I am hoping that this blog will help you and me experience the craft of crochet as well as knitting. During times of silence or turmoil, crochet and knitting continuously help me quiet my mind at my own pace, enabling me to find my center. I have patterns for sale in PDF Format, you can find them at their own Pages at the top menu. The posts are classified By labels which are at the far right, all the way down. We are the Borg! I think it will bring Order into Chaos!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Felting by Hand A Hat experience

Felting is a very tricky experience, as I learned . The wool that you are choosing has to be feltable, I guess is the right expression and usually light color felt like white and the like does not felt well. The reason behind it? Is because of the bleaching.

So when I went to do my hat I knew I had to do it in such a gauge that it was at least 6 to 8 inches bigger than usual. After reading the comment by my friend Deneen, I had to add this note. The Bottom of the hat up to the brown stripe is made with "Manos del Uruguay" yarn. I added Lamb's Pride in brown and inside the hat the color has melted, yet outside I kept diagonal lines, which is unusual for felting. The top has a darkgreen wool blend that if I find the skein n a store, I will tell you the brand. It is mingled with lamb's Pride as well. I think that If I ever wanted to felt another hat I will try "Manos del Uruguay", by itself or Lamb's Pride. Lambs pride does tend to shrink. Thank you Deneen!

Another point to have is that you can not felt or it is very difficult to felt in a side loader washing machine. I have one of those. So what did that leave me with was the need to felt by hand.



So to felt by hand I went to the biggest information encyclopedia available, the Internet. I found so much information and that is why I was able to felt by hand without much commotion. I even improvised by using a fork, and by using corn cob holders. I also grabbed a pair of rubber gloves.

Felting is a very tricky experience, as I learned . The wool that you are choosing has to be feltable,

I guess is the right expression and usually light color felt like white and the like does not felt well.

The reason behind it? Is because of the bleaching. So when I went to do my hat I knew I had to do it in such a gauge that it

was at least 6 to 8 inches bigger than usual. Another point to have is that you can not felt or it is very difficult to felt in a side

loader washing machine. I have one of those. So what did that leave me with was the need to felt by hand.

I started this hat in the middle with a I crochet hook, then when I was ready to make the rest I used a J hook and a looser tension. You can see the effet of the gauge in the hat. So to felted by hand I went to the biggest information encyclopedia available, the Internet. I found so much information and that is why I was able to felt by hand without much commotion. I even improvised by using a fork, and by using corn cob holders. I also grabbed a pair of rubber gloves.

Materials

1. Feltable garment crochet or knited

2. Hot Soapy Water, cold ice water on another bucket.

3. Wooden spoons, Rubber gloves, forks, felting needles if you have them, corn cob holders. LOL


The idea is to put your garment in the hot soapy water and create agitation. The soap will help dislodge the fibers and the heat, will also help with the felting. You need to check every so often, I will say every 10 to 15 minutes, or as often as every five minutes, to see if you are getting the desired result in your felting esperience. You will definitely need to do this washing by hand and you can use the fork or fork like utensil to help you move the fibers. It took me about three hours of felting to get my desired look. I allowed the garment to rest in the water for 5 to 10 minutes, then I will put it in cold water ( they say to shock the wool), wring it and the in the hot water again. I will simulate movement by using three wooden spoons as if I was mixing a big pot of soup. It was a lot of fun to see how it came out and how it shrank and how it look like those hats you buy at the store.

The only diffenrece is that this hat was made by me. I named this hat "Naomi".

Now I will share more about felting from http://wikipedia.org your source of information in the web.

Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers. The fibers form the structure of the fabric.

Felt is the oldest form of fabric known to man. It predates weaving and knitting, although there is archaeological evidence from the British museum that the first known thread was made by winding vegetable fibres on the thigh. Felt dates back to at least 6,500 BC where remains were found in Turkey. Highly sophisticated felted artifacts were found preserved in permafrost in a tomb in Siberia and dated to 600 AD.

Many cultures have legends as to the origins of feltmaking. The story of Saint Clement and Saint Christopher relates that while fleeing from persecution, the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks.

