Hello. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me why my felt is lumpy. I'm wet felting slippers. I'm trying to get a smooth finish. It's not an orange peel look. It's more of a lumpy look. I'm using alpaca but I've also had this happen with Corriedale. Thank you for any advice you can give!
A photo would definitely help but here's my experience of some causes of lumpy felt:
Uneven layering of wool fibres - several fine layers are easier to get even than a few thicker ones. Initial wetting down with water that's too hot. Working the fibres too roughly at the start of felting - gently does it.
Welcome, yes, a photo might help. If you need help with photos, look in the frequently asked questions section. I agree with Lyn's ideas but with slippers I would definitely think it might be layout issues. Slippers take a lot of layers and if the layers are uneven, the results will be lumpy.
Hello Becky. Agree with the above. I think this may be the same point as Lyn’s (working the fibres too hard at the start of felting) but in particular using hot & cold water too early in the felting / fulling stage. A help with diagnosis would be to know at what point does it become lumpy?
Hello! So sorry I posted and disappeared. My work got in the way of my felting! Thank you to all who responded! I was trying to post a photo but couldn't figure it out. Ruth, I will check out the FAQ. I think I figured out the lumpy felt mystery. The layout was even and I never start with hot water so I ruled those out. Where the problem started was in the fulling stage. I was having trouble getting the shrinkage I wanted because of not having the proper tools (Thank you, Nada, for the wooden roller suggestion!) so I put them in the dryer (air only setting) to do some fulling. I left them in 10 minutes and took them out. This is where I noticed the lumpiness. My thoughts are that they fulled too quickly. Lots of vigorous rubbing helped to smooth out the lumps but didn't take them completely out. I definitely will get one of these rollers! I prefer to hand work the felt. As soon as I have the time, I'll post some pics! Thank you all!