Wet Felt a play mat/cushion piece/anything rectangle

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This one is dedicated to my dear friend M

who has patiently waited a year for me to complete this request on how to felt a playmat!

you may already have just You Tubed a wet felt tutorial or taken a lesson elsewhere

but dear one, as this unfolded i thought of you and so

enjoy

xx

Lily felted this piece as a backing for a giant granny square cushion for her chair at school.

Tutorial to Wet Felt a Play mat

materials

a pile of roving (fluffy wool)

warm water in a bowl or bottle

detergent/soap

curtain netting

if it’s large a bamboo roll blind to roll the piece in

work in a water safe zone and have a towel on hand to mop up excess waterIMG_0308

 

begin by making three even layers of roving, alternating the direction of each layer.

to do this, grasp lightly a section of roving with your hands about 20cm apart, pull and you will release an even section of wool. too close and the wool fibres will not seperate easily

fluff up and lay these sections working one side to another in rows

once you’ve done the three layers {backing, filling, top layer} pat all over and patch any thin places

then

place your fluffed out decorations on the top layer {Lily put her name}

these decorations can shift during the process so dont begin with anything complex

for a playmat place on appropriate colours for fields, water and maybe a road…

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place your netting over the top and sprinkle with water until all is evenly wet and then squirt with soap

initially you are simply patting lightly to get the water through and the soap to begin penetratingIMG_0314

soon you can gently rub, light hands make beautiful feltwork at this stage,

the aim is to get the wool fibres to begin binding together and all the layers in cohesion, including your decorations

lift off you net carefully and check it’s all laying in place, adjust as neccessary

you can begin more vigorous rubbing, it should be wet all through and bubbly at this point

three keys to good felt

soap, heat, friction
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keep rubbing until you reach pre felt stage, tested by pinching and lifting a small section. if it lifts together it’s pre felt if the fibres lift off or seperate keep on rubbing {see photo below}IMG_0319

at pre felt i like to flip the work and make sure the back is pre felted. at this point no unbound fibres will join in.

to create neat edges, rub your hand in a wave motion along the edge of the piece, gathering in the edges tidilyIMG_0320 IMG_0321

after pre felt you can handle it more vigorously as everything is in place. rub rub away and then if you want to shrink and final felt it in a fun way, squeeze out excess water, thrash the piece around and scrunch it and toss it down on the table. {therapeutic also}IMG_0323 IMG_0327

Lily did’nt care for an even edge as you can see below, but do notice there are no stringy bits hanging off the border.IMG_0329

when the wool has reached a good thickness, sturdiness and strength, you will notice small ridges/wrinkles forming, i usually stop at this point but some like to continue pounding it until this is really formed and the piece will become a bit thicker and smaller. as you feel

stretch it slightly to create flatness and a good shapeIMG_0330Lily’s complete piece ready to lay flat and dry.

you may see glimpses of the production of two other playmats of mine here

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Cedar’s mat ready to beginimg_3808

nearly complete, Cedar is impatient to playimg_0758working on my niece’s playmat with my sister

 

 

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