I am a felter, and normally I do needle felting. I wanted to try some wet felting on a larger scale than just wet felting soaps and beads and things, so I set out to make a gift for my Mom.
I started out by laying down a towel and then a layer of bubble wrap, and then a layer of prefelt. Prefelt is a slightly felted fabric and it's great for the base of felted objects like this. You can also needle felt with it. I started layering whisps of wool on top of the prefelt.
I layered it in one direction first, then in the opposite direction. Once I had a pretty good layer covering the prefelt, I started in with the colors of the scene I wanted. I made a sky and a field of flowers.
This was fun....putting the colors together to create a "painting".
Then I started adding in dyed locks of wool. These locks are in natural form, and haven't been carded or combed like the roving. They're a lot of fun to use!
Once I finished with the sky and the greenery, I was ready to add in the flowers! I wanted to make hollyhocks, so I added circles of roving to mimic hollyhocks.
Once I was happy with the layout, it was time to wet felt. This was the nerve-wracking part! I was nervous something would get messed up, or the flowers would smoosh together or something. I used a piece of sheer fabric (this just so happened to be scraps from bridesmaid dresses from our wedding).
The wool was still light and poofy at this point, but then I poured hot soapy water over it.
You can see above how the wool flattens out once wet. I would push it down gently to make sure the wool was saturated, but not sopping. Then, I wet my hands and put dish soap in my hands, so I could smooth my hands over the fabric to gently start the felting process. I rubbed my hands in circles and back and forth over the picture for several minutes until I could tell the wool was starting to felt.
Once I peeked at the wool below and could see it felting, I was ready to move on to the more aggressive felting. The wool and bubble wrap get rolled around a pool noodle, then rolled back and forth to vigorously felt it.
It gets rolled 100 times, then it gets unwrapped and rolled up from a new direction and worked again 100 times. I did this 4 times, rolling up the felt from each direction for rolling. After 400 rolls, it looked like this.
I was thrilled with how it turned out! I wanted to add some detail though, so after it dried, I got out my beads and felting needles.
I added some beads to the flowers, and needle felted borders to give it more of a 3D effect.
I needle felted centers to the flowers.
And then I added a hummingbird.
And the finished product:
I was so happy with the finished product! I was so happy to send it to my Mom, because she is a quilter (doing some really amazing art quilts) and I knew she would appreciate it!
Wet felting is pretty addicting, and I'm already planning my next piece!