Mongolian felt technique experiment – Part 1

I’ve always wanted to try to make a large piece of felt the traditional Mongolian way – by dragging a large roll of wool fibres, behind a horse, around the Steppes:

I love this film!

Anyway yesterday, with the advice of a fellow felter, Beth in New Zealand, I managed to make my prototype work – a roll of wool that rolled behind a ride on mower!

First, using a wool blanket in place of wool roving, I made my roll:

Next a tarpaulin to cover and protect

Attached to the mower with washing line ready to go!

Woohoo it works!!

Part 2 – the next thing is to do it for real, with wool fibres in place of the blanket.

Question: how long do I have to mow up and down till the wool fibres felt well?!

Hmmm….I hope to have the answer before too long.

How to make your own liquid olive oil soap for felt making…

Olive oil soap is brilliant for felt making! It’s low on suds and moisturising for hard working hands.

Soap is alkaline and changes the pH of the wool fibres and this in turn causes the fibres to felt better and quicker.

Materials and Equipment

  • 100g bar of olive oil soap
  • Boiling water
  • Saucepan
  • 2 litre jug
  • Whisk and spoon

The Process

Grate the soap into a saucepan and pour 500ml boiling water over the grated soap

Stir the mixture until the soap has dissolved and then pour into a 2 litre jug

Add enough boiling water to the soap mixture to bring it up to 2 lites and stir well.

Leave to cool – the mixture will thicken as it cools to room temperature.

If it is too thick just add more water. Then store in a container.

You can add the liquid soap to your felting water or apply it directly onto the fibres.

ENJOY !

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Felt Bowl

Shades of Time

White, natural Blue Faced Leicester wool bowl, Lino printed with a figurative motif. This small bowl looks wonderful against the contrasting, polished dark wood.

This is an example of a new line of sculptures that I am working on for my Etsy shop. More images and information soon about new products and shop opening.