GOURMET FIBER BLEND-
please see http://gfelted.etsy.com/
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Sometimes I’m asked what is the best fiber to use for felting? I spoke of that before but I will expand here. Also what fibers do NOT felt?
The easiest fiber that I’ve found for felting is romney wool by far! When I first started felting I used pillow stuffing fluff! I wanted to save the wool for the fur, so I used poly fill. I would still use it now if I had a very large sculpture to make…say 12 inches or so. That would use lots of wool, so it would save the wool by using the stuffing fiber. Now for some reason, some of those felt and some don’t. I have no clue why. The one that I used that did felt, even had sparkles in it and it pulled apart like roving. I had another one that was more like pieces that wouldn’t felt. Also the flat batting style will not felt. I got a bunch of it for free and thought I’d be set for a year, but stab as I would…no felting!!
I have even felted with yarn….desperation is the mother of invention!!LOL! I pulled apart some rusty colored 100% wool yarn and made a pom.That was my first feltie.(I entered a post about that) I also experimented with some puffy acrylic yarn that I felted into a kitten. I didn’t believe that it would felt, but it did! It was so easy! I just wrapped around the wire and felted a little…done!! I still have it as a reminder of my early days felting. I have also seen other sculptures made with yarn.
On a site that sold unusual colors of roving, I saw that she recommended romney wool for beginners as it felts so easily. That sounded good and I was curious to try it. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how much faster I could make the boring cores!! have used romney ever since Many people sell merino for felting, but that takes about 4 times more work to felt the same thing. Merino is a very fine thin wool so it is harder to felt. It is excellent as a topcoat for smooth coated dogs. It even has a nice sheen if you lay it on carefully. Of course ANY coarse wool will felt well as it is much easier to compress together.
I love experimenting with different fibers. I use a lot of “gourmet” fibers, that’s how I came up with my name, Gourmet Felted!! I have felted silk before, both natural and synthetic like soy silk, bamboo, llama, and tencel. They are good for the topcoats and are extremely easy to felt. Cashmere and camel down are soft as a cloud . Angora bunny fur is also so soft that you can barely feel it. Be prepared to eat it when you use angora bunny. Did you ever wear one of those fuzzy sweaters? You know, the ones that SHED everywhere? Well, felting with it is worse and the fibers fly EVERYWHERE including on your lips, up your nose, on your food, etc!!
I haven’t tried yak, buffalo, seacell, milk fiber, or corn fiber. Maybe if someone does they could let me know how it felts?
**I have tried the seacell which is similar to silk, but slightly firmer. Also it felts easily. Be careful not to felt it too much or it will all disappear inside your feltie! Same with silk.
You all know that alpaca is my favorite and I also felt mohair which is very hard to felt, but doable if you keep at it.
SUPERWASH WOOL WILL NOT FELT!!!
I have seen the most gorgeous colors in superwash wool, but had to pass them by as they will NOT felt. Superwash has been treated to remove the scales that cause the wool to felt together or it has been coated with a polymer for the same reason. Sure you can wash it and it will never shrink…but felting??? Impossible!
Felting pet fur has been discussed in a previous post. Basically it would depend on the breed. The fluffy soft second coat near the skin would felt easier that the top wiry coat that is more like hair. I would still use wool as a core and use the pet fur on top unless you have a bunch of it.
So all in all..I say EXPERIMENT! Please let me know what you find out. You will be pleasantly surprised sometimes and when it doesn’t work, you will still learn….. it is a mystery to you until you try it. That was why I bought a little cashmere just to see what it is like!!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FIBER TO FELT ? WHY DO YOU LIKE IT?
WHAT DID YOU FELT WITH FOR THE FIRST TIME?
I’ll be looking forward to your replies:)