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Topic: Ok, so I'll felt it...  (Read 1129 times)
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« on: October 28, 2011 04:53:34 PM »

So I have this beautiful alpaca fleece. It's a grey, chocolate brown, black fleece and it's really beautiful. Unfortunately it's not very soft, and it refuses to become yarn for me. I'm done fighting it, and so I'm going to felt it. I want to felt it maybe into a rug? a blanket? Something. I've got A LOT of it, and I just want to use it up and be done with it. I've never successfully felted something from the fiber stage (the only felting success I've had was with a spun and crocheted BFL).  Suggestions? Methods? Tips? Links? Anything?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011 07:46:14 AM »

Is this roving, or raw fleece?  If it is roving and you want a large felted piece, I would suggest wet felting.  If you have never done wet felting before, try a small piece to get the feel of it. 

An easy way to do a small piece is to use a cookie sheet and bubble wrap.  Place the bubble side up on the cookie sheet and layer your roving, each layer perpendicular to the last, at least three layers.  Wet the fleece - I usually place my hand on the fiber and gently pour the soapy water over my hand while holding the fiber in place.  Allow excess water to run out on the cookie sheet, roll  up like a jelly roll and tie off  in two places with panty hose.  Gently roll about 20-30 times and unroll and see if you need to reposition - then repeat.   One you are able to pinch the felt and cannot easily pull up any fibers, you can full it.   Fulling is the process of agitating the felt to tighten it - I rub briskly on a ridged bacon pan (washboard works too).  The trick to a nice wet felted piece is getting even thickness.  Once you have felted it - you cannot add more layers.

I have several older alpacas that have coarse fiber and it makes wonderful felt!!!

Hope this helps.
Good Luck!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011 02:34:18 PM »

That's really helpful! Thanks! So would you recommend making a bunch of small(er) pieces of felt and then sewing them together rather than trying to make one huge piece of felt? Would it be a good blanket? or too stiff?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011 05:45:26 AM »

Trying to felt a large piece is a challenge for an experienced felter!!! Doing the small pieces and sewing them together would probably give you the best result.

Also, depending on the fiber, it may turn out hairy.  Alpaca fleece is made up of primary and secondary fibers.  Sometimes the primary fibers will stick out.

Good Luck,
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