Thursday, October 19, 2006


Finn asked me questions about working with wool and I answered her to the best of my untrained ability. I decided to post the info here as well, in case anyone else was interested.
Finn also had an interesting comment about "gleaning" wool from bushes! Nancy actually knows someone who did that! It is a funny thing, but it seems to me that the older one becomes, the more recent the past becomes. Why is that? I think it is because when you find yourself at age 50 or 60, you realize that 100 years ago was not that long ago any more. Now about wool felt. I am sure some of you remember that years ago we could buy really good quality felt squares for crafts. I still have some! Then one day, overnight it seems, it was no longer nice felt, but cheesy synthetic stuff. Well, now wool felt and wool fabric is all the rage for crafts again. If only I had some of those old wool skirts back! They are overdying it for projects!
I don't know if I can answer Finn's questions adequately. I am new to this thing myself, and have never put my wool pieces through any process. I have been told that most of the books with wool projects will give you directions. The wool felt that you have is stiff. Am I right? You can use it that way, or you can "full" it. Fulling it produces a softer product. To full it, place it in hot-hot water. Soak it, press the water out, soak it in cold water, press the water out, then put it in the drier.The colors will probably bleed. Be careful not to swish it too much because they are not woven fibers, but compressed, and can fall apart. When it is dry it should be fuller-hence the word "full".
You can use the felt without this process, but it will remain stiff. You can also use this process on woven wool, and it will shrink up, as I am sure you know.
Directions vary with the applique, but the gal who taught me prefers using Heat 'n Bond fusible web. It helps keep the edges from fraying. I like that also.
My previous entry linked to a shop in Wisconson called Primitive Gatherings. It has kits and patterns, etc. (As do many others). Give it a try-it's lots of fun!


Libby said...

I love working with wool -- applique is just a dream. I recently tried using the heat 'n bond per a pattern -- not my favorite method. Applying Fray Check around the edges of your applique pieces is another method I have tried with nice results. But to be completely honest, usually I don't do anything. Granted most of my wool projects have been wall hangings (not subject to a lot of use, or repeated washings) but I do have one quilt with a lot of wool applique that is sometimes hung and sometimes used as a coverup. Mostly I just have to agree with you and say try using wool. It's a lot of fun .

Angie said...

Nice job explaining felting, Marcie! I love working with wool...and you should see my "wool" stash....dare I "expose" myself and post a pic of my fabric closet and wool stash on my blog? ROFL

ForestJane said...

Not going to be taken in by the lure of wool crafting... as pretty as your projects are... not gonna be tempted!