Felt Rope and Structure Part Two or How To Wet Felt A Dill Pickle

Felt Rope and Structure Part Two or How To Wet Felt A Dill Pickle

I showed you my first failed experiment with a felt rope and using it for structure. I got loads of good ideas on how to improve the experiment and took those suggestions and came up with a plan.

First off, I decided to work around a flat resist and use the same kind of wool for the felt rope as the rest of the surface. So I used mixed 56’s that I hand dye. I dry felted a felt rope from the yellow wool. I didn’t add any water at all but just rolled it dry until it was holding together. It wasn’t firm at all. I left the ends loose so that I could make sure the rope was well attached.

I covered the resist with light green wool with a couple of thin layers all running lengthwise to the resist.

I then wrapped the felt rope around the wool covered resist and added a couple more thin layers of wool in the light green. I added a bit of darker green to the ends.

And then I rubbed and felted and began fulling before removing the resist. Here it is after I took the resist out.

And then I fulled it into submission. You can see how much shrinkage there was in comparison to the resist. It is very hard and certainly won’t lose it’s shape.

And here it is after I shaved the surface a bit. It could use a bit more shaving but I haven’t had time to let it dry yet. So once it’s dry, I will shave it again. To me, it looks like a dill pickle or perhaps a small minnow? It is much more in line with what I was thinking when I first tried the experiment. I will have to try it on a larger scale. I’m not sure that the felt rope adds any advantage over prefelt cut in a strip. Perhaps if I have gotten the rope a bit harder, it might have effected the shape more. Next time, I think I will lay the resist wool going around the short side of the resist instead of lengthwise. I would also use less wool on the ends of the rope or just use a cut strip of prefelt.



8 thoughts on “Felt Rope and Structure Part Two or How To Wet Felt A Dill Pickle

  1. What a lot of shrinkage! But you achieved your dill pickle (we call them gherkins on this side of the pond).

    Instead of a making a rope, would a thin strip of scrap fulled felt (not prefelt) work ?

    1. Yes, the shrinkage was a lot but I fulled it very hard. A thin scrap of fulled felt would probably work too. Another experiment to try. 🙂

  2. Using a thick prefelt would give more definition Ruth but, looking back at your first experiment and knowing that your original intention was for more of a “rope” effect, I’ve had an idea although I’ve not tried this before so can’t promise it will work!
    You could try making a rope and get it firm, but leave some scope for further shrinkage, then make your main piece to prefelt stage. Leave both pieces to dry. Rough up the surface of the rope (I use a spark plug brush for roughing up my felt but a suede brush would do) and attach it to the body with some hand stitching to hold it in place. Add a thin layer of fibre over the rope to help join it to the body and continue felting. I’m going to give it a try now I’ve thought if it so will report back. If you try it good luck!

  3. Thanks Karen! That’s another good idea to try. I would love to see your results when you try it. It sounds like it would definitely work. It’s always interesting to see how these different methods work.

  4. Great pickle, with amazing shrinkage. It will be interesting to see how the direction of the wool layout effects the shrinkage. once you figure this out with experiments do you have a final bigger project in mind? Or are you just having fun?

  5. Definitely a gherkin/dill pickle Ruth. I was amazed to see the amount of shrinkage even considering you fulled it hard. Getting the resist out must have been quite a challenge.

    I’m interested to see the comparison laying the wool fibres the opposite direction.

    Other than studying differential shrinkage did you have another goal Ruth?

    1. Thanks Antje, the shrinkage was pretty amazing. It shows that I don’t usually full as much as possible. Just experimenting, no specific goals.

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