Wet Felting for Valentine’s Day!! Day 2
After leaving the hedgehog overnight to dry on the air filter, he had successfully completed his mission to dry.
I could now begin to add a bit more width to his cheeks. Next, add his coat. I chose an Icelandic fleece using the outer guard hair part of the dual coat as the bristles and bits of the inner coat to help space and increase adhesion of the guard hairs.
I separated the tog (outer coat of guard hairs), which is less inclined to felt when wet, from the undercoat which is soft and crimpy. To separate the two types of coats, hold the tips and base firmly and gently pull away from each other. Sometimes it takes a bit of a rhythmic tugging to free the tog. Once separated, I could use the tog to start building the outer prickles for the hedgehog.
I used a 38 star needle for most of the felting (except the ears which I also use the fake clover tool with T40’s loaded). I lay the guard hairs down, attaching across the locks then laid in a bit of the under coat to increase adherence. I worked the needles at low angles to almost parallel to the fibers catching a few fibers in the barbs at a time and pushing them into the layer of felt over the soap bar.
I added a bit of the under coat to give extra adhesion.
I then folded up the tips which had been pointing away from the fibers I was adding to. Again securing them into the under layer of felt above the soap.
Occasionally I would add a bit of the under coat to the folded tip side too.
The order of addition was backwards to the layering I usually do when I want a coat to lie naturally. Since I wanted this to stand up, I needed to increase the density of the coat so it would not lie down. This time I starting from around the face (in white) then switching to the darker part of the coat, worked back towards the butt. I left the butt ends a bit shorter than the tips as I laid them in.
Once I got his coat on, I brushed and lifted the ends with the mini carder (dog brush). This fluffed him up nicely.
He is a cute little hedgehog! Here is a shot of the underside so you can see the bar of soap which is the base.
Laying in the coat which is quite tightly packed took most of the day. I finished him after dinner and did the fluffing. So this would not be a economically viable option for mass production. There are a couple other options that may work faster such as using a section of the washed fleece and attaching it to the underfelt more as a blanket rather than a few locks at a time. I suspect it would not give the density that adding locks as I did allowed.
Poor little guy, doesn’t suspect his life will be full of wetness then getting dry just in time for the next wetness to set in. I bet he would drip dry quicker if he could hang up. I should add a “rope” for this soap. I looked first at a piece of Kumohimo but the cotton fiber seemed wrong.
So, I took the brush waste from the mini carder and added some of the washed locks and drafted it out. By adding a good deal of over twist with one of my spindles, I quickly had a two-ply yarn that could be mistaken for a rope.
I added the rope with a bit of needle felting along the edges of the underside of the soap-hedgehog using a bit of the under coat and pulled apart bits of the extra yarn to help secure it.
Ah, that’s better a way to dry faster and a loop handle so you don’t have to pick him up by his nose!
Last thing left to do. It is Valentine ’s Day after all, so He needs a Heart! I hunted around, found my bag of various red coriadales, choosing Nutmeg, and hand blending it with some of the reddish brown undercoat from the Icelandic fleece. (Colour should never be flat! Unless you are doing something graphic)
A few quick stabs and I had the shape. Now to add it to the right spot. Hmm, there is not much wool on the underbelly of this hedgehog! So, I was very careful in the angle of felting. The needle does sink into the soap fine but leaves a stinky soap smell on the needle and a bit on the wool as it emerges. (Just a warning – make sure you keep the angle of entrance and exit the same or the soap will want to break your needle)
Now I just have to wait to find out if Glenn likes his new shower time friend.
57- 62 the unwrapping, he found the Heart!
Yes Success!! I will try to get a shot after his first shower experience and see how he holds up!
