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Combining Weaving and Felting by Fiber Artist Cathy Wycliff

Combining Weaving and Felting by Fiber Artist Cathy Wycliff

For many years I have been a lover of textiles, but I never wanted to knit or weave. Too fiddly….knit, purl, knit, purl. Or weave to a pattern but first figure out the sett, the epi. No, not me.

And then last year, I saw Meta vd Knijff’s small homespun weavings on felt on Flickr. Meta also uses natural dyes and paints and takes cool photographs as well. Meta is an artist in the Netherlands who I discovered on Flickr. So, back to the weavings on felt. I thought, hmmmm, if I could do that with weavings, then maybe I would like to weave. Then I discovered Saori weaving quite by accident, somewhere on the world wide web and subsequently took instruction.

I discovered that weaving doesn’t have to have patterns, that weaving can be creative and free, and what’s more–I could combine it with felt.

Over the period of a week or two, I made a bunch of small sample weaves, no plan in mind whatsoever. Then I grabbed some pre-felt I had in my stash, some homemade and some commercial. I fooled around placing the small weavings on pre-felt.

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Most of the weaving samples are cotton and/or wool, and all are woven on black thin cotton warp. There may be the odd novelty yarn thrown in there, since when I was weaving samples, I was not thinking about combining them with felt. I chose 3 samples to felt with: the largest is multi-colored, all cotton warp with all cotton weft. I chose a large bright turquoise commercial pre-felt batts called “Maori” from Opulent Fibers, which I recall being Corriedale. I used small pieces of the same prefect batt to cover parts of the all-cotton weaving.

The second largest piece was a weaving I made with mostly wool and some cotton weft. I used as pre-felt a piece I had cobbled together with my naturally dyed wool, half madder and half logwood. I did not use any wool wisps to cover parts of this weaving.

The last and smallest piece was a small sample weaving I made using partial wool, cotton and nylon weft on cotton warp. I placed the weave onto cider merino ( handmade by me) pre-felt–again no wool wisps to cover.

I felted all of them in the usual way but not rolling as long as normal because I had used pre-felt as the base. Besides, I was impatient to see how they turned out! All of them successfully felted, although I did use a bit of needle-felting to secure some areas, mostly with the largest all-cotton weaving. I think that will make a nice wall-hanging for someone who likes a lot of brightness in their decor. Unsure about the medium-sized one, perhaps a small wall-hanging or pillow-cover? And the third piece I have fashioned into a cuff with vintage buttons. The inside is soft as merino should be!

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Any weavers out there? You really don’t need a floor loom if you would like to get started weaving. You can even use a table loom, a pin-loom, or just hammer some nails into an old wooden photo frame, and you’ll be ready to weave and felt!

 

Thanks Cathy for yet another fiber technique to try!

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