I might have mentioned a while ago that I’d be doing wet felting workshops at an event called MakeFest at the Museum of Science and Industry in August (8th and 9th, if anyone’s interested!). I must admit I didn’t realise it was a 2 day thing when I applied, or I probably wouldn’t have. I started getting ready for it back in May after getting accepted so I didn’t get overwhelmed with stuff to do. I bought the wool and fibres, made some batts, dyed some wool locks and fibres etc. The last few weeks I’ve been making small samples to take, just to give people a few ideas, so they can make something nice for themselves and also a few examples which show the kinds of things you can do/make with wool/felt.
They have a textiles gallery at MOSI which I’ve always loved, they have working machines processing cotton from raw fluff into cotton sliver and then into fabric, and also displays of different fibres showing the raw material they came from, like coal, oil, flax or cotton and the fabric they are usually processed into. And since I kind of like the odd fibre or 20, I thought it’d be a perfect chance to show wet felting and get people to try those fibres out with it. I made a small sample piece showing how lots of different undyed fibres look after felting. They’re mostly in alphabetical order, from the top: Bamboo top; Bamboo staple and Soy staple; Banana; Cotton; Flax; Hemp; Ingeo; Milk; Nylon staple and Plastic staple; Ramie; Soy top; and on the bottom Viscose staple and Kapok:
This is one of my favourite pieces I made lately. It uses crimped Plastic fibre, made from recycled bottles. I used it blended with Merino, under dyed cotton scrim and also as a surface embellishment to create a kind of landscape:
I’ve dyed some of the fibres I’m taking as well as having samples of them all undyed. One which dyes really nicely is Nylon. I usually go for more muted or ‘natural’ looking shades, but Nylon seems to suit more vivid colours. This is a sample made with dyed Crimped Nylon:
One other thing I really love is wool locks. I’ve had a few hundred grams of Gotland I’ve been really careful with over the years, but recently Zara was really generous when we did a swap and sent me loads (well over a kilo!) of the most gorgeous Gotland in many shades and varieties, so I dyed a lot of my ‘old’ ones to take to MakeFest. I used them on a couple of pieces. This is the first one:
I don’t know what other displays, demos or workshops will be there, but it’s a huge place, so I’m sure there’ll be something for everyone.