Another Historical Sample

Another Historical Sample

I showed you a historical felt pattern sample recently where I used a water soluble stabilizer to create the pattern. Obviously, in ancient times, this product would not have been available. So I needed to try a more traditional method.

I decided to try a different design based on wings. The pattern was printed twice and put one over top of the other in a mirrored pattern. The paper design was covered with plastic so I could lay wet wool down on top of the pattern. This is the method that Ildi uses, thanks again Ildi!

Next, wool yarn was wet down and applied over the pattern. Pre yarn would work better, but this is what I have in my stash.

The colors chosen were two shades of blue, one leaning towards blue green and the other leaning towards the violet side of blue. The fiber was wet down and laid in place. Layout definitely takes time with this method.

Then another layer of the dark blue was laid out on top of the wet wool pattern. I didn’t need to add any water to this wool as there was plenty already available. Next on to felting. The piece was kept in between plastic for the entire felting process but then with fulling, the piece was rolled against itself. Big mistake as this caused the yarn to fragment and pull free in some areas. Sigh.

Here’s the piece after felting and the black was not a clean line. Again, this is partly from using a twisted yarn instead of a pre yarn but also due to the fulling method.

I shaved the black but it is still not as clear as I would like. The design also had very sharp points where I cut the yarn and the ends didn’t felt in as well.

This is the sharpness that I would prefer. These two pieces were made quite a while ago. I made all the felt, then cut out the shapes and appliqued (hand stitched) them down. I then couched a green yarn around the shapes. This is a traditional ram’s horn design that is seen frequently in the Central Asian areas.

Have you tried any traditional felt patterns? I would love to see your results. You can upload photos here.  Or you can show us over on the forum.

16 thoughts on “Another Historical Sample

  1. A very interesting sample Ruth. Having seen Ildi’s post on this method I was tempted to try it but I was trying to figure a way to stop the back colour bleeding into the design. There’s no sign that this has happened in your sample which is great to know.
    Just on the black DHG Italy sell a yarn brand is Piuma which is merino and it has hardly any twist to it. It comes in many different shades and I find it great for the stained glass technique.
    I love your design and colour scheme 😍

    1. Thanks Helene! I have tried a couple of samples using Ildi’s method and the back color doesn’t seem to bleed through much. But I don’t full these really hard either. I took a look at the DHG Piuma and it looks lovely.

  2. It’s a shame that you didn’t get exactly the result you wanted, perhaps if you “unplied” the black yarn and/or partially “unspun” it it might have worked better?
    I liked the design though.

    1. Thanks Ann, that’s what samples are for, to make sure that you get the result you are wanting. I soak the yarn in water first in small lengths and it definitely “unspins” a bit. Maybe I could purposely try to take more of the twist out.

  3. It’s a pity about the black yarn not giving a crisp edge. Always good to sample materials and techniques, as you do, before starting on a larger piece.
    I was trying to think whether I have used historical designs in my work. I suppose the nearest to that would be simple spirals which I’ve been hand and machine sewing on to a felt piece recently. Thinking about it the spiral dates way, way back although I hadn’t made the connection while I was doing It!

    1. Thanks Karen, yes, sampling is important for sure. The spiral is definitely an ancient pattern, along with things like circles and other simple shapes.

  4. The blue on blue piece looks good Ruth!
    Different methods produce different results and there is a wonderful sharpness in your two older pieces.

    Helene’s tip about the merino yarn might be worth a go – I’ve looked at the site and the colours of the Piuma are gorgeous.

    1. Thanks Lyn! I do like the sharpness in the stitched pieces. I realize that some felt makers think that’s cheating. I’m not going to worry about that though since this is for design purposes and I don’t have to follow any “rules”.

    2. I have decided that there is no such thing as cheating in felt art. You do what you gotta do to achieve the result!
      And who was it who said ‘rules are there to be broken’.

  5. Love the Shyrdak pieces! What do you find is the best way to draw out the design? I use a paper template and tailor’s chalk but wondered if there is a more efficient and accurate method. Thanks!

    1. Sorry – I just saw the Nogai Floral Design post and that was helpful 🙂

    2. Thanks, I am glad you found the Nogai post. You can also use freezer paper to draw the design, iron it to the felt and then cut out the design. I think that works best if you are stitching the pieces together.

    3. How about if you cut out a template of the design and then draw round it on the felt with a water soluble pen, or even a pen with heat removable ink? I would think that either way you could get a clean line round the design if you are careful when cutting it out.

  6. Great piece Ruth. yarn can be tricky. How it is spun and plied makes such a difference. I like pencil roving if you can find it. Brigs and little country roving is good. It comes as 5 strands side by side. You can use one or more depending on how thick a line you want. There’s one called Buffalo roving that’s the same. I haven’t had any problem with the navy but the red I had bled so you would need to check it.

    1. Thanks Ann, the yarn worked better the first time I used it. Thanks for your recommendations for different pencil rovings.

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