For centuries cultures from all over the world have practiced the craft of feltmaking. This non-woven cloth, made of animal fibers, is said to predate woven fabric.
Modern feltmaking utilizes almost the same techniques that have been used for 8,000 years. It is a simple process that uses very little equipment and simple techniques.
There are several processes that use the term “felting.” Whichever method you prefer, it is wonderfully magic and lots of fun.
- Wet Felting begins with loose fibers, like a spinner would spin yarn from. By creating thin layers of fiber and adding soap and water and lots of elbow grease felters create a dense fabric without weaving or knitting.
- Needle Felting produces dense solid forms by repeatedly poking loose fiber with a specialized “felting needle,” a very sharp needle with re-curved barbs on the shaft. The fibers are integrated when the top fibers are poked down and the bottom fibers brought up with the barbs.
- The finished product that has been created through Fulled Knitting looks very similar to wet felting. The object is first knitted then “fulled”, or shrunk, generally in a washing machine.
The Felting Source carries wet and needle felting kits for children and adults and a wide variety of supplies and tools that make the process easier or more creative.