Monday, May 7, 2007

Experiment a success!

With a flurry of emails, we began to wonder if we would have to sew all our freeform pieces onto the felt backing. We thought we would be able to needle felt (a method of dry felting that uses a barbed needle to mix and lock the fibers together) them, but we were not sure what fiber contents would work best. Would our yarn and/or backing have to be 100% wool? If one was 100%, could the others be a blend or even contain no wool at all?

In the meantime, and after driving all over the city and beyond, Diane purchased the only 100% wool felt she could find. An off-white, cut to 3'x4'. Becky had hoped we could find black, but alas, the only black felts were a rayon/wool blend. Sorry, Becky, we'll have to incorporate your "black sheep" idea some other way...

Determined to find out how much sewing we would have to do (decidedly the least favorite part of our last group freeform project), Rebecca purchased a remnant of the wool/rayon blend felt in red. Using a felting needle, and various fibers, she jabbed and jabbed and jabbed. Wool, bamboo, acrylic, alpaca, cashmerino, linen, cotton, and even a knitted square, all attached with minimal effort. The red felt proved that we would not have to worry about the backing color bleeding through the freeform pieces. The experiment was definitely a success! Though our methods were not very scientific, we are happy to report our results: any fiber in any state (original yarn or worked piece) can be attached to even a wool/rayon blend. 100% wool not required.

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