Felt Rope and Structure Part Three

Felt Rope and Structure Part Three

I have been continuing my experiments with felt rope and structure so here we are at part three. (Part One and Part Two, if you missed them.) I had gotten so many different suggestions that I wanted to try out a different method. This involved stitching the felt rope to prefelt so it would stay in place.

Luckily, I found some already made felt rope so I didn’t have to spend time making it. But, it wasn’t long enough to spiral around the resist but I had three pieces that would work. My resist is bigger than the last one where I made the felt “pickle”. It’s about 8″ x 15″ (20 x 38 cm). I covered the resist with two very thin layers of wool and laid all the wool perpendicular to the long side of the resist. This is the opposite direction to what I used on the the felt “pickle”. I then wet down and felted the piece to prefelt.

Here it is. If you look carefully, you will see a few holes. But I decided not to worry about it since I was adding a second layer of wool over this one. I put the felt outside and it dried in just  a few minutes. It is 96 degrees F (35+ C) here today.

Now to stitch the felt rope to the prefelt. I used a matching color machine weight thread and hand stitched the ropes in place. You can see them stitched on in the right hand photo. I stitched the ends of the rope together so it would be a continuous circle around the wool.

Now to add more wool over the top of the stitched ropes. I kept the wool running in the same direction as the first layer of wool and covered with another couple of thin layers of wool. Then to start rubbing and getting everything to hold together. I did appreciate that the ropes were held in place well and didn’t shift or move during the felting process.

Here’s the piece after felting and beginning to full. The resist is still inside at the moment. I just snipped off one end to pull the resist out.

Next up was fulling. Here is the piece after I finished fulling. The felt rope got really wavy and wasn’t staying firm enough to hold a circle. I’m not sure why but I completely forgot to stretch the felt rope as I was going along so it would stay more circular. But then I had an “Aha” moment or a “Duh” moment (whichever way you like to think about it) and I thought I would try and stretch out the rope so it would dry more round.

Here’s my felt yard art on a stick. The rope didn’t stretch out completely but it is circular enough for me. Another fun experiment completed and the stitching worked perfectly to keep the rope in place while felting. I just need to shave off the fuzzies once this has dried. What should I experiment with next? Any good ideas?

16 thoughts on “Felt Rope and Structure Part Three

    1. Thanks Karen, I appreciated your suggestion and it worked great. I was glad I didn’t have the extra step of making the felt ropes 🙂

  1. This is super Ruth. Love it! Last year I experimented with incorporating felt ropes inside a book resist structure. My inspiration came from architecture specifically St Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel in Finland. I was fascinated by the wooden framework which is perfection in my eyes. Anyway I made a book resist in the shape of a pear (merino and silk) I prefelted 7 cords the main section was Finnish wool and I added spikes of coloured cap merino to the top of the cords. Then came the tricky part, sewing the (frameword) cords into the internal structure to make the piece stand. I made holes in the top of the external (pear shape resist) so that the coloured spikes could break through. I added a light fitting and it now is a functional piece. A lot of work but very pleased with the result. I can send on photos if you would like to see it. Cheers! Hélène

    1. Thanks Helene! I would love to see your book resist structure with the felt ropes. Can you post the photos over on the free forum? It sounds like a load of work but I bet the outcome is wonderful.

  2. Your ‘yard art’ is like an exotic flower and it will brighten up any part of the garden.

    It looks like you’re having fun with this and getting really interesting outcomes.

  3. Very interesting experiments, as ever, Ruth. I’m pretty sure thick prefelt strips would work as well as felt rope and may be less inclined to roll around when you’re working them. You can make the strips long by cutting continuously around the edges of a piece of prefelt. (Hope that’s a clear explanation.) I’d be interested in seeing you test this assertion, as you’re asking!

    1. Thanks Lindsay, I will give the prefelt idea a try. I understand what you mean about cutting the prefelt. Coming soon…

    1. Thanks Ann, it is a thing, isn’t it? I didn’t mind the wiggle either. I was thinking about it being a lamp too.

  4. So interesting to see the process developing and succeeding – great result! What if you had a more random pattern with smaller gaps between the felt rope/prefelt so you end up with something that looks like brain coral?

    1. Thanks Kim, what a good idea. That sounds like it would make a very cool texture for sure. I will give it a try 🙂

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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