Prefelt and Structure

If you have been following my experiments lately, I have been trying felt rope as a base for structure. I had a request to try the same experiment with prefelt to see if there was any difference between the two.

I made  a piece of prefelt and cut it into strips with a rotary cutter. I decided to use two strips to give the same weight as the felt rope in my prior experiment. I also covered the same resist with two layers of wool laid perpendicular to the length of the resist.

I used two strips of prefelt and wrapped around the resist. These were stitched in place with yellow 30 weight machine thread. It was easier to stitch the prefelt than the felt rope.

I then covered this with two more layers of wool over the prefelt strips wrapped in the same direction as the first layer. The photos above show the piece after I removed the resist and the photo on the right is a closer look at one of the prefelt strip areas. It definitely shrank differently than the felt rope. The rope got very wavy under the felt.

And here it is after fulling and shaping. The only different thing that I did this time was to continue to stretch the prefelt areas into circular shapes as I was fulling. I think that helped to smooth out the circles compared to my last try.

And here are the two together. The one on the left is made with felt rope and the one on the right is with prefelt. Essentially the same thing. As you can see, the rope is a bit wavier but that might have been avoided if I have stretched it more during fulling. The thing I like about this experiment is that the prefelt works just as well as the rope and for me, it’s much easier to make. So I think my experiments with felt rope are over. 😉

About ruthlane

When I discovered felting in 2007, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I love that the versatility of fiber allows me to “play” with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
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14 Responses to Prefelt and Structure

  1. Karen Lane says:

    Looks like you’ve perfected it Ruth! Using prefelt to make ropes is good as you can ensure an even thickness no matter how long a rope you’re making.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Karen! I definitely prefer the prefelt method and since it gives very similar results I see no need to add felt ropes!

  2. annielynrosie says:

    Job done! I think I prefer the smooth one on the right – it stands proud don’t you think?

  3. Sally K Stites says:

    Thank you for the insight. I don’t like making felt ropes all that much either.

    • ruthlane says:

      You’re welcome Sally, it’s good to have done the experiments and see that the results are nearly identical. No more felt ropes for me at the moment 🙂

  4. I like the prefelt one better too and I bet it didn’t try to shift around the way the ropes did. Do you have a plan to use the technique for something or are you on to something else?

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Ann, the prefelt was easier to work with than the rope for sure. I have no specific plans, just experimenting and learning.

  5. Lindsay Wilkinson Artwork says:

    Yay! Thanks for doing this Ruth and great that the prefelt worked at least as well. I too am not a fan of making rope so it’s a good result all round.

  6. Antje says:

    Great experiments Ruth.
    Parallelfunk almost Always uses prefelt to achieve her sculptural pieces – you’ve just demonstrated that it will work for all of us & that we have an alternative to ropes.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Antje, it’s nice to know for sure that the difference between using ropes and using prefelt is minimal. Prefelt is definitely my preference.

  7. Very interesting experiment Ruth! I like the prefelt as well. Good to know.

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