Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Anatomy of a Felted Garment

Felting Workshop March 2018 from Beth Marx on Vimeo.

No matter how you style it, it's a real pleasure to wear a hand created seamless felted garment.  From the hand dyed silks to creating a seamless nuno felted garment with no sewing,  I am always amazed at process.

The marriage that takes place when the silk fabric penetrates and entangles with the wool is like alchemy creating a new and beautiful textile.  

Hand dyed silks drying in the sun

Before I start a project, I gather my silks and wools together.

I create a resist out of underlayment to use to build my seamless garment.

I'm adding cut up prefelts on top of my silk

I love this new spout and it is a lot easier on the hands than a ball brauser.  Be sure to use a bottle like this (Target brand) and not a bottle with a long neck.  I bought the spout on Amazon.  Click here.

This is vest is asymetrical.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Renewed - No Roll Felting, Dryer Method


Lots of R words at the beginning of a new year.  I like not to think in terms of Resolutions that I may quickly break but more in terms of Renewal, Reflection, Rejoice, Rejuvenate, Resurgence and of course Recovery from all the gluttony during the holiday season. I am kicking off my 2020 with a Renewed method for using the dryer to replace rolling.  Enjoy the post and hope your new year will have lots of good R words the least of which is resolution! 

In May, 2015 I blogged about the no roll dryer method which replaced most or all of the rolling for felting which most felters would agree is the most tedious part of felting.  This post is probably my most popular with over 33,000 hits:

In this current post, I am showing you some new and improved techniques for the no roll felting/dryer method. Drum roll please....for the updates! 

I use 1 mil painters plastic and place it either on top of my bubble wrap or use it in lieu of bubble wrap.  I cut the painter's plastic twice the size plus an additional 10-12" larger than what I will be creating.  I place half the plastic on the table.  I will work my felt in the center of this half of the plastic.  After I create my piece either flat or on a resist, I will wet it out and cover it by folding the remaining plastic over it.

Bring in the edges of the plastic to seal the piece completely like an envelope to prevent water from leaking out.  Be sure there is enough plastic around all four sides so as to not crowd your piece.

Rub the piece for about 5 minutes or use a sander to adhere all the elements.  

Place a rolled up towel on one edge of the plastic envelope and roll up the package.

 Secure the package with two cut off pantyhose or similar.
 Place the package in the dryer for about 10-12 minutes with NO heat.  Set the timer and multitask or just relax while the package is in the dryer!
Since we're using the painter's plastic instead of the thick bubble wrap to roll up the package, there is more room in the dryer for it to bounce around and agitate.  And since the package is completely sealed, there is no water dripping everywhere.

After 10-12 minutes, take it out of the dryer and place it on the table.  Open up the package and stretch and straighten the felt.  Assure it is not sticking to anything it shouldn't be.  Move the towel to the opposite or adjacent side.  Roll and tie the package and put back in the dryer for another 10-12 minutes.  Repeat again if necessary.  It should be completely felted in 20-30 minutes.

After the no roll dryer method is finished, you will still need to full your work in the normal way by alternating: rolling it on itself, throwing it and rubbing it on the bubble wrap or similar.

Have fun with this updated method and wishing you the best for a Resourceful 2020.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Holiday Faire in Southern California 2019

Come December, the two day Holiday Faire at Chemers Gallery in Tustin, California is the place to be.  Customers wait all year long for this upscale event with over twenty artisans and epicureans. It seems to get bigger and better each year. 

 The event was a huge success for Karen, the gallery owner as well as all of the vendors and the customers. And Karen makes it so fun for all of us with breakfast, snacks, wine and a pizza dinner at the end of the second day.  Plus there are door prizes and a silent auction to add to the festivities.

Not only do I love creating felted wearables, I also love selling and styling customers and showing them all the various ways to wear one of my pieces from inside out to upside down and more.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Little handbags with inside pockets

 I love creating little crossbody handbags.  They don't take up much room on the table, are fairly quick to make, can use leftover scraps and are a source for endless creativity.  Some of the bags have flaps and others don't.  On some of the bags, I have added a thin leather twisted cord and on others I have made a felted cord so these bags are totally vegan and a terrific gift for that friend.

Felted cords at the bottom with added beads.
Peacock feathers felted into cords.  Embellished with hand embroidery.

Inside pocket holding a lipstick.

For these little handbags, I work from the inside out.  I usually start with an inside pocket on the bottom of the back of the purse.  To do this:  1.  Lay out two perpendicular layers a bit larger than the pocket resist.  2.  Wet out the two layers of wool and compress them with a sheet of plastic or bubble wrap.  3.  Place the pocket resist on top.
 4.  Place roving completely over the pocket resist and extending over the edges of the main resist by about 1" all over.  5.  Continue layout as you normally would do when using a resist.

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