October 2009 Archives

The Latest Felt Fashions from B. Felt

Here is a short video showing the development of many of my original designs for felt scarves, shawls, jewelry, hats, handbags and slippers.  All are soft, snugly, fun to wear and each one is unique!

I teach all these techniques in workshops and classes at Bead + Fiber, Boston Center for Adult Education and the Worcester Art Museum.  Learning to felt is great fun and you can create a beautiful garment in one three hour session.  Enjoy the slide show and I hope to see you at a class.

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New Felting Techniques

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I had a marvelous three days in my studio. I put to good use a number of the felting techniques I learned back in May at the Surface Design Conference, in Kansas City, MO. I had the privilege of being an assistant to Lisa Kakulak, www.strongfelt.com,Kakulak an amazing felt artist and teacher extraordinaire. One of the exercises we completed in the class was combining thin wool with thick wool. Now the theory is that thick wool will shrink more than the thin layers of wool. By laying your wool out thick in some places and thin in others, you can create material that undulates. This set off a light bulb in my head, RUFFLES! So this week I experimented with a hat, scarf and fingerless gloves with great success. Have a look and let me know what you think.

black and white felt hat.jpg

Felting wool requires an understanding of the vocabulary used in the textile industry to describe wool quality. Often when you go to a site you will see the term "wool tops". I did not know what this meant for a long time, but now that I do, it makes it easier to understand and buy wool. Wool tops refers to the finest wool with the longest fibers. After combing and carding the wool to remove the short hairs, the highest quality long fibers are known as the wool tops. The combination of long and fine fibers make the wool easy to felt.
The best definition that I found comes from the 1917 Bulletin 47 of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers:

merino-wool-top-roving.jpg


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