63 First Shower! one bedraggled hedgehog
There seems to be a strange moose in my bed but he does have a bag of chocolate Easter eggs so I guess he can stay! (This is Canada, you do find moose in odd places here, often in swimming pools)
It is normal to see the triceratops, Cthulhu (who is somewhere else today) and the Balrog in bed. The moose was a surprise so was the chocolate, he can stay.
the last word from Hedgehog:
17 thoughts on “Wet Felting for Valentine’s Day!! Day 2”
Wow!!!! We absolutely love him, he so super cute!!!! In fact, he’s almost too cute to use!! I think he’d live in my top drawer if he was mine!!! <3 <3 <3
he has had a week of shower time with Glenn and is looking a bit bedraggled! i think a corser fiber trimed shorter would be a good alternate prickle/back fur for the hedghog (not Glenn). he is still quite cute but now a bit more of a shocked look on his little face.
Thank you Alex for such a great idea!! your Ladybug/bird inspired me, i wonder what you will make with your next soap! i am thinking an Ankylosaurus (an armored dinosaur looks a bit like a turtle) mite be fun! Thanks Again!!
I think he looks lovely, he’s got such a cheeky face,+ and I couldn’t subject him to a wetting either.
I usually use smelly (nice) soap in with my fibres to help keep the moth away, and give the fibres a lovely smell, so I think that this is what I might do with such a soapy fellow. But no, I think he’d just have to sit where he could be seen to cheer me up and make the room smell nice.
I do have to say that I’m not a fan of felted soaps. I can’t bear the thought of slimy felt. I always think of it taking ages to dry out and ending up smelling like a mucky dish cloth!
Thanks Ann, he actually is drying quite well so far. Glenn hangs him on a hook that is away from the wall but still over the tub, so he is in good air flow. poor little hedgehog still stinks of “Irish spring” soap but defiantly not any moldy dish towel smell yet!! Glenn is a mail man (letter carrier) so Hedgehog may eventually smell like letters and numbers from all Glenn’s hours at work!
it was a fun project and i am thinking i may try a soap covering project again. i like the idea of smelly soap as a moth deturant. i hear smelly soap works well to deture deer from eating young trees if you drill a hole in the soap, tie on a rope then hang it from the little tree you want to deture them from. i had a patent that sent her husband out to “water” the plants the deer seemed interested in. i think the watering involed drinking beer and not useing a watering can or regular water. i hear it was effective but best if you live in the country or your nabers are away. (the soap idea is much more nabour frendly)
What a cute chap! I’d have trouble using him for showering, he’s too adorable to shrink away with every use…
I loved the heart detail. With me, it’s usually belly buttons I add but the heart is definitely much more season-appropriate 😀
i dont think i would have used him ether but Glenn was brave and we will have an odd shaped cat toy when Hedgehog has run out of soap! i hadnt thot of belly buttons!!! that would have been vary cute!
You did a lovely job of making him but he’s too cute to use! Poor bedraggled thing.
yes he is quite bedraggled! but he is vary brave and is doing his best to keep Glenn clean!! the felting of soap was lots of fun and in the ziploc bag i stayed dry and still wet felted!!!
Oh, he’s adorable. Does he have a name? Looks like he was a hit with Glenn and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Definitely not something that could be mass produced and sold though.
thanks Ruth! he would not be easy to mass produce but would be a grate use for fleeces deemed extreemly corse and not what you thot you ordered!! i think the belly should stay something softer so the soap will soak through.
i think we will have to only make hedgehog soaps for vary select, special recipients! i will inquire if he has been named and get back to you!
i asked Glenn about names, (i interrupted him at work). he has not yet decided but was considering Crevice. im not sure that is a good name, so hedgehog may need some help so he dosnt get stuck with a crummy name!
Any suggestions for naming a soap hedgehog?
He is great Jan, I am glad Gen liked him. Maybe some felted fleece would work well just cut it to shape and needle it in. If you are going to end up with a cat toy you will need to get a kitten to go with it.
Name? How about Bubbles?
We all seem to be of one mind….Herbert (the hedgehog) is far to cute to be made wet, rubbed & left bedraggled to drip dry via his nose….poor thing.
He needs to stand proud where he can be admired or at the very least put to work by protecting against invading moths.
Glenn certainly seems to have appreciated his heart felt(ed) gift 🤪