I Have The Felting Bug!!!

So, following on from the fun I had wet felting the Pixie Hat, I thought I would try a real size hat!!  I started with a pile of Merino Wool Batts and some Perendale Wool Batts and got cracking on the felting ………….. just like with the Pixie Hat.  For my first “real” hat, I am very pleased with the final piece.  Still some tweaking to do but not bad at all!

cloche hat side

The flower is also made from wet felted wool.  The petals are Perendale (hence the stiffer, more robust feel)  The centre is from dreamy soft Merino that is so beautiful to touch.

cloche hat back

cloche hat flower

cloche hat front

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I Have The Felting Bug!!!

Wet Felting Merino Wool – or Crazy Pixie Hat Creation!!!

Well – what else is there to do on a rainy weekend at the beginning of July?  I have tried my hand at most crafts but always been a bit scared of wet felting ………………. it looks sooooo  complicated!  As I sell fairies, elves and lots of other worldly stuff on my stall at Festivals I thought it would be fun to have a go at wet felting a Pixie Hat!  Now I have done it I shall certainly make more – I really have the wet felting bug!  So, inbetween sewing, embroidering, making leads and trolley covers, soft toys for the grandchildren and snuggle tunnels for the dogs …………. I can be found making a mess of the kitchen with my wet felting.  Here is how I did it – hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

First, I started with a pile of Merino Wool Batts.  I chose the colours and placed them in the order I wanted to use them.

1 wool

I cut out a “resist” shape from 2 old plastic file covers.  This stops the 2 sides of the hat from felting together during the felting process.  I laid some bubble wrap on the table, then a layer of net, then the resist.  Then I laid my first layer of wool on the first side

2 first layer on

Then I sprayed it with hot soapy water and gently pressed the fibres down to start the “felting” process

3 soapy layers

Then I covered that side with a net and turned it over

4 turn over and smooth edges

I carefully smoothed the overlap over the edges of the resist so that we don’t get a bulky seam when it felts.  Then I covered the second side with 3 layers of wool and soaped it.  Both sides had 3 layers.

5 2nd side soapy

When the overlap was smoothed, I set about “felting”.  The action of making the fibres rub together and become enmeshed to form a strong felt.  Now you can see how the net is useful in keeping the wool in place while I rub the surface, wet, rub, wet some more, rub, riub, rub ……..  drink some coffee, rub some more ….

6 felting!

Then I rolled the whole thing round a rolling pin and started rolling on the bubble wrap to further felt and shrink it …… see the coffee cup?  That kept me going.  25 rols and turn, 25 rolls and turn, 25 rolls and turn ……………….

7 rolling

Finally it is in a soft felt state which you can tell by pinching it.  It was now ready to be rinsed and to remove the resist from inside so I could rinse and shrink it further.  See how big it still is?

8 ready to rinse

Then for the fun – hot water, cold water, hot water, cold water – rinsing and shocking the fibres to make them felt and shrink, felt and shrink.  Then throw it hard in the sink a few times to shrink it even more

9 rinse

10 cold rinse

Finally it is ready to be shaped and dried.  I do not have a pixie sized hat block so the plastic measuring jug provided the perfect model.  I tied it on with some old ribbon to keep it in place

11 stretched on jug to dry

And then placed it on a towel in the back of my car to dry for 24 hours

12 drying and shrinking in car

When dry, it was ready to be shaped further and trimmed

13 trimming and shaping

Starting to shape up

14 ready for finishing

Then, as is usual in our crazy house, it dried out a bit more with the bread cooling ……

drying with the bread cooling

Finally, it is COMPLETE!!!!  Tada!  Just waiting for a Pixie to come along and steal it ……..

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!!

finally done

Wet Felting Merino Wool – or Crazy Pixie Hat Creation!!!