My husband says that we are hoarders. When you’re a farmer you know that you’ll need that scrap of plywood, leftover fencing, rusty but still useable pipe, or roofing panel with only a few holes sometime, somewhere. So you keep it. What about the weaving studio? If there is warp left on the loom after finishing a project I weave it off and these pieces pile up. The Artery show gave me the incentive to finally use them.
These are several photos of Before and After felting. The process of “fulling” deserves it’s own post. Fulling transforms weaving fresh off the loom into cohesive cloth by using a controlled amount of agitation in hot soapy water. Felting happens when you take this process further. I used the washing machine and sometimes the dryer to maximize the effect of shrinking wool fabric into something much denser. (Another method is needlefelting, described in this post.) The four fabrics in this photo are the same as in the photo above it but after felting.This is another pair of before and after photos. The piece on the left is a blanket after fulling and the one on the right is the left-over piece of fabric after felting.Why felt this fabric and not use it as is or with only fulling? Felting creates a very dense stable fabric, good for a variety of projects where you don’t need (or want) the fabric to drape. Also, the fibers are so entangled that you can cut this fabric without worrying about it coming apart or fraying. I planned to use some of this fabric for pillows, but worried about staying true to the theme of locally produced fiber. I did use commercially available synthetic pillow forms (at least USA-made) for some of the pillows but for about half of them I made my own pillow forms using Suffolk wool from the Phillips Farm. I tracked down American Made Brand cotton fabric at two local quilt stores and used that for the covers and for the fabric backs of the pillows. Fabric left over from blankets that I wove years ago.Fabric left over from the Barinaga blankets.Fabric I wove using Mom’s yarn several years ago.These pillows use fabric spun and woven by my Mom.
Friends gave me another idea to use some of this felted fabric. In fact one friend helped sew some of the pillows and another dipped into her fabric stash and did the sewing in these organizers. There are about 20 organizers and they are all different. It may be hard to tell in these photos but there are fabric pockets of different sizes in each. These two use handspun, woven fabric that Mom had basted into a jacket but never finished. After felting that fabric made 3 or 4 organizers.
I still have left over fabric so there will be more of these to come.