Monday, 11 June 2007

A Felting Adventure

One of the most time-intensive parts of any project, at least for me, is the amount of sampling and testing I do as part of the creative process, and my current book construction project What I Felt is no exception.

I've wanted to do this book for more than a year, since my mother died, but didn't quite know how when I started, and it's been fun tinkering about. The main stumbling block for me was trying to figure out how to create a light, flexible piece of felt to use as book cloth.

My previous experiments with wet felting were, to be kind, a disaster, because I wasn't using fine enough wool. That issue was solved when I bought a half-pound of mixed Corriedale rovings from a store I will no longer do any business with.

So I turned off any distractions and proceeded to organize myself Saturday morning. After putting down a plastic mesh layer, I carefully layered three colours (bright blue, silver-grey, and teal) and needle-felted them together (just the right side has been needle-felted in the picture below).

Colour Layer 3

With everything in place, I then wet-felted the entire sheet with boiling water and dishwashing soap, gently patting it to keep the integrity of the colour layering and shape. A good rinse with cold water and a peeling-off of the plastic mesh later, and the sheet was laid out to dry.

"Good" side drying

From start to finish, it took me less than an hour, which was much faster than I would have thought. I will needle-felt some additional roving onto the sheet to print out the title after the felt sheet dries thoroughly.

Once that is done, I will mix up a batch of wheat paste glue and attach a sheet of tatami paper to the back to make it easier to attach to the board covers, and weight it down until dry.


  1. Linda
    Your "what I felt" book is so clever! Is it just at the book cover stage or have you developed it yet? Love to see it.

    Linda T.

  2. I've had to make new felt pieces since turning it into book cloth was pretty much a disaster, and I've got them ready to needle-felt the title onto.

    The insides are done already, though. Designed, printed, even sewn together with some of my handspun linen thread.

    Once I can get the covers finished -- and I'm using Heat 'n' Bond instead of wheat paste to attach the paper -- it won't take much to finish them off.

    That's one of my goals for this month.


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