and felt if you aren’t careful when you wash them!

This technique is often used to create flat pieces, designed with interspersed layers of fiber. More interesting designs can be create through the use of a resist (like a plastic form) to create hats or pockets or layered with another material like silk to create a laminated material called Nuno. The same principle can also be used on a three dimensional piece to create a smooth surface finish in less time than it would take to accomplish with just a needle.

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Various felted pieces by Pam de Groot.

If these techniques sound interesting, we have Pam de Groot, the world-renowned felt artist and eco-printer coming to ETC from July 22nd to July 26th to teach her Dimensions and Texture in Felt workshop as well as her workshop on eco-printing (which can work with felt).

 

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TEXTILE TALK TUESDAY~Inkle Band Weaving

two ladies talking old ad textile talk tuesday

Q.  What can I make with my Inkle bands? 

inkle bands

A.  The projects are endless!  Here are some to get you started!

First, the obvious—Straps:

Purse / bag strap

Guitar strap (or other musical instruments that use straps, like accordions, harps, or drums!)

Canteen / water bottle strap

Inkle band yoga bag example

Luggage straps

Glasses strap

Camera strap

Yoga mat strap

A Backstrap!

You can use them for clothing / accessories like…

Shoelaces

Bracelets

Headband

Pant leg restraint for bicyclers

Watch band

A belt

Key fob

Lanyard

The strappy parts of a sandal

Ribbon

Suspenders

Zipper Pull

Leashes

Collars

Bookmark

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Or attach the straps to existing items

Blanket binding

Clothing trim

Furniture trim

Grippy handle for tools or knives

You can also sew some together to make larger items such as:

Scarves

Sashes

Wallet

Purse

Small case for glasses, scissors, etc

Book cover

Pillow

Table Runner

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Rugs

Or with even more creativity (and stealing some ideas from macramé)

Plant holder

Wall art

Weave it into a soft basket

Soft balls or block toys

Renew a lawn chair

Hammock

Fruit Basket