The Art of Feltmaking

Published: 31 May, 2022

As I shared in a recent vblog, I washed alpaca fleece for the first time and now, thanks to Anne Einsel Vickery’s book, The Art of Feltmaking, I am exploring different felt making techniques. In this blog, I review the book and share the key ideas I have gained from it.

Felt making fun

In my opinion, Anne’s book is an excellent introduction to the art of feltmaking for a number of reasons. First, she covers several major techniques of felt making, including soft felting (applying pressure and hot water to the fibre), and includes projects that range from small to large in size. All are suitable for beginners, with clear and easy to follow instructions. Step by step, Anne teaches you how to make jewellery, clothes, including seamless Scandinavian slippers, and miniatures. Patterns are also included at the back of the book. Second, she summaries history of felt making, which I found really interesting. As she highlights, the technique probably originated in Central Asia and became important in Asian and European cultural traditions (see pages 9-12).

Making felt dolls

My favourite project in the book instructs you how to make a felt scene, with camels, a tent, and posable figures. Anne shows you how to make the figures using pipe cleaners and wool, which is soft-felted. This project ignited my imagination. I have been making posable fairies for a few years, using pipe cleaners, clay and yarn, but was unsatisfied with the result. After reading over this project, I was excited to experiment using my alpaca fleece. So, I decided to first apply Anne’s tips to a mini lion I started so weeks ago but put aside because I was unhappy with its progress.

The result

Voilà! I have successfully made my first mini lion with Anne’s help! I need a name for my new friend. I’d love you to share with me any name ideas below.

The Art of Felt Making is published by Watson-Guptill Publications  and is available from Amazon.

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