Posted by A69143a5 tiny Jen Messier on feb 17, 2011 under Class Recap

Last night a dozen of us learned just what felting is and gained a new appreciation for anyone who made cloth before the cotton gin. (For real. Before the cotton gin, one person could clean one pound of cotton in a day. Compare that to the cotton gin, which could clean as much in one day as a person could in a whole year.)

But yeah, felting is really neat. Wikipedia defines felt as "a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres." You start with wool roving, which you can buy online, already dyed into a million beautiful colors. Then, with just a bowl of soapy water, you can turn it into whatever shape or pattern you want. 

For something like a bead, you start by fluffing up a bit of your roving into the shape of a really large, airy ball. Then drip some warm, soapy water on it and start lightly shaping it into a round shape, like you'd do with a ball of dough. It takes a long while to get the shape right and the roving packed tightly enough together, but the beads look really neat in the end. 

The other way to felt things is to use a needle to work the pieces of roving together. If that's more your style, check out this how to guide

Tagged with classes hands on february making things fabric

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