The Magic of Felt

June uses the traditional wet felting process which is described here.  She uses Australian merino and alpaca fleece and combines them with interesting fibres, yarns and fabrics in what she describes a wonderfully magical process.

To make felt you need 3 things: fleece, moisture and agitationHere's how it happens:

1. Animals are shorn and their fleece processed to produce clean, carded (combed) 'rovings' which are ready for the feltmaker to use.

2. This fleece may then be dyed in every colour of the  rainbow.

 

 

   

3. Fleece is laid out in layers according to what the artist is producing.  Once final layering is completed, embellishments can be added which give the most sumptuous of effects. Often, the finished work 'shrinks' to almost half its original size, so you can imagine how large some work is!

4. The layout is then wetted down with water and a little soap.

 

 

 5. Once the layout is wetted down, it's rolled up in plastic and bubblewrap, then rolled by hand until the loose fibres no longer move around. This process can take considerable time depending on desired outcome. The piece is ready to be 'fulled' (made into firm felt).

 

  

  6. The 'fulling' then starts.  This is mostly done by massaging, then perhaps throwing the piece to make the fibres matt tightly together.  Loose fibres of fleece are now becoming strong and robust felt! 

 

 

 

Handmade felt is highly versatile and can be made into all manner of items; from wearables like hats, bags, clothing and accessories, to sculpture and visual art objects.

Click through the pages of this site to see just some examples of the Magic of Felt.