Friday, 9 September 2016

Another wet felted giant Shetland wool beret

From time to time I am asked to felt a giant beret. This time I felted a giant beret for stilt walkers. I used bright brown Shetland fleece. The natural colour is called moorit. I processed the fleece. That means, I washed, teased and carded the wool before I started with the wet felting process, using a circular template.  

The diameter of the template was 43cm. Glycerine soap, hot water and friction are used in the felt process.

I made 3 layers of wool on both sides of the template to felt a strong enough beret.

The first layer of wool on both sides of the template. It's a lot of work, starting from scratch, and it's fun too!

 Here I rub the surface which is covered with a thin net to keep the fibres in place and protect them from sticking to my hand. I love to experience the felt process. Especially when the fibres start to entangle and matt together into a fabric.

    When the wool fibres had matted enough I cut out the opening for the head.
I pulled out the template.
More felting and fulling was needed, by vigorously rolling the fabric in a bamboo mat.
When the beret had shrunk in the fulling process I rinsed out the excessive soap, then spun it in the washing machine and left it to dry. The brim was felted in the similar way as the giant beret, only using a rectangular template
After all felted parts had dried I sew on the brim to the beret.

The beret is ready and has shrunk to 40cm diameter 
I love felting, it's a magical process of transformation from fluffy wool into a sturdy fabric!

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