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Yurt Update – Felting a Wall Panel

Yurt Update – Felting a Wall Panel

Dennis and I started felting a wall panel this past weekend. It was a ton of work but now that we have the process down, I think it will go faster (keep your fingers crossed!). This post has a ton of photos so I hope you make it to the end.

Respite StationI set up this tent and my massage table with a water thermos for breaks. I am having a few neck and back issues so I need to take frequent breaks.

Ready to StartI started with a 12 foot by 16 foot tarp and 4 batts of wool.

Field DraggerThis is the field dragger that goes behind the tractor. We will attach the felt roll to the back of this to roll it around the field.

Size MarkedFirst I measured and taped off what size I needed the wool to be before shrinkage. I was working on the idea that the felt would shrink 6-10%. The sample felted down by 6%.

Corners Marked

I just marked the edges and corners with blue tape.

6" ShortI was really disappointed that one batt didn’t cover the entire width. It was short about 6 inches.

Batt in ThirdsThe batts come folded up in thirds and then rolled. So I spread out the batt.

Need 6" MoreAnd then I had to take a portion of another batt and cover the extra 6″.

Cutting the BattSo I cut the batt and lined up the pieces along the edge.

First Layer Laid OutI did overlap slightly and spread the batt a little thinly at the edges so it wouldn’t be a big lump where the two batts attached during felting.

Watering Can with SoapI filled this 5 gallon watering can with cold water from the hose and soap.

Still Adding WaterAnd sprinkled about 5-6 cans on.

Removing AirCovered it with plastic and tried to get some air out. That didn’t work too well.

Hosing It DownSo I took off the plastic and sprayed it with the hose.

As Wet as It GetsHere’s the first layer after being wet down. You can see that it wasn’t all completely wet.

Second Layer at Right AngleNext I add a second layer of batt in the opposite direction.

Finishing Off the Second LayerThat had to be pieced and cut as well.

Second Layer Complete

So here’s both layers and I added more water with the hose after this photo.

Stompin' On ItThen we walked on it.

Straightening the EdgesNext I made sure the edges were relatively straight.

Adding More WaterWhere the edges weren’t completely wet, I sprayed them into submission.

Covered and Ready to RollCovered it with thin plastic,

Folding in the Tarp

folded the tarp in on both sides,

PVC Pipe in PlaceAnd then we’re ready to roll around the PVC pipe.

RollingHere I am starting to roll. I told Dennis at this point that it looks like I am all by myself and working really hard. But he helped, I promise. Just no photos as he had the camera most of the time.

RolledWe got it all rolled up,

Cable through PVC Pipe to TowYou can see the cable that will attach the roll to the tractor,

Outer Tarp for Protectionand then we decided we should put another tarp on the outside to keep the dirt away from the felt.

Tying It UpThen I tied it with rope.

Tractor ReadyThis was the way we tied it the first time and it didn’t hold well. After that, I cut the rope into equal pieces and just tied each one instead of wrapping longer pieces of rope.

Attaching to the TractorThen Dennis attached a chain to the end of the field dragger,

Hooking Up the Cablehooked the cable to the chain and,

It didn’t work, sigh…

Sawing Off the End of the PVC Pipe

So after a trip to the ranch supply store, we cut off the end of the bigger PVC pipe,

Making Another Cabletook an old cable we had and made loops on each end,

Putting Cable Through Smaller PVC Pipegot a skinnier PVC pipe and put the cable through it,

Ready to Try Rolling Again

and put the smaller PVC pipe into the larger one. And drum roll please –

It worked!!

After First Roll

As you can see in the video, the roll of felt moved on the PVC pipe. So we unrolled to check on the felt and it had started to felt.

Not Felted Yet

But it certainly didn’t pass the pinch test!

Adding Yet More WaterI added more water and we pulled it behind the tractor 5-6 more times around the field. I opened it and it was still not completely fulled. We quit for the day and just left the felt covered down in the field overnight. On Sunday, we started again, redid how we attached it to the tractor and found that the reason the roll was shifting was because the cable attachment kept moving. So we just attached it with chains which didn’t move and it worked great.

The Finished Felt Wall PanelHere’s the finished piece. It shrunk about a foot in each direction which was what I wanted. Yippee! It worked.

Bringing the Roll HomeAnd here’s Dennis triumphantly bringing the rolled felt up to the house. It took two days to dry. I have 3 more wall panels and 4 roof panels to finish. I decided I need reinforcements. The next felting session is planned for August 25th. Do you want to come help?? Please??

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