Combining Weaving and Felting by Fiber Artist Cathy Wycliff

For many years I have been a lover of textiles, but I never wanted to knit or weave. Too fiddly….knit, purl, knit, purl. Or weave to a pattern but first figure out the sett, the epi. No, not me.

And then last year, I saw Meta vd Knijff’s small homespun weavings on felt on Flickr. Meta also uses natural dyes and paints and takes cool photographs as well. Meta is an artist in the Netherlands who I discovered on Flickr. So, back to the weavings on felt. I thought, hmmmm, if I could do that with weavings, then maybe I would like to weave. Then I discovered Saori weaving quite by accident, somewhere on the world wide web and subsequently took instruction.

I discovered that weaving doesn’t have to have patterns, that weaving can be creative and free, and what’s more–I could combine it with felt.

Over the period of a week or two, I made a bunch of small sample weaves, no plan in mind whatsoever. Then I grabbed some pre-felt I had in my stash, some homemade and some commercial. I fooled around placing the small weavings on pre-felt.

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Most of the weaving samples are cotton and/or wool, and all are woven on black thin cotton warp. There may be the odd novelty yarn thrown in there, since when I was weaving samples, I was not thinking about combining them with felt. I chose 3 samples to felt with: the largest is multi-colored, all cotton warp with all cotton weft. I chose a large bright turquoise commercial pre-felt batts called “Maori” from Opulent Fibers, which I recall being Corriedale. I used small pieces of the same prefect batt to cover parts of the all-cotton weaving.

The second largest piece was a weaving I made with mostly wool and some cotton weft. I used as pre-felt a piece I had cobbled together with my naturally dyed wool, half madder and half logwood. I did not use any wool wisps to cover parts of this weaving.

The last and smallest piece was a small sample weaving I made using partial wool, cotton and nylon weft on cotton warp. I placed the weave onto cider merino ( handmade by me) pre-felt–again no wool wisps to cover.

I felted all of them in the usual way but not rolling as long as normal because I had used pre-felt as the base. Besides, I was impatient to see how they turned out! All of them successfully felted, although I did use a bit of needle-felting to secure some areas, mostly with the largest all-cotton weaving. I think that will make a nice wall-hanging for someone who likes a lot of brightness in their decor. Unsure about the medium-sized one, perhaps a small wall-hanging or pillow-cover? And the third piece I have fashioned into a cuff with vintage buttons. The inside is soft as merino should be!

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Any weavers out there? You really don’t need a floor loom if you would like to get started weaving. You can even use a table loom, a pin-loom, or just hammer some nails into an old wooden photo frame, and you’ll be ready to weave and felt!

 

Thanks Cathy for yet another fiber technique to try!

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24 Responses to Combining Weaving and Felting by Fiber Artist Cathy Wycliff

  1. zedster66 says:

    They’re really nice, Cathy, and worked well with felting 🙂 I’ve wanted to learn weaving for a long time, but I don’t even know what setts or epis are or most of the other lingo. I think that and all the choices are what prevents a lot of people from knowing where to start, if you don’t even have a little bit of info, it’s overwhelming.

    • luvswool says:

      Thanks, Zed! You are right–the many choices of table and floor looms, sets and epis–these confuse would-be weavers. Best to start simply. Take a weaving class at your local guild or textile center. Experiment. See where it leads.

    • zedster66 says:

      I wish I could, there’s nothing like that here.

    • Teri Berry says:

      Zed, there is a wsd guild not too far from you, my local guild are brilliant for lending looms and spinning wheels and are very happy to offer advice. They are pretty good about sharing lifts to meetings too as not everyone can drive. I think this is your local guild: http://www.northcheshireswd.co.uk

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Teri 🙂 I might get in touch with them, but I did see a post on Facebook recently about their latest meeting and it was in the sticks nowhere near public transport. They might have info about others though.

  2. Lyn says:

    The weaving makes for great inlays in felt – sometimes you just have to have a go at a new skill and not worry too much eh?

    • luvswool says:

      Yes, Lyn. For me, no-worry weaving is best. That’s why I enjoy the creativity focus of Saori-style weaving. It’s an approach that allows you to experience the enjoyment of weaving first, with skills proficiency coming later. And the marriage of weave and felt is a joyous exploration!

  3. MCH says:

    Thank you for a great artical. brimming with ideas. of what is possible. Love what youve done. Thank you.

  4. luvswool says:

    Thanks so much, MCH, and so glad to hear you enjoyed my weave/felt blog! This is a wonderful time for fiber artists, with the current emphasis on combining fiber skills, mixed media and the arts.

  5. Frances says:

    Very interesting and unique

  6. Marian Mills says:

    I really love the textures you have in your weaving. Being able to felt the end result does make weaving more of an attractive option. I’m already envisaging bags and vests and …….Thank you for sharing your learning and experimenting.

  7. luvswool says:

    Thank you, Marian. You can really play with texture when combining felt and weaving, particularly when weaving with wool homespun. I liked incorporating wool roving into the weaving design as well. Always happy to share!

  8. ruthlane says:

    Great idea Cathy! I have made a couple of really small woven things and done some needle weaving with embroidery. And I’m with you, I don’t want to do all those patterns etc. Freeform is much more my style. It’s wonderful to see the weaving combined with felting. Thanks for the post.

  9. luvswool says:

    Thanks for your comments, Ruth! With weaving, small is definitely the way to start. Although there is beautiful cloth produced by pattern weavers, it is great fun to sit at a loom and go freestyle. Sometimes I have a color scheme in mind, but I usually set many of my cones and balls, roving and ribbons out at once and weave along with a little of this and that. Felt and weavings do make for a nice combination of fibers!

  10. Teri Berry says:

    Great idea to blend your weaving with felt Cathy, this reminds me of someone who was demonstrating weaving with wool tops at a show, she was creating beautiful landscapes that could then be felted or left soft and fluffy.

  11. luvswool says:

    Thanks, Teri! Learning a new fiber skill just opens up so many other opportunities to work with felt and other luscious fibers and create art!

  12. Meta says:

    Thanks Cathy for the mention. I really love your saori style of weaving, if i am able I want to take some instruction on that too. Do you have a saori loom?

  13. 1marylou says:

    Love, love this! Thanks for the post.

  14. Cool Idea Cathy. I am not a loom weaver. I like off loom weaving sometimes and I have done inkle weaving.

  15. luvswool says:

    Thanks, Ann! So many fiber arts to try, so little time.

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