What is felting anyway?

Felt has been used for thousands of years in Europe, Asia and Africa. Nomadic people made tents or yurts out of felt to protect themselves from the weather. Romans used felt for vests, and felt was used in many countries for boots, hats, and blankets.

Some wools felt more quickly that others. Alkaline soap and warm water are used to open up the scales that will intertwine with others to form felt. Felt is usually made by laying fibres in at least three layers, each layer at a right angle to the previous one. Soapy water, agitation and rubbing will interlock the layers and shrink the fibre to become felt. An old-fashioned scrub board is often used in this process.

Most llama and alpaca fibre felts satisfactorily although the guard hairs do not generally felt. These can be left in for effect or pulled out by hand later.

Many people have at one time or another accidentally felted a favourite sweater or wool hat by washing them in a washing machine. This is basically the same process, hot water, soap, and agitation.

Below are some photos of a few felting projects.

Two pairs of mittens felted out of llama fibre by Rose-Ann Lewis and Jane Pinkerton.

Our grandson Graham loves his felted bunny, made by his grandmother.

Felted purse made by Margaret Lister.

Elfrida Lambert working on a felted wall hanging with a “killer whale” motif.

Janet Boyhan is very talented and lately has been creating fantastic animal heads out of felted fibre.

Felted elephant by Janet Boyhan.

Tom Boyhan shows off the magnificent muskox that Janet made recently.

Knitting kits for hats and scarves for sale

Knitting pictures and baby llama patterns

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