Felt is a particularly versatile medium with endless possibilities. Taking wool fibre and transforming it into a textile is especially rewarding. While not originally a fan of felt when first embarking on creative textile work, I am now slightly fanatical about it. The medium lends itself to a variety of items including wall hangings, wearables and vessels.
My love of felt began through investigation of a technique to shrink and distort textiles with stitch. Because stitching alone didn’t achieve much distortion, I tried various fabrics with limited success until I realised wool fabric was the answer. After shrinking, depending which fabrics you use, the wool fibres migrate to the surface. This creates a fuzzy finish. Finding a way to eliminate this is part of my ‘stitch, shrink and shrivel’ workshop which covers the technique.
I use this in Substratum, an exhibit in the ‘What lies beneath’ exhibition. This piece has since sold, but I love the extreme transformation of the layers of silks and inclusions due to the shrinkage. Although wool fabric and fibre never really featured in my textile pursuits, further investigation into wool and wool fibre soon changed all that!
Learning about felt
Texture and manipulation of textiles is fascinating to me and thanks to Google, came across the work of Marjolein Dallinga . Coincidentally I discovered she was soon to be in Perth giving a workshop being run by Feltwest. I became a member and was advised it was not a workshop for beginners. Undaunted I signed up for Fiona Duthie’s online workshops and got myself up to speed asap. Since then I go to as many workshops as I can, as well as demonstrations and the odd retreat. In addition, I buy books and DVD’s and absorb whatever I can from the internet to increase my knowledge.
The images above will take you to various categories of felt made in recent times. They contain photos of my original creations and workshop related projects.