How my products are designed and created
Simple steps – see below for more details:
Lay out the wool with any embellishments
Cover with netting and rub (2 to 15 minutes depending on size)
Roll between bubble wrap about 800 times
Toss on concrete floor about 200 times
Rinse in very hot and very cold water several times
Soak in vinegar water for about 20 minutes
Rinse and lay out to dry
The more detailed process:
I begin with wool roving or wool batts that look and feel like this:
I might lay it on top of some silk, cotton or knitted yarn. When I do that I use less wool. I often use no fabric underneath and simply lay out the wool. To lay out the wool, I pull small (sometimes tiny) amounts of wool off the batt and lay down on bubble wrap.
As I am laying out the wool, I add embellishments such as wool yarns, silk fabrics or silk fibers, bamboo fibers, Wool locks and other types of wool (like alpaca). These all help to give my product the varied textures you see and feel.
Next comes the most time consuming part. I lay a netting over the laid out wool and wet the item down with soapy water. Then I rub for a while (time varies, experience tells me when I’ve done enough).
The netting comes off and I roll the whole thing up in bubble wrap (the kind you use for shipping). Then I roll the package back and forth about 800 times. No, really! This helps the wool attach to itself and the other fibers, creating a fabric.
Once I’ve rolled it enough, I have to make it “full” which simply means to tighten up and become felt. I put the item into a plastic bag (to avoid the mess). If it is dried out, I may add hot soapy water. Then I toss it onto the concrete porch floor. Or sometimes the grandkids play catch with it. That works too. I’ve never timed this part, but I toss it somewhere around 200 times. This ensures that it felts well. At this point the silk and cotton fabrics will pucker because the wool is shrinking and the fabrics are not. You can see this on some of my products.
Now I rinse thoroughly alternating a few times in very hot water and cold water.
I put the new wool into a bath of vinegar water to set, then rinse again and lay out to dry.
The next day, I can’t wait to see how the finished product looks and feels.