Have you ever seen such an intricate piece of art? The Dorset Felt Making Festival is a one-day festival at the end of October, where people from all over the world flock to Dorset, England, to see the work of artists, makers, and craftspeople using felt and wool. Participants in the festival learn about the ancient and modern history of felt making and see how the vast array of felting materials can be used to make a variety of different objects. Some of the items on display range from intricate dolls to handbags and hats to felt sculptures and artworks.
Felting is a very old and popular craft involving textiles from fibrous animal hair. It is a centuries-old art and has been around for hundreds of years. It is enjoyed all over the world and is a very rewarding experience.
The technique dates back to medieval times when the woolen cloths that were made were felted to make them soft and made into woolen rugs or garments. The term “felting” is derived from the Middle English word “felt,” which means “to rub or make soft.”
It’s a process that involves the delicate manipulation of fibers to create a three-dimensional, curvilinear surface. It can be done with a variety of materials, including the fibers used in knitting, sculpting, weaving, and textiles. Whether it is done to create art, to make a soft toy, or to make a textile, this process is a creative exploration into the interplay of form and function.
Felting is a process for creating soft, woolen fabric by soaking, drawing, and piling – a combination of felting and knitting. The process is similar to knitting, where finer fibers are being produced from the wool, and the pile is used to support the fabric. It is not knitted but produced by felting the fibers of wool together, which is a process that can be done by hand, by machine, or by using a special felting machine.
The fiber used for this popular craft does not naturally form into clumps and which have small mechanical properties are generally used, including wool, alpaca, angora, and mohair. To make felting yarn, the fibers are first combed to remove any fiber bits that might prevent the fibers from clumping and separating the fibers.
If you’ve ever handled sheepskin, then you know it’s a remarkably soft, durable, and warm material. These qualities make sheepskin extremely useful in many fashion industries, such as the creation of textiles and accessories. Sheepskin is typically made from the skin of sheep, which is extremely good at retaining heat and is naturally resistant to abrasion.
The skin of a sheep is called a shawl, and the reason sheepskin is so useful is its ability to trap body heat. It becomes soft and warm by absorbing body heat, and as a result, shawls also have much more natural insulation than animal fur, which is what most synthetic fibers are produced from.
Felting involves inserting a smaller piece of wool into a larger piece of wool, and then repeatedly pulling and releasing the smaller piece. It is a little like knitting, only instead of leaving a hole in the final product, you fill the piece with wool, which acts as a cushion around the edges of the smaller piece. You can do this with any type of yarn, but the final product will look and feel a bit like felt, as the white parts of the yarn are replaced with a soft cushion of wool.
The process is fairly simple, and the yarn is made into a woolen ball. The wool is then placed in a natural fiber such as leather or hemp, and the process of squishing the ball of wool around in the fibers to make it into a garment is called felting. The process is slow and can take several days to complete, resulting in a woolen fabric that is sturdy and hard-wearing but also has a smooth, soft feel to it. The process of felting has been known to humans for many centuries, with examples dating back to the ancient Egyptians, but it was not until the invention of the mechanical wool carder in the 19th century that felting reached the commercial market.