Carding new life into fibres

Sometimes you end up with some fibres which have begun to felt and are difficult to pull for laying out. These and ends of colours I put into my bit bag. I use the bit bag when I’m looking for tiny amounts of a specific colour and for making felt beads. When I make the felt beads from these leftovers I cut the fibres into one inch lengths and mix in my hand. This is easy to do when the fibres are so short and allows you to use them up easily.

My favourite way of using them up has to be the carding of the fibres. If you can’t pull the fibres to put them on the carder split the top down it’s length a couple of times and you’ll find it much easier. Just look at the images below for what can be achieved by taking the time to card.

carded-fibres-001 carded-fibres-002
carded-fibres-003 carded-fibres-005 carded-fibres-006

I really love the mix of orange, pink and red, so vibrant!  The final image is all the leftover bits carded to produce fibres that almost look like a painting. Carding allows you to create unique colours. If you store these they will eventually begin to felt again so I usually make them into pre-felts (part made felt, stop felting whilst still soft) which can be stored for a long time and mean you always have something lovely in your stash. All those bits you might have thrown away have a new life and you get 100% usage from your fibres. Good financial sense and great looking pre-felts!

3 Replies to “Carding new life into fibres”

  1. I totally agree!! Love my carders to bits, using them you can create such nice homemade blends. And I also have a odds and ends bit bag, its so useful! Good for small bits when needlefelting too…

  2. Thank you for a great and inspirational tip! I used handcarders, but this really inspires me to make some pre-felts with leftovers from a felt-ring making bonanza for the holidays! You also make a great point that fibers that have been sitting around in not the best conditions, or they’re just old, can be rejuventated by making them into a pre-felt. Now it’s just working out when I can use them in a nuno felt design!

  3. Thanks Abigail and Nancy. If you leave the prefelts very soft they are still very easy to use in nuno felt and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only obsessive with a bit bag, I should use mine more for needlefelt.

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