Wet felting with a sander – aka a warning to lazy girls about wet felting

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?

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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.

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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.

Didn’t it?

After a quick once over, the fibres were beginning to stick together.

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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.

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I then rolled it in the bamboo mat to ‘full’ it – see, I’ve even learnt the lingo!

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Another rinse et voila!

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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.

 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “Wet felting with a sander – aka a warning to lazy girls about wet felting

    1. YAY! – Go for it.
      I want to have a go at needle felted/embroidered pictures, so wanted a thin flat piece to build up on. I know I could have built up colours with the wet felting, but my brain doesn’t want to work like that. Since posting about that bit I’ve made a thicker black bit for legs and heads on sheep brooches and I’m now off to consider colours to make some flower brooches. Of course if you don’t see these things appear, you’ll know I was rubbish at making them 🙂
      Look forward to seeing your felt and what you do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I did deliberately turn a knitted hat into a felted hat once as it was way too big. I did hand felting in a workshop back in the early nineties and was very unimpressed with the result so now if I need felt I buy a sheet from the $2 Shop. However I have to say I admire your chutzpah in jumping straight in and using a sander to make felt – what an extraordinary concept and of course, why wouldn’t you have a go ……. I’m impressed it worked 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your completed needle felting – I’m told it can be a most relaxing and meditative undertaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Would love to see that hat. Do you still have it? Ha ha! You know me by now, I don’t pussy foot around when it comes to wool. I am finding it enjoyable, but lets wait until the novelty wears off and see. Unfortunately the cheap felt in the shops doesn’t come from Dartmoor sheep, so no mucking about with that 🙂 Have a lovely weekend xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do like to use a power tool every now and again just to freak my husband out. I’d never hear the end of it if I’d left one out in the rain though.
    Apart from the fun to be had with husband baiting, it sounds like a complete faff to me but I’m sure I’m going to be astounded at and delighted with your resulting objets d’art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually he was really good. Of course I built it up and told him I’d done something really stupid, so when it turned out to be the sander and not that I’d totalled the car or burnt the house down, he just said, ‘I’ve had it years’ leave it to dry out and I’ll sort it out.’
      Ha ha! Yes, on with the artwork – if the worst come to the worst, I’ll take it to the Tate Modern – they appear to take any old crap.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe me, you really don’t want to get power tools involved with wet felting – it doesn’t help and isn’t half as enjoyable. Making sheep heads and legs, which will be revealed this week. I want to embroider on the other pieces, but not got there yet.

      Liked by 1 person

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