In making felt I experiment primarily with two methods consisting of the traditional wet felt technique dating to prehistoric times and a dry method which has evolved in the twentieth century. The folowing is a brief description of each method.
1. Wet felt is produced by placing layers of wool fleece in alternate directions and covering it to prevent the fibers shifting. Add hot water and soap , then begin rubbing beating until the fibers mat together. After significant amount of time rubbing and beating the fibers , the fleece emerges as a piece of wool fabric. I am fascinated by this natural fiber which can magically make itself into a piece of cloth or emerge as a free standing sculpture.
Dry felting or needle felting is the process by which one uses a needle to form loose fibers into solid mass. A needle is punched into loose fleece thousnds of times compacting and connecting the fibers until the loose fibers form a solid mass. This process is a derivative of the large commercial needle punch machines which produce commercial felt. This method of felting excites me; I can needle only one strand at a time to control both color and form of the finished product.