Another prefelt seedpod

This is a guest post by Kim Winter of Flextiles.

A few weeks ago, Ruth posted about how the shape of a seedpod she made using prefelt was influenced by differential shrinkage. I thought I would try out this technique with a couple of variations. πŸ™‚

This is the seedpod I was inspired by. I found it on a beach in Thailand, but I have no idea what plant it is from!

thai seedpod

Unlike Ruth, I didn’t make “fresh” prefelt. I have a box (or three!) of old felt experiments and pieces I don’t like very much, which I am happy to cut up and reuse in new pieces. Technically this is not prefelt but actual felt. However, roughing up the surface with a wire brush usually loosens up enough fibres to allow it to attach to fresh fibre.

For this experiment I decided to use a felt tablet cover that I didn’t like, as it was very thick (I think it was two layers of merino sandwiching a layer of Gotland).

I worked inside out on this piece, partly because I wanted some spikes protruding from inside the pod and partly because I have found that it is easier to attach the prefelt or fabric this way.

First I made some spikes.

felt spikes

Then I cut out some vaguely diamond shapes from the tablet cover and roughed up the inside surface (which was white) with the wire brush. I laid these upside down (that is, purple side down) on the circular resist.

seed pod resist

Then I covered them with a thin layer of orange merino. I laid it in a circular pattern because I wanted the piece to shrink more around the circumference than along its height.

seed pod orange layer

After wetting down and a bit of gentle rubbing, I turned the piece over, folding the felt diamonds over and covering them with more orange merino. After wetting down and minimal rubbing, I added the spikes in the centre with more merino, rubbing very thoroughly to ensure they were properly attached.

seed blog spikes

Once I was sure that the spikes would not detach, I rolled the piece, rearranging the position of the spikes every time I changed direction.

When the felt passed the pinch test and I could see the darker outlines of the prefelt coming through, I cut a hole in the opposite side to the spikes and removed the resist.

removing the resist

I continued to roll the piece to start the shrinkage and firm up the cut edges and then turned it inside out so that the spikes were now on the inside.

seed pod right way out

To help with the fulling I immersed it in hot water and continued to rub and roll, sometimes turning it back inside out to continue the shrinkage and shaping process.

final seed pod

The spikes were actually a little bit short, so I curled the top edges of the vessel down and pushed up the bottom a bit to ensure they protruded properly. Also, I wish I had made them a different colour – maybe red.

And quite a lot of the Gotland has migrated through, so the final piece is a bit hairy. I might shave it.

seed pod

Thanks to Ruth for the inspiration!

About Flextiles

Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.
This entry was posted in Guest Writer, Made From Felt, sculptural felt, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Another prefelt seedpod

  1. queenpushy says:

    Great job! Pod came out really good. Was very inspired by your use of old felt as I too have a ton of rejected projects that I haven’t disposed of.

  2. Beautiful, even if hairy! Thanks for sharing your process!

  3. kateniblett says:

    This is a seed pod from a pandanus tree. I have two of them growing in my garden- I live in Queensland Australia.
    I love you seed pod. Your first one inspired me to make a pumpkin- wish I could upload the photo as I’m really proud of it

  4. kateniblett says:

    Great inspiration! Your seed pod is from the pandanus palm. I have two growing in my garden – I live in Queensland Australia.
    Your first post inspired me and I made a pumpkin. Wish I could upload the image- I’m really thrilled with it

  5. Sally K Stites says:

    Thank you for posting this. I have learned a lot from it!

  6. Wonderful Ruth, love this!

    • Flextiles says:

      Sorry about the confusion – it was me, Kim from Flextiles, who wrote this. I’ve added an intro to the post to make it clearer. πŸ™‚

  7. annielynrosie says:

    What a fabulous pod! Love the shape, spikes and colours.
    It looks good ‘hairy’ – a lot of plants use fine hairs for various purposes – don’t shave it!
    Your process photos and text were very interesting to read.

  8. Janet Morton says:

    Love this work. May I ask if you trimmed the orange opening towards the purple prefelt or is this natural shrinkage? Thank you for such detailed sharing. Janet

    • Flextiles says:

      Thanks Janet. I initially cut a circle to remove the resist, but later on in the fulling process I trimmed the orange felt to follow the line of the purple prefelt, so it was more of a scalloped shape. Then I continued rolling and fulling to finish the cut edges.

  9. ruthlane says:

    Great post Kim! I love the variations that you added. The spikes really make a great addition to the seed pod and the use of old felt is a great idea too. And you also learned the name of your inspiration pod πŸ™‚

  10. Kay says:

    This looks wonderful, well done!

  11. koffipot says:

    A very lovely pod, well made. Now you should sow a few of those seeds and see what you get. πŸ™‚

  12. Antje says:

    Kim, I love your resulting seed pod using differential shrinkage, which you’ve explained very clearly.
    Great idea to use ‘old’ unloved felt, the initial colours from that first piece have added real interest to the pod….you’ve certainly given me food for thought!

  13. Love the pod. a great idea to work inside out. I will have to have a go at this.

  14. Pingback: Influencing Shape with Fiber Layout and Prefelt | feltingandfiberstudio

We love comments and love to hear your opinions. Thanks for stopping by.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.