I wish to make a piece of felt. I won't be rolling it as I do not need shrinkage, I will however, felt it hard to strengthen it. Can I please ask, does shrinkage continue at this stage or does it occur mostly in the rolling stage? It is Merino.
That's an interesting concept - I have always thought that the majority of shrinkage takes place during the fulling process - however that is done (whether by rolling, throwing, rubbing, in the dryer etc). & that rubbing & using the dryer full & therefore shrink it the hardest. You need to full at least partially if you want more than 'pre-felt' in my view, but you don't need to keep going to its largest shrinkage if you don't need the felt to be strong. For instance, when I am making felt pictures, I often don't completely full them, as I don't need them to hold a shape or give depth of texture much, but I do some fulling (I roll & rub with palm washboard) to ensure the fabric is stable & long-lasting. Be interesting to see other opinions.
I do agree with Jill. Your piece could shrink even at the stage of final rinsing. In general mostly rolling and flat rubbing is advised to avoid extra shrinkage because while you roll and rub you compact the wool mainly in third dimension, meaning in depth, making it thinner but stronger. What way you are going to felt Tracey?
Galina - I am making a flap for a bag, not an integrated one, one you sew on. I thought I had measured correctly and allowed for shrinkage but it turned out way too small, and the colours I need are dwindling so do not wish to make the mistake again. I thought of making a template for the second go for guidance, it won't beat me!
I always allow 30% shrinkage for merino and depending how much I full it it may be more or less. In this case since you're running out of materials, can you make a straight piece and add as a ruffle? Or perhaps use some ribbon the same way. A contrasting color felt? It would still have to be sewn on. I hope you get it worked out. It's frustrating when these things happen, but I'm sure there is a way around it.
Thanks Marilyn, I normally work on X 1.2 which allegedly gives 17% shrinkage. I have two ideas, one is the contrast colour as you say or the 'fill the middle layers with another colour' trick.
This is a theme with me, one day I will wake up and realise how much wool a project eats!, especially with my bags because I want them thick and sturdy. I have just used nearly 200g on just the body of a small bag. Still good fun though.
I usually get at least 30% shrinkage with merino too. And for a bag, I definitely think it needs to be fulled completely. And shrinkage happens whether you roll or not. I hardly ever roll anything anymore.
I roll but mostly because I find it faster then rubbing. but rubbing will shrink it too. Ruth do you just rub a long time or are you dong something else to shrink and harden? I would like one of knobbly rolling pins I thing it would full without rolling the felt.
I rub over a piece of ribbed rubber. I actually lay out on the ribbed rubber so I am rubbing the entire time over that ribbed surface. Usually have a piece of plastic between the felt and the rubber to start and then take it out.
Both I suppose Any kind of pressure applied to felt when you roll (wrapped in a roll around a pole or roll the pin on the felt laying flat) make the felt flatter, firmer and thinner. That's what I meant as 3rd dimension. Of course it's just my personal opinion.
I find rolling back and forth, especially after I stop using a pool noodle in the middle shrinks the length of a scarf a lot. the same with hats. That's why I was asking. perhaps with something thicker like a rug it would be different.
I read recently that using percentages for shrinkage is not correct (the alternative was quite complicated to me), but our recent tutor gave us a good app to download which works out the shrinkage for you.It is called PercentDiff and you can download it for free at the App store. You simply put in the size of your sample before and after felting and it tells you the exact shrinkage. Sample must be the same as finished item felted of course..eg layers and type of fleece,silks etc. Very easy to use.
Tracey it is almost impossible to felt anything past prefelt without shrinkage- just make it bigger to allow for shrinkage as some advised above or add some trim to enlarge it if you can.