Wensleydale Cobweb Felt

I found two of these lampshade kits at the local thrift store about a year ago (or maybe longer). I thought it would work well with cobweb felt so since they were only $7.00 each I bought them. Then they sat around for a year. I had them on my list of things to do but never seemed to get anything done with them.

Thrift Store Find

Finally, last week I decided I would make the felt to cover the lampshade. The pattern assumes that you use commercial fabric and has you cut pieces from yardage. I decided I would make each side of the lampshade as a separate piece of felt. I have wanted to make a piece of cobweb felt with Wensleydale wool for a while now so I thought this project would be perfect for it.


This is a very bad photo of the original pattern. I just doubled the size of the original middle section of the pattern as I thought that the cobweb felt would shrink at least 50% or more.

Enlarged Pattern

I marked the enlarged pattern on a piece of plastic and then laid out the Wensleydale wool. I got this wool when I first started felting so I think I’ve had it for about 10 years now. I have used some of it over the years but I still have quite a bit left.

Beginning Layout

I laid the Wensleydale out in a random manner starting with the edges. I used only one thin layer.

Layout Complete

Here’s the wool after I finished laying it out. I did have to patch a few places so next time I will make it slightly thicker.

Wet Down of Wool Complete

I then wet it out and started felting. I rolled a little but then mainly just finished by rubbing.

Completed Felt on Original Pattern

After fulling and shrinkage, you can see that it did shrink 50%. The lampshade needs a total of four of these. One down…

Wensleydale Cobweb Felt

I really like the texture that the Wensleydale gives.

Texture of Cobweb Felt

You can see it better with the light behind it.

Cobweb Texture

I think this will be really pretty on the lamp with the light shining through. I may use a lining fabric in a darker color but I haven’t decided yet. Of course, I still have three more of these to make. I hope it won’t take another year to complete πŸ™‚

About ruthlane

When I discovered felting in 2007, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I love that the versatility of fiber allows me to β€œplay” with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
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23 Responses to Wensleydale Cobweb Felt

  1. Teri Berry says:

    The Wensleydale curls are very pretty when you hold the felt up to the light, can’t wait to see the finished lampshade. Will using a lining fabric stop the light from highlighting the beautiful curls?

  2. koffipot says:

    They will be beautiful shades Ruth. Wensleydale has a beautiful sheen and gives those wonderful textural effects best seen when lit. A fine silk voile would make an excellent lining, it’s fire resistant too.

    Look forward to seeing the finished shades. Only 7 sections to go! πŸ˜‰

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Judith. Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing the finished shades too πŸ™‚ Hopefully, the next 7 will go a little more quickly.

  3. Lyn says:

    Cobweb felt makes a lovely lampshade and I think this one looks great, as it is, without lining.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Lyn – I’m not sure about the lining but once I have all the pieces, I will see whether I like it with or without.

  4. That’s interesting. Never would have thought wool to be a good fiber for a lampshade. I work everything out first with muslin before I cut into fabric.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Judy. Wool doesn’t burn easily so makes a great lampshade. I really want to highlight the texture so I think this will be perfect for that.

  5. crealou says:

    I’m happy to see you lamp, cause I’m working on one too right now. Thanks for sharing, it will be beautiful.

  6. luvswool says:

    The Wensleydale looks beautiful through the light. Have never worked with this fiber before but it looks luscious. Great project!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Cathy! Wensleydale has a really long staple length and is quite curly. It is a coarser wool so isn’t good for apparel items but it has such wonderful texture I thought it would be perfect for this project.

  7. kwinter12 says:

    Lovely textures – look forward to seeing the finished shade in a few years’ time! πŸ˜‰

  8. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Ruth, that was a great idea to use the Wensleydale for the lamp shade. It can be a bit fussy to felt. When I used it for a table runner, there was hardly any shrinkage. But that was early in my felting experience. I will have to try it again. I look forward to seeing the finished shade.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Marilyn! It was funny when I started rubbing to felt, I thought “what the heck?”. I hadn’t used the fiber in so long that I really forgot how it felted. Once it gets started it’s fine but it takes a bit to get it going. I used a really thin, one layer application thus the amount of shrinkage was a lot, less wool = more shrinkage.

  9. It does look great with a light behind it. reminds me I have a similar piece ( I used massum) made that was going to be a roller blind and then a lampshade but the lamp died. I wonder where it went to. hmmm

  10. zedster66 says:

    It’s going to look great, Ruth! I have so many photos of felt made from Wensleydale or other curly wools held up to the light πŸ™‚ I agree with Judith about the sheen too, so will look nice even when it isn’t lit up.

  11. Jane says:

    I love the texture of the curly locks! I had been planning on making some cobweb lampshades to sell at a craft fair but thought they would need a specialist fire retardant lining?

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Jane – wool is naturally fire retardant. That’s what they use in firemen’s uniforms etc. It shouldn’t need a fire retardant lining.

  12. Pingback: Teeswater and Needle Felting | feltingandfiberstudio

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