Bubble Texture

My best-laid plans have gone awry, so I am going to show you a short piece I did back in 2012. Texture seems to be a popular topic so this should fit right in. Although this is an older post if you want to comment or ask about it you can.

People seem to be interested in how to make bubbles in felt. I know there is more than one way but this is how I did it. This is the storey of my bubble hat. I had made a renaissance hat form Chad Alice Hagen’s hat book. I t was to show a group of ladies that were taking a hat class with me. It is a big hat made on a resist that is shaped like a big droopy mushroom. When you finish it you make wrinkles in it and clothespin them till it dries. The problem is it looks great if you push it all forward and take a picture but from the back, it doesn’t look very good. I am sorry I don’t have a picture of it at that point.

What I did was use a shibori dying technique. I used felt balls but marbles or crumple tinfoil will work the same. I started in the middle. You pull the felt around the ball and tie it off as tight as you can. Move out from there repeating the wrap and tie. When it was all done I dropped it in a simmering dye bath. I let it boil for about an hour. When using this as a dye technique it is usually done on a non-felting fabric so you open it up later and flatten it out you have a die pattern. When you do it to felt at a boil it felts more and the bubble shapes stay in. Making bubbles takes a lot of felt. The hat would fit my dog now. If you put your hands in like a puppet it makes s great Muppet monster.

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12 Responses to Bubble Texture

  1. Lyn says:

    …but would your dog wear it?

    The dye pattern looks terrific, worth fiddling around with, and the technique is interesting. I love the turquoise in with the blue.

  2. zedster66 says:

    Ha, Lyn made me laugh 🙂
    I really like the effect of the dyeing on the back.

  3. shepherdessann says:

    No, my dog won’t wear it. She has better fashion sense than that. It is an interesting dye effect on the wool, you get more resistance because the wool self resists in the folds much more then cotton or silk would. I makes a nice pattern on silk and cotton. I saw a movie on a master shibori designer. It is a very painstaking process of tying and dyeing. The results wear fantastic but it took 1 year to make 1 kimono. It was a multicoloured scene of mount Fuji across the sleeves and back as if it were all one. I can’t find a picture of it. if you google shibori kimonos you can see that many of the patterns are made by tying up little tiny bits of the fabric.

  4. ruthlane says:

    Very discriminating dog 🙂 I agree about how time consuming shibori can be. Great piece Ann.

  5. artbylizb says:

    great bubbles Ann.

  6. shepherdessann says:

    Thanks Ruth and Liz

  7. annielynrosie says:

    I’d forgotten about this piece – the felt looks very pretty.

  8. ruthlane says:

    And the question is, did your dog maybe hide it? If it was my dog, he would have eaten it.

    • No, It is probably in the bottom of a bin somewhere. Fortunately our last dog was not a chewer or shredder. We are currently dogless. we will have another in the not so distant future. We can’t decide what type we want and the house would have to be puppy proofed again.

  9. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    I love the colors and design of the shibori. I don’t think I would have used it for the bubbles.

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