Sarafina Fiber Art

Sarafina Fiber Art

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wet Felting Experiments - What Fibers Work

Sarafina Fiber Art will be offering wet felting kits, fiber, and instruction in the near future. We are continuing to learn about wet felting as we do more and more, but I felt like a good test was in order to better understand which fibers that we carry will produce which results.

In an effort to have a controlled wet felting test, we have wet felted 20 swatches of different fibers at the same time for the same length of time. We used A bubble wrap base, most patches had 4 layers, a tulle top, a pool noodle roller, and 100 arm rolls in all 4 directions for a total of 400.

No surprise that the Merino, Faulkland (Corriedale), and Black Smooth Top, felted very well.  These fibers make up the base of a wet project.

Sky Blue Merino, Smooth Black Top, and Faulkland

I experimented with using a wool batting (made for quilting by the same mill that makes our chunky core.) and the merino and Corriedale together.  The batting can save time and $ by providing an inexpensive and pre batted base layer.  It worked very well.  The batting side is not quite as firmly felted as the roving side, but the two different fibers felted together well and the batting is definitely felted sufficiently.  I plan to begin carrying the batting in our shop.

This is the batting and Corriedale


This is the batting and Merino

Other fibers that felted well are our Top Coat and Targhee Roving (which we currently do not have for sale in our shop).  Our Top Coat line is full of great colors.  Blended with Merino they will be a great addition to a wet felted palette.

Raspberry Top Coat and Targhee


Our Pelt and new Wet Felting Batt also felted very well.  These are batts that we card in house to create useful and unique colors. Our House Carded Batts an be laid out and felted in one piece, as is, or you can pull smaller batches of color from them.

Red Fox Pelt and part of a Sand Dune Wet Felting Batt

I was surprised how well our locks batches felted.  We did one of Border Leicester, which is the majority of our House Dyed Curls, and one of Blue Faced Leicester.  They both felted firmly and show how you can achieve really interesting texture using locks.

BL Dyed Curls and Natural Grey BFL locks felted remarkable well

I am happy to announce that the mohair and the Irish Fur batt did not felt well.  I was counting on my Fur batts to not felt because I created them to resist felting from handling for use in needle felting projects.  The white Mohair swatch was made with Mohair roving, not locks.  It is so lustrous and slightly wavy.  Very pretty but not well felted.  I think some mohair could be used to create shine and texture, like silk, but needs some wool to help it stay.

White Mohair Roving and the Irish Fur did not felt well... which is a good thing.

A few other patches were our Core and Chunky Core.  They felted but would take a lot more work.  They also are so fluffy/bulk that they are difficult to work with. 

The Suri Alpaca Patch did not felt well at all.

We did a patch of Gotland Roving and it felted extremely well. But, interestingly, it grabbed, inhaled, and embedded into the tulle.  Absolutely, completely, they became one. 

Angora (rabbit) felted but remained fuzzy with a halo which is pretty cool.

We look forward to exploring more!







5 comments:

  1. What fun you must have all had trialing those fibres
    Thanks for sharing your outcomes
    you guys never stop.. love your enthusiasm and look forward to seeing your ventures blossom xAlison x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Sara for all you offer so freely. You have many loyal followers of which I'm one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Must have been fun. Thank you for experimenting so we didn't need to. I would love to do a painting...somehow!

    ReplyDelete
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