We did it! Yesterday, we made some large pieces of felt to cover a small yurt type structure at Boxerwood. The pieces were not as big as I had hoped because the weather changed from summer to fall and festival participants were not in shorts and bare feet for the most part.
I decided that it would work better to make the fleece on a 6' by 4' picnic table than on the ground tarp. We covered the whole table so our finished felt was almost 6X4. It was great fun watching people of all ages work together and really get into it. Some people came back several times.
This little guy touched the fleece and made a "yucky" face but his mom kept at it.
Many of the kids got into the carding too.
We made 2 large pieces and 2 smaller so we have a few more to go but there was too much to be enjoyed at the festival and the timing was a factor. We will finish at another time.
Festival goers were impressed with the knowledge of how to make felt and proud to be a part of it. In addition I made some new great contacts.
The felting process:
HOT WATER, SOAP, AND AGITATION
Card raw fleece into batts (using a type of fleece that felts well). We used Navajo Churo , Alpaca, and Finn.
Lay the first layer of batts with fiber going in one direction.
Lay a second layer of batts with fibers running 90 degrees from the first (if the first layer runs north and south, the second layer will run east and west)
The third layer will run as the first.
Squeeze a little liquid soap over all ( you can use bar soap but liquid is easier)
Pour just enough really hot water on top to be able to press the fibers down without them sticking to your hands.
Press gently until all shrinks down and starts to mesh. Then press progressively harder until you can tell it is holding together.
When it holds together as cloth, flip it, pound it, roll it up in something it won't stick to and jump on it, what ever you like. The real felters drag it behind horses.
Continue pouring hot water (or alternating hot and cold) over all from time to time.
Rinse and wring in cold water and lay out to dry.
All were amazed how easy it is. On to the next project.