Felting is one of the easiest and most forgiving uses of wool that you can do. Simple but fun, it doesn’t require a lot of equipment or too much focused concentration. It’s great for all ages, elders to kids. Felt making is one of the oldest fiber techniques dating back as far as 6300 BC. Felt has been used as shelters (yurts), rugs, hats, and footwear. Wool felt protects against heat and insulates against cold. It absorbs and holds moisture and can be cut without fraying or unraveling.
One way to create a felted object is by wet felting, rubbing soapy wet fibers together. Friction-creating surfaces such as bubble wrap, bamboo blinds, and washing machines speed up the process. You can also wet felt a knitted object by washing it. Needle felting is done with special barbed felting needles. The barbs on the needles catch fibers and because the wool has microscopic fish hooks on it, it becomes permanently attached to itself. Needle felting was invented for industrial use, first done in the 1860s. Needle punched non-wovens were first used in the mattress and furniture industry and later as car carpets. It was in the early 1990s that it began to be used as an art form. Many artists create 3D sculptures by hand.
At A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm Marty creates two dimensional felted landscapes, images of animals for suitable for framing, and Thyme Tiles. For information on upcoming classes with Marty, click here.