Bill Apelian / The Linden Wood StudioAt the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina, Bill Apelian creates heirlooms in wood. Using traditional tools—handsaws,...
Elynn Bernstein's Gallery
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Scrunched Felted Hat with Flower
About this Gallery:
The hats that I make are wet felted using a template or a resist as it is also called. I dye my own merino wool and silks. I may use a variety of yarns to further embellish the hats. I have recently been making hats "on the ball" which is a nice change in technique. Instead of spending an hour rolling the wool , you can literally bounce and dribble the ball with all your fiber on it ( which is wrapped up in panty hose to seal it) and the felting happens so much more quickly. Much fun.
But what exactly is wet felting you may ask?
Wet Felting is a technique that uses heat, moisture, and agitation to turn loose wool fibers into densely matted felt materials. Good hand-made felt takes a great deal of time to make. It starts by layering hundreds of thin wisps of fiber to a desired thickness , wetting them down with soapy water and compressing them by hand. This wool sheet is then rolled up in bubble wrap or thermal wrap and rolled for quite some time, in order to get the fibers hopelessly entangled with each other. Once the fibers have locked together and are relatively stable, the felt can then be strengthened and thickened by the addition of hot water and more vigorous agitation like kneading and throwing. After working it for a lot more time, the fibers shrink further and eventually you end up with a new material - FELT>