The hat I will be demonstrating a wet felted finish on was made from an Australian merino carded batt. (I often use batts for hats as they are quick to work with. They also give a good result too - as it is easier to get an even thickness all over the hat and it is much less likely that there will be thin spots.)
The hat was needle felted on a foam form from Hooked on Felt. http://www.hookedonfelt.com/forms.htm
I used a small short crown and the standard brim.
It was needlefelted for about 3 hours but was still a bit puffy and fluffy when I took it off the form. you can see in the photo below that it has quite a bumpy surface. Merino takes a long time to needle felt as it is a fine fibre. MATERIALS LIST
You will need:
- a waterproof work surface with access to hot & cold water (a sink with a ridged draining board is ideal)
- a medium sized squeeze bottle OR hard plastic bottle with holes punched in the lid - it needs to be able to withstand high water temperatures without buckling or melting
- environmentally friendly liquid soap OR washing up detergent
-your foam hat form covered with 2 plastic shower caps to make it waterproof OR hard plastic hat form (available from Hatshapers - www.hatshapers.com
- Small piece of bubble wrap (slightly larger than your hand)
- A wooden hat block would be a bonus but not essential.STEP 1
1) If you have not already done so, gently pull your needlefelted hat off the foam form. Check and repair for any weak spots.
2a) If you have a plastic hat form place your hat on this and put it on your work surface.
2b) If you do not have a plastic hat form, cover your foam hat form with 2 or more thin plastic shower caps so that none of the foam is exposed. (It is not the end of the world if it get wet, but it weakens & softens the foam over time and it takes ages to dry afterwards). Place your hat on the covered form and put it on your work surface.