Felt is now widely used as a medium for expression in textile art as well as design, where it has significance as an ecological textile. Sumerian legend claims that the secret of feltmaking was discovered by Urnamman of Lagash.

Feltmaking is still practiced in traditional styles by nomadic peoples in Asia, where rugs, tents and clothing are regularly made.

Felt is made by a process called wet felting, where the natural wool fibre is stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually water), and the fibres move at a 90 degree angle towards the friction source and then away again, in effect making little "tacking" stitches. Only 5% of the fibres are active at any one moment, but the process is continual, and so different 'sets' of fibres become activated and then deactivated in the continual process.

This "wet" process utilises the inherent nature of wool and other animal hairs, because the hairs have scales on them which are directional. The hairs also have kinks in them, and this combination of scales (like the structure of a pine cone) are what react to the stimulation of friction and cause the phenomenon of felting. It tends to work well only with woolen fibres as their scales, when aggravated, bond together to form a cloth.

Felting is done by a chemical process in industry. It is also sometimes done with barbed needles, which grab individual fibers and drag them against their neighbors, thereby binding them. Felting may also be done out of your home, with your washing machine on a hot cycle.

From the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries, a process called "carroting" was used in the manufacture of felt. Animal skins were rinsed in an orange solution of the mercury compound mercuric nitrate. This process separated the fur from the pelt and matted it together. This toxic solution and the vapors it produced resulted in widespread cases of mercury poisoning among hatters, which may have been the origin behind the phrase "mad as a hatter". The United States Public Health Service banned the use of mercury in the felt industry in December 1941.

Felting differs from fulling in the sense that fulling is fabric that is constructed before continuing with the felting process as noted above.

Knitted woollen garments which shrink in a hot machine wash can be said to have felted — an example of how the fibres bond together when combined with the movement of the washing machine, the heat of the water, and the addition of soap. Therefore, woolen clothes should only be hand-washed or machine-washed in cold water.

Cheaper felt is usually artificial. Artificial felt, if made using the wet method, has a minimum of 30% of wool fibres combined with other artificial fibres. This is the minimum required to hold a fabric together with the fibres alone. It would be difficult to achieve a stable fabric by hand at this ratio. All other wholly artificial felts are actually needle-felts.

Needle-felt is an artificial form created by the use of barbed needles forcing groups of fibres through a web of carded fibres to create a non woven fabric structure. This is not true felt.

Loden is a type of felt originally worn in the Alpine regions, which has recently gained worldwide acceptance as a textile for fine and durable clothing.

While standard felt is rarely used in the manufacture of modern garments, its breathability has been seen as a selling point among a niche market group. Among the supporters of felt-use in the textile industry include musical composer Aaron Copland and the satirical music group, the Capitol Steps.



Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

Deneen said...

I have learned that felting/fulling can be tricky at times, but I follow rules that make it easier.

Always, unless making a stiff bowl, use a J hook or above and made the stitches open. I generally use hdc all the time, rarely sc. I also do not mix wool brands when felting-I use the same brand of wool if something is striped, etc. Some brands full/felt better then others. Certain colors, reds and purples can be tougher to full. Lion Fishermans Wool is tougher to felt/full then most wools. Cascade 220 fulls/felts the best of all the wools, Wool of the Andes also fulls well.

Hand fulling is hard work-very hard work. You may want to try a laundromat and toss in a pair of jeans with it (I use a heavy cotton bath mat that doesn't shed) for agitation.

I have several links bookmarked I can send to you. I have a low agitation washer and have experienced some hard fulling experiences and generally have to run it through several times. I have done the plunger, hot water, ice water method also-again, a lot of work.

I did find that using a squirt of dishsoap helps tremendously, more then baking soda, vinegar, etc. You have to change the pH balance to make it happen also.

My items generally don't shrink the same as everyone elses, I am usually about an inch bigger around.

It frustrates me, but yet I still do it because I love the finished product.

Your hat came out wonderfully-BTW