Natural Wools and Embellishment Fibre Panels

Natural Wools and Embellishment Fibre Panels

I was thinking recently that I might have to change my plans a little bit, and make some different sized templates for my felt panels. Quite a few of the wools I’ve got have a very long staple length, much bigger than my current template. And the varying shrinkage rates makes a lot of the panels similar but not quite the same; so I think a variety of squares and rectangles might work out better to piece together in the end. I haven’t really thought too much about how I would actually ‘construct’ the hanging, one idea was the sew the edges of the panels together, kind of like seams on clothes, but visible so they formed little ridges, but I don’t want to lose the cool wavy edges some of the wool breeds like Lincoln create.
This is Brown Finnish wool with a covering of flax:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is another Finn piece, with a diagonal band of hemp, which is quite similar to flax.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a felt panel made with  ‘Humbug’ (stripes of black and white) Jacob, I used black and white viscose tops for this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is more of a straight on shot:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis last panel is Black Jacob wool tops and Soy bean staple fibre.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the effects you can get with the staple fibres.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you like to try different breeds of wool for felting? Do you have a favourite or ones you think are better suited to particular projects? How about embellishment fibres, do you have any favourites?

21 thoughts on “Natural Wools and Embellishment Fibre Panels

  1. It would be a shame to lose the wavy edges – is there any way you could stitch them onto fabric or a specially sized piece of handmade felt, with its own wavy edges, to form a hanging to preserve the wavy edges of the pieces?

    1. Yeah, maybe each piece can be positioned onto a backing fabric or felt, and attached with ‘invisible’ thread, spaced out so all the natural edges can be seen.

  2. I like to use flax/ramie in my “watercolours”. It stays visible on the surface of the felt when the most of other types of decorative fibres just disapper! It’s when I use short staple carded wool. I like soy with merino because of very natural colour and soft sheen. And I think it’s easier to handle then silk fibre. Also I use viscose a lot because it’s cheap!

    1. I love soy top, it’s such a gorgeous colour, and you’re right about viscose, very cheap and such a nice shine 🙂

  3. I find the samples with different wool breeds very appealing. I have used some of my precious Scottish fibers to make small samples, including Ronaldsay and Hebridean. The embellishment fibers I prefer to work with are hemp and mulberry silk because of the beautiful lustre.
    Zed, how large do you expect your felt panel to be? Are you thinking of doing an installation?

    1. I’m not really sure I gave it much thought at all, really, Cathy 🙂
      I just thought it’d be good to have a ‘purpose’ for the pieces other than just samples that might stay in a box or get cut up one day!

  4. There are so many to explore! Thanks for showing us all these wonderful breeds and embellishments. I’ve pretty much stuck to silk, tencel and bamboo which is readily available for embellishments But I must try some of these other embellishments. I’ve been playing with some coarser breeds as well.

    1. You’re welcome, Marilyn 🙂
      You’ll have to post photos of your work with coarser wools.

  5. These are gorgeous Zed – I agree with Lyn that a backing fabric or felt with the pieces stitched on would be a great solution. I end up using silk noil frequently but it’s fun trying out different embellishments too.

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      I like silk noil too, it’s great for texture but can also look quite ‘solid’ when all the fibres get pulled together.

  6. Zed, this must have been a telephatic transmission of ideas! Just this afternoon, while thinking of what to do with the wool samples that you sent me, I got the same idea of making squares, starting with the same size of the template and then sewing them together like patchwork. In this way I would know how different breeds behave and have something useful in the end. What a coincidence!

    1. Ha, that is weird! 🙂
      I hope you have fun with yours and post them for us to see.

    2. Haha! I just did something similar with the same idea of patching them together. Must be in the air!

  7. I love the soy bean on black jacob, you’ve achieved some beautiful marbling there. I too have been trying out variety of different breeds in recent weeks but my interest has been how well they form 3D structures. I hope to post about that next weekend but I have been surprised that my favourites have been the finer micron count wools rather than the courser wools that most people seem to recommend for sculptural pieces….

    1. Thanks, Teri 🙂
      I can’t say I know too much about what other people use for sculptural pieces, the coarser wools I have tend to make ‘loose’ felt that doesn’t work well for 3D wet felting, or what I’ve used it for anyway. I’ll look forward to seeing your post.

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      I like silk hankies too, I do like it when they sink in, and create a nice subtle texture.

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: