Sunday, November 20, 2016

felting tutorial: bobbles, and prefelts

In this scarf, I will add details using prefelt, and bobbles.  Prefelt is a layer of felted wool, often with silk fabric or decorations already attached, and felted just to the point that the base wool is compressed and started to migrate into the top layers.  It will still continue to felt further into whatever is is attached to.  In this case, the prefelt is black merino base, with a black patterned silk chiffon attached on the top.  The prefelt is made in a large piece, and when dried, it can be cut into shapes that will mostly maintain even through the further felting processes.  Here I have cut circles.

I am using a lovely cotton sari.  Slightly sheer, so the wool should migrate well through the fabric.  I start by placing the wool roving, a blend of burgundy and grey and a touch of white silk, over all the raw edges.  And a few bands of roving to place the decorative touches over.

 Here is the (rough) circle of prefelt.
 Circles and yarn and more silk laid over the bands of merino.
 The prefelt needs no more than a bed of merino to attach it nicely to the base fabric.  On the other side, add merino to the same spots where the bands are on the front side.

This piece was then wet with cold soapy water and rolled up and worked until a firm state, but NOT until the shrinking has begun.  This is when you may add the texture that bobbles bring.   Gather some fine yarn and some beads or pebbles or marbles.
 Slide the bead behind the fabric (only within the wool band) and push it up into the front side.  Pinch it in your fingers as below.
 Wrap some yarn around the bead to hold it in place, and tie firmly.
 I added about 25 of these to random spots within the wool bands.  Cover again with plastic and continue to work the scarf through the remaining felting and fulling steps.


 After the scarf is rinsed and dried, you will need to cut the yarn around the bobble, and push the beads out the back.  The shape will remain even after the beads are gone.


And a lovely wool, cotton, bobbley scarf is the result!

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