|Rolling Machine for Wet Felting|
I also made a baby quilt for my first grandchild due any day. Here is a picture of it:
Back to the rolling machine. I first discovered this wonderful machine when I was reading about the "Fashioning Felt" exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2009. You can watch a demonstration of a large rolling machine here:
After seeing that I wanted one but I wasn't a felter yet so didn't have a good reason to get one. If you don't want to buy yourself a rolling machine you can make your own with the following instructions:
Anyway, I was perusing one of my felting forum lists and came upon a person who was selling a used one. After some discussion with her about what to do with it I ended up closing the deal. She sent it to me and it was unbelievable heavy but I got it into my basement wet studio and proceeded to play with it.
However, I was having some problems learning how to use it so I called the company who makes it and had them send me the instruction book. To visit their site go to: http://www.feltcrafts.com/
I decided to do some experiments with different kinds of silk and fibers I had on hand to see how they would work in a scarf.
|Hand felted Silk Samples|
I wanted to see if I could leave the edges of the silk raw and just felt fibers along to edge to finish them. I also hoped that the silk would bubble up when the fibers shrunk from the wet felting.
The above picture shows silk cut into 12 inch squares with a thin layer of fibers hand felted into a grid pattern using a Clover hand felting tool on a piece of foam rubber base. I felted a thin layer along the grid lines on the back sides as well. The fabrics and fibers are as follows:
Pink - Merino fibers on commercial polyester sheer print
Purple - Silk-Merino blend fibers on pleated silk gauze
Blue - Merino fibers on commercial silk georgette print
Black - White alpaca and trilobal firestar nylon fibers on black silk organza
Gray - grey angora fibers on white silk gauze
Brown - brown alpaca fibers on white silk organza
I lightly felted along the fiber lines with my Babylock Embellisher machine to be sure they had entwined with each other on the front and back sides.
Then I put them into the rolling machine.
The blue plastic is a solar pool liner that you roll the wetted and soapy project up around a piece of pool noodle or pipe insulator.
|Scarf Samples Rolling in Machine|
|Soap Suds Flew Everywhere|
I decided to try rolling my scarf I had make in class last November. See the previous post from November 25 called "Needle Felted Scarf" where I explain how this was made. I prepared it the same way I prepared the scarf samples, wetting it down with hot soapy water. I didn't want the curls on the end to felt so I separated them by accordian pleating them with a piece of plastic and securing the roll in place with a plastic coated paper clip. You can see the plastic "mittens" on the edges below.
|Scarf Prepared for Rolling|
|Ready to Roll|
Now I think I will run it under the felting machine to get the fibers punched back into the back side and wet felt it again, first by hand and then with the rolling machine. It that doesn't work I will chock it up to experience and in the future, just use curls as additives rather than base wool. I would use Merino fibers with curl accents when I make my own scarves.
I still have to finish reading the book that came with the rolling machine and learn how to do more with it but I am glad to have it. When I have several felted paintings ready I can roll them altogether and felt them at the same time instead of my arms felting each one seperately. If any of you have any tips for me about using wool and silk together, I would appreciate it.
Happy Felting Everyone!!