Thursday, August 11, 2011

Making felt balls

Today I made some felted balls, or beads, depending on what you are going to do with them I suppose.  As part of my course, we are required to fundraise for the graduation show.  My group is going to put on some workshops and today I made some samples for demonstration - and to see if I could remember how to do it.
I used the book complete feltmaking by Gillian Harris.
The process is fairly simple:
You tease out some wool roving, loosely form it into a ball and then gently spray it with soapy (or baby shampoo in my case) water.

Then you hold it in your hand (which you have made a little soapy) and rub it around the palm until it is getting hard and almost the size you want.
You then roll it around on a bamboo mat, or similar, until it hard and the size you want.

Then you put it in boiling (or very hot) water, then into cold water and try to get all the soap out.  If you want it smaller, you can then roll it around more.

I then made a rope of felt by pulling some roving into a long piece, putting it through the soapy water and gently pulling it repeatedly through my hands until it started to get hard.  Then I laid it out on the bamboo mat and rolled it more, into a better tubular shape.

As I wanted to use this felt rope as the necklace, I made the ends a little thinner than the rest so that I could pull it through the felt balls with a needle.  It would be too thick where it folds over the eye of the needle otherwise.

First I used an awl to make a hole through the ball, then I made the hole bigger with a knitting needle, this allowed me to get the sewing needle through the ball.


Glennis said...

Hi Mary
Love those felted balls. They would make nice gifts. When are the workshops happening.
Where do you get the time!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love the owl....


Mary said...

Hi Glennis, the workshops are on the first two days of the school and TAFE holidays, September 26 & 27, I think. I had to take the time to learn how to make them, just so I would know how to do them! You know, teacher preparation, once step ahead of the students.