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Topic: Feltalong #9 - Finishing a needle felted hat using wet felting  (Read 17121 times)
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Velvet Rose
« on: October 08, 2006 01:49:18 AM »

Hi y'all

This feltalong follows on from GraceO's excellent tutorial on how to create a needlefelted hat:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=118185.50

Grace showed us one way of finishing a needlefelted hat  - using a fine felting needle to help remove holes left by the felting needle and to create a smooth surface.

You can also finish a needle felted hat using wet felting:
  • If you are after an even smoother and tighter surface on your hat than the 40 gauge needle can give you
  • If your hat gets a lot of use - wet felted hats tend to be firmer and sturdier than needle felted ones
  • If your hat is way too big for you (and looks like it would need about a week of needling to shrink it to the right size!)
  • If you have used a fine fibre such as merino - this will need a LOT of needling to achieve a smooth tight surface, so it is probably quicker to wet felt it

FIBRES FOR WET FELTING
Wet felting works best on fine fibres such as merino, but can also be used for medium fibres such as corriedale. I have also seen very coarse fibres wet felted (like the hats they make in Nepal) but it requires a lot more work. IF your wool feels greasy to the touch it still has a lot of the lanolin from the sheep in it and probably would not wet felt well.

WHEN TO START THE WET FELTING PROCESS
After you have finished the end of Step 3 in Grace's tutorial you can begin the wet felting process. You can also start it anytime after this, the more needling you have already done, the less wet felting you will need to do.

SHRINKAGE DURING WET FELTING
Your hat will shrink when it is wet felted. The shrinkage generally happens faster when using soap and water than when using a felting needle, and you will have less control over it. You still have quite a lot of control though - the amount of shrinkage depends on how much you work the hat when it is wet.

If your hat already fits your head quite snugly, you might just want to felt it lightly on the surface.

If you are concerned about shrinking your hat too much, try it on reguarly during the wet felting process (put a plastic shower cap if you don't want a wet hat on your hat LOL) to check the fit.

In the next post we will start the wet felting process.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2006 01:51:04 AM by enchanted_wool » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Velvet Rose
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2006 04:50:50 AM »

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.


« Last Edit: October 08, 2006 04:53:48 AM by enchanted_wool » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Jane Doe
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2006 03:22:57 PM »

Thanks Wendy for putting up this tutorial - it's very clear and well written  Smiley

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jezebel7383
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2006 03:48:59 PM »

Thanks Wendy for putting up this tutorial - it's very clear and well written  Smiley


I totally agree; I can't wait to try this out. Smiley
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rachelyra
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2006 04:42:25 PM »

I'm looking forward to reading the way that someone else does this!  This is the way I make all of my hats now - first needle then wet.
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jezebel7383
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2006 05:09:15 PM »

This is kind a stupid question, but do you think I could make the form with a shorter brim and get more of a bucket hat?
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GraceOblivious
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2006 06:06:16 PM »

Yes, just don't go to the edge of the brim form.  You can draw a line around it in permenant ink to help you guage the mark or just eyeball it.
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Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
lexis
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2006 08:52:39 PM »

I cant believe I JUST found this.  Grin DUH! lol. I dream of giving this a go when I actually live in a bigger place. hathathats everywhere!!!  Grin
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Velvet Rose
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2006 11:34:13 PM »

Sorry I haven't finished the rest of this tutorial.

I'm in the middle of a major family crisis so probably won't be able to complete it until after the New year  Sad
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GraceOblivious
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2006 03:51:04 AM »

Hi EW, thanks for letting us know, we will be patient.  Best wishes and kind thoughts going out to you during your stressful time.  Hugs! BIG HUGS!!
GraceO
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Etsy http://www.feltsewcrafty.etsy.com
Zibbet http://www.zibbet.com/aTranquilNook
Blog http://aTranquilNook.blogspot.com/
Oh how I love to Sew and Make felt
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