Over the summer I collected a number of items at garage sales and thrift stores to try new projects in felt. One of the things I was intrigued with was a paper fan.
I removed the paper very gently and used it to make the pattern for the felt using a 30% shrinkage factor.
I cut out two sides from prefelts then cut out the rib resists from flooring foam and placed them on the one side of the prefelt then covered it with the second side and decorated it with silk and throwsters waste. The trick of course would be to keep the ribs in place while felting. I did a lot of rubbing in all directions on both sides until I could see the felt sticking together between the ribs, then did my rolling, rinsing, etc.
Because the actual ribs were thicker than the resists, I placed wooden skewers in the resist slots then creased the fan the way I wanted it to dry and basted the back with thread and tightened.
The real challenge was getting the real ribs into the slots since the fan was held together with a non removable pin with two round heads. I’m sure there is a technical name for this, but I don’t know what it is.
I worked on it for hours trying to get all the ribs started then in and up to the top. I even enlisted my husbands help for an extra set of hands, but that didn’t help. I was very frustrated and left it for a while then came back fresh and finally got it to work. The first and last ribs are glued on to the wood.
While my husband I were in California in July, we visited the Japanese Gardens in Los Angeles and I had purchased a cute little wooden fan stand.
I had visions of possibly producing fans to sell, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort unless I can develop an easier way to thread the ribs into the fan.
What projects have you started only to find it was harder than you thought?