Experimenting With Fibres

I posted a couple of months ago about using some of my friend’s hair decoration as an embellishment. She recently had some more in really nice colours, and saved them for me when she took them out. They look something like this. I took them with me to the well being centre a couple of weeks ago, and it tured out there was just me there that day. So I kind of spread out a little bit!:

These are the fibres/hair extensions, they start out straight, but end up wavy or crimped depending on how they’re used:

I blended some Merino to match:

I started with matching the fibres to the blends:

I used the same wool blends twice:

But used different coloured fibres on top at the other end (not great photos)

As soon as I started to wet it down it felt like there were far too many fibres on top. They kind of look/feel like trilobal nylon, but not quite as fine.

It took a lot to get it felted, the fibres acted like a barrier between my hands and the wool, I had to rub mostly from the back. I even resorted to rolling the felt in a bamboo mat. This is how it looked when it was dry:

You can see how much of the fibre is loose:

Not quite as much at this end:

I tugged off lots of loose fibre and this is how it looked afterwards:

It looked like I pulled it all off, but it was more obvious looking on an angle:

And I had to get a supermacro close up!

I did have another play around with the hair extensions, I’ll show that piece next time πŸ™‚

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12 Responses to Experimenting With Fibres

  1. annielynrosie says:

    Sometimes it’s nice to play on your own because your mind doesn’t get distracted. That’s quite an experiment – love the resulting colours!
    If you wanted to use the felt for a purse/journal cover it would be difficult to stitch because of the loose fibres but you could cover it with water dissolvable film before putting it under the sewing machine needle then when you’ve stitched it over and washed out the film, the top fibres should be held down ok.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Lyn πŸ™‚
      That’s a good idea to use the water soluble film! I thought I’d try a few more ways of using the fibre, but had pretty much decided it’d work best for things that won’t get handled much. It might seem like it didn’t ‘work’ very well, but I’ve actually tried to get that effect with some other fibres and they always felt in firmly!

  2. ruthlane says:

    Interesting experiment. I love the color combination. I like Lyn’s idea of stitching but I might just stitch a surface design which would add to the texture.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Ruth πŸ™‚
      Yeah, the colours are really nice, aren’t they? I was lucky we had similar shades of Merino. Yeah, there are lots of possibilities aren’t there?

  3. You send me down a rabbit hole of looking at hair extensions. I like the way they look on the felt. They seem to be just floating there by magic. Would they hold better, do you think, if they were mixed with some merino before adding to the top? I t would be fun to free motion embroider all over it.

    • zedster66 says:

      Ha, sorry Ann! πŸ™‚
      I’m going to try blending them. They aren’t very fine, so it’s quite like using Angelina, but in a longer length. I think they can be useful because they’re thicker than ‘usual’ embellishment fibres.

  4. Antje says:

    Wow Zed….amazing. The colours look good and the fibres have created an interesting surface (I just had to blow the photos up to soak up the full effect!). The piece is just crying out for some stitched embellishment.
    Walking past a hair/wig/extensions stall will never be the same again….I’ll need blinkers in addition to de-magnetising gloves – felting ‘bits’ always seem strangely attracted to my fingers!

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks Antje πŸ™‚
      I always spend ages looking at the wigs and hair decorations/extensions around Halloween, but they always look too thick and ‘wiry’ so have never given in and tried any. These ones are finer though so I’ll deffo keep an eye out for more like this. Or just wait for my friend’s old ones again!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Really interesting experiment. Thanks for sharing and look forward to the next instalment.

  6. Very interesting experiment. I like the colors but it sounds like it was a hassle to get felted. I think Lyns idea of using soluable film is a good one. Good luck with the next batch.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Marilyn πŸ™‚
      Yeah, the amount of fibre I used, plus the thickness of the fibre, and I suppose the type of fibre (very water resistant) all added together to make it difficult. It’d be worth while if the result can be used in a good way for something though.

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