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?