If you’ve had your wool tops a long time or they’ve been mistreated, you may find that they’ve started to felt slightly and are difficult to pull when laying out. You can see here new tops on the left and the older ones on the right. Not as attractive looking are they?
The blue is hand dyed and as I really wanted to use it up but couldn’t easily pull the fibres out this is what I did.
I’ve split the top down it’s length into 4 segments. This breaks it up and allows some air back into the fibres with the result that you can now pull the fibres out. Yes it’s a narrow top but it is usable. If you can’t split it down the length then you really have left it for too long or badly mistreated it. Other than making it into a felt rope, cutting it up into small sections for jewellery bead making, or using it for stuffing / low relief work then I don’t know how you can use it.
Pre-felt is, as it sounds, a piece of felt that hasn’t been fully felted but remains soft and can usually be cut up and put into further felting. Occasionally, if you’ve felted the wool a little too far it can be difficult to get the pre-felt to stick without stitching or needle felting it on. But if your pre-felt looks like this
You can see most of the fibres have already locked down and a skin has been formed. Using either a hand carder or dog brush just brush the fibres on the back of the pre-felt until they’re all fluffy.
Your pre-felt will then adhere to further felting without the need for stitching.
I now have the beginnings of a hints and tips page available to you here or from the navigation bar on the right. I’ve also gone mad and added a cord making tutorial. Find it here or in the navigation bar on the right.
Ages ago I thought of adding a hints and tips page but have never gotten around to it. My proposal is that you ask your questions and I’ll use the answers to build a page of useful FAQs or hints and tips. It could be questions about fibres or about techniques or perhaps what went wrong. So, who wants to start the ball rolling?