Thursday, 1 December 2016

Felt Making

Today we were invited by Room 13 to go and make felt with them. This was an extremely exciting activity for us, as it was a time to experience more opportunities with fibres and create exciting pieces of art.

Room 13 students had already done a bit of research about felt making and had an attempt at making it yesterday. They were great teachers, and we all enjoyed learning how to make felt.

The main points in the process to make felt are - heat, cold, pressure and rubbing. To achieve this we followed these steps....

-Wool (a number of different colours and types makes it more exciting)
-Cold water
-Hot water
-Dishwashing liquid

1 -  Get a small amount of wool and gently tease it apart. Lay it flat on the table. Take another piece of wool and gently tease it apart and then layer onto of the other piece of wool. (Continue this step with as many pieces of wool as you wish). Tip - tease them apart as much as possible to make them nice and flat.
2 - Using the palm of your hand, gently pound down on the wool, causing it to be compressed nice and flat on the table.
3 - Pick up the layered piece of wool in the palm of your hand, add two small drops of dishwashing liquid to the wool. Roll the wool into a ball.
4 - Drop the woollen ball into cold water, roll it around so it is completely wet. Pick it up, squeeze out the excess water, and then begin rolling tightly in between the palms of your hands. Roll for about 10 times.
5 - Drop the woollen ball into boiling hot water, scoop out the ball from the hot water. Be careful to wait for the ball to cool down enough to touch, then squeeze out the excess water, before rolling in between your hands.
6 - Repeat the steps of dropping into cold water, and then hot water (steps 4 and 5) until the ball becomes hard and firm, and is no longer squishy to touch.

Hints - the hotter the hot water the better. Replace both cold water and hot water when they get soapy, clean water is best. Apply firm pressure when rolling. The more flat and well teased out the wool is at the beginning, the better, as this will help the different woollen fibres to blend together, and not split.

Have a go at felting at home. We would love to hear about your experience and see your photos. Come and have a look at ours in the classroom.

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