Table of contents:
- The emergence and development of technology
- Where to start in wet felting: tools and materials
- How to get started with wool
- How to make flower petals
- Wet felting a wool flower
- How to make leaves and stamens
- Felting process
- How to connect the parts of a product from a solidbud
- Finishing the product
Working with wet wool is a craft with a long history. The first mention of this technique of making textiles is found in the Bible. The story of Noah's Ark tells of a felted wool carpet that appeared due to lack of space. According to the text of the Holy Scriptures, the wool of the sheep fell to the floor and got wet, and the animals crushed it with their hooves. This is how the first piece of felt made by wet felting appeared.
The emergence and development of technology
The craftsmanship of making woolen textiles is associated with the domestication of sheep, as it was too difficult to obtain material from a wild animal. Nomadic peoples in various regions independently came to understand how to get felt and use it for their own needs. From this material, craftsmen create all kinds of products: from small jewelry to clothing.
It's wet nowfelting has become a passion for lovers of handicrafts. This was due to the emergence of affordable material in various shades. Now craftswomen do not have to look for wool of a suitable thickness, process it on their own and dye it by hand. Ready-made kits have become available, with which you can create not only the famous felt boots or mittens made of coarse fibers, but also detailed, naturalistic toys in the form of people, animals and plants.
Where to start in wet felting: tools and materials
Before you get started, it is important to decide which product you want to receive. Beginners are advised to start with small accessories such as hair ornaments or brooches. For example, make a flower and attach it to a hairpin or pin. Felting wool flowers for beginners is an easy way to get familiar with this type of needlework. To do this, you can buy ready-made kits with instructions or choose the material yourself. A flower does not need as much wool as a bag or tippet, so it is convenient to use it for teaching beginners. The technique itself is simple to perform. In addition, to create original gizmos from felt, expensive tools and materials are not required. It will be enough to get wool of the right shades, bamboo rug, mosquito net and soapy water.
How to get started with wool
First, prepare everything you need. Before felting a flower from wool with wet felting, choose the shades that are suitable for it. Then in store forhandicraft or elsewhere, purchase merino wool in the form of a combed ribbon in your desired colors - this is the best option for beginners. To create smooth transitions on the petals, it is advisable to take at least 2-3 colors. Another will be needed for the central part of the flower, if you want the middle to stand out. Additionally, but not necessarily, you can buy stamens and green material to make foliage. But the basic things you need for felting wool flowers for beginners are water, a bar of soap and a mosquito net. Sometimes bubble wrap or a bamboo mat is placed under the product. Thanks to the convex parts on the substrate, the wool falls off faster. When creating blanks, it is important to know that wool is reduced in size up to 50%. This should also be taken into account when creating a pattern for bulky products, such as bags or shoes. Therefore, before work, it is desirable to find out the shrinkage coefficient by conducting an experiment on a small piece of material. The result will show what size the buds will be.
How to make flower petals
You can create delicate brooches with flowers, hairpins and other jewelry using the wet felting technique. In order to make identical flower petals, the wool is divided into equal parts. The fibers are plucked from the tape so that a lush edge forms on one side, and thin and translucent on the other. If you fold each part in half, you can make a rounded petal. By adding wool of a different shade, you will get a smooth and pleasant color transition.
Another option is to try to make a whole flower, without individual petals. For example, bindweed or bell. In this case, you will need a blank in the form of a drawn circle, which is placed under the film. With the help of such a device it will be easier to lay out an even bud. A similar variation of wet felting wool flowers for beginners is even easier than assembling from individual petals. It is only necessary to evenly distribute the fibers in a circle.
Wet felting a wool flower
After the dry wool is laid out on the surface of the film, the main stage of felting begins. A mosquito net or organza is applied on top of the product. Then a warm soapy solution is prepared to make a lush foam. Professionals sometimes use a special felting mixture. But for beginners, ordinary laundry soap, diluted in water in a ratio of 1:10, is enough. But much depends on its quality and composition. Therefore, in the process of work, if the solution turns out to be too liquid, and the hairs of wool stick out and do not adhere well to each other, soap should be added. If the product does not rinse well, then it must be diluted with water.
How to make leaves and stamens
Wet felting the wool flower is exactly the same as for other products. First, the workpiece covered with a mesh is slightly moistened to a wet state with a spray bottle or simply with your hands. The wool is then left for a few minutes to soak. It's time to get busy preparing the stamens,leaves and stems for a flower. For the green parts of the plant, you can also take several shades of wool, and make the stamens yourself from yellow material, pinching off thin strips and felting them separately. To do this, pieces of wool are rolled with a palm moistened in a solution over a grid, forming flagella. The stem is treated in the same way, but its tip is left dry in order to be fastened to the flower.
When the material is saturated with moisture, hands dipped in the solution must first expel the air from the hairs, smoothing the workpiece in different directions. After that, the felting process begins. Constantly wetting the hands, the villi are rubbed against each other with smoothing movements. Sometimes the workpiece should be turned over. It is important not to press too hard on it. At first, it is better to move carefully and slowly, gradually increasing speed and pressure. Otherwise, the material may move - and the finished product will turn out to be uneven in shape. If you immediately press too hard on the wool, the mosquito net also clings to the product. Therefore, it must be periodically lifted, and the flower must be turned over to the other side. Thanks to this, the product will fall off evenly. When the hairs are easily separated from the mesh, you can remove it and continue working directly on the surface, rubbing the wool with a hand dipped in soapy water and moving from the center to the edges. Leaves are rolled in the same way.
How to connect the parts of a product from a solidbud
Flowers made of felted wool are created using special needles and a felting brush or a sponge. These tools are also useful for the wet method, if a whole bud was created. When the flower blank falls well, and the hairs interlock with each other, the stalk is attached to the flower. Just for this, it was necessary to leave a dry edge. It is applied to the wrong side and is pressed with a needle to the center of the flower. A wet method is also suitable for joining parts, but it will take more time. To insert the stamens into a single flower, an incision is made in the center, through which blanks are threaded. When all the parts are connected, they must be additionally welded to each other in a wet way. Then the product is placed on a mat or towel and rubbed in different directions, without soap. Only occasionally can it be moistened to smooth out protruding villi.
Finishing the product
When the flower is reduced in size, and the wool is thickened enough, it must be rinsed in clean warm water and squeezed out. High temperatures can cause a lot of shrinkage in wool and should therefore be avoided. Checking the degree of flower matting is simple: just try to lift the fibers. If they are easily separated, then the work needs to be continued. A wet flower can be given any shape, petals or leaves can be bent, the bud can be closed. The parts are then flattened and dried at room temperature. Even a whole flower can be made into petals by cutting them out with ordinary scissors. If the product needs to be assembled from separate parts, this can be donealso with a felting needle. The finished flower can easily be turned into a hairpin or brooch by adding a fastener or pin - and the decoration is ready!