Unfortunately my felt ball experience proved that deliberately wet felting is nowhere near as easy as accidentally felting your favourite wool jumper in the washer. So when I wanted to make a flat piece of felt, I went looking for ways to make felting easy.
Can you imagine how excited I was when I discovered I could use a sander to speed things up?
Having managed to leave Lovely Husband’s sander out in the rain before I even got started, I
harassed my neighbours asked around my neighbours until I found one.
Wet felting with a sander is pretty much like using your hands. You cover your bamboo mat with thin wisps of roving all lying in the same direction.
You then lay a second layer at right angels to it. I only wanted a thin piece of felt so stopped here. If you wanted a thicker piece you would add more layers at right angles to each other.
Very excitedly I covered the fibre with netting, dampened it with slightly soapy water, grated on some olive oil soap, covered it all with a plastic sheet and switched on the sander.
Not being a power tools kind of gal, I’d never used a sander before. Wow! Did it vibrate! How much could one use something like this without permanent nerve damage? Not to mention Mr Hicks was more than unimpressed by the noise. Still, it had to be quicker than rubbing with my hands.
After a quick once over, the fibres were beginning to stick together.
But as I continued, it didn’t begin to shrink. Even the hand method wasn’t supposed to take this long. So I stopped sanding and tried using my hands.
I don’t know if it’s just because I have the hands of an oversized miner, but rubbing with with my hands made the wool felt together much more quickly than the sander had.
Once I’d got it all well stuck together and shrinking, I washed the soap out – rinsing it in hot water then plunging it into cold – in an attempt to shock it and make it felt more quickly.
I then rolled it in the bamboo mat to ‘full’ it – see, I’ve even learnt the lingo!
Another rinse et voila!
A piece of felt!
So the moral of the story is, sometimes being a lazy girl just doesn’t work. However, if you do want to give wet felting with a sander a go, there is and excellent tutorial here.