Before I launch you into my world of sculpted wool, I should probably explain that there are two different ways of felting to manipulate woolen fibres.
I will go into finer detail in later posts, but for now, I thought I’d just outline the basics.
Wet felting and Needle felting
Wet felting combines the use of hot and cold water with soap and friction to mat the woolen fibres together to create one, solid fabric piece. The wool can be worked during this process to form shapes or can be felted into a sheet to be used as regular fabric.
Needle felting is essentially the same process, but using a different method. Long, thin needles with tiny barbs on the end are used to push through a gathered mass of loose wool fibres. The tiny barbs hook the fibres and as they are pushed through and back repetitively the fibres start to mat together to create a solid woolen shape.
I find with the needle felting technique more intricate shapes can be formed and the work can be manipulated with a much finer detail and more gradual, being able to change and develop the form as you felt
I find it’s impossible to not fall in love with wool and all of the processes and techniques used to work the raw fibres into something quite beautiful!
It’s fascinating to witness fabric and sculpture being created with your own hands!