Welcome to the last part of this series on how to apply pressure in wet felting.
This is another one of my favorite methods for fulling. Since I love working with my hands, and prefer avoiding tools, I use the TOSSING/THROWING technique in nuno felting, as well as when I’m making pieces without fabric, but where the wool has been laid very thinly (cobweb felt). This is only done in the last stages of fulling, after I’ve secured the fibers in place through rolling a bit, of course.
This technique doesn’t full the felt as evenly as rolling, but I like it because it causes a quick shrinkage, and gives the felt surface a more textured and wavy look.
I would recommend this method for small or thin pieces. I’ve used this method for all the items below.
Before you do the throwing, make sure you have enough water and soap in your piece, but it shouldn’t be soaked. Start gently, and throw harder as you progress. Do it in the sink or the bath tub, because it can become really messy. You’ll probably get soap all over the walls, so take this into consideration, when you decide where you’re going to do it.
In between tossing, pull the piece in all directions, trying to stretch it back to size. Check to make sure the edges aren’t rolling in and felting together.
TUMBLING in the washer is also very popular and it’s particularly used for felting knitted pieces. It certainly saves you a lot of work, but it’s very difficult to control how much the piece is felting. This means you’ll have to stop the machine now and again to check on your piece. So, I find it too risky if you’re working on an item that has to have a particular size, like slippers for example.
Another problem I see in this method is the amount of energy spent. So, to me it only makes sense to use the washer if I’m making big and thick pieces, that mean a lot of work fulling, but for which size doesn’t matter. So, if they turn out a bit smaller than planned, it’s not a big deal.
Let’s say I’m felting a series of big bags. When the felt is firm enough, I’m happy with the shape, and I want to go on to fulling, I put them in the washer (all together, so that it makes sense to consume so much energy) and wash them in a short cycle with lukewarm water.
Or if I’m felting small pieces – like the ones I suggested some weeks ago, to use felt leftovers – I’ll put them in a laundry net, mix them with the laundry, and they’ll come out with a nice round shape. No need to do them by hand.
Using a sander for fulling is becoming increasingly popular. You often see it applied in nuno felting, since it seems to speed up the process considerably.
Personally, I’ve never used it because of the safety issues. Mixing water with electricity is just not something I’m comfortable with. This method is also very noisy, so if you consider using it, you should use ear plugs.
Since I don’t have any experience with this technique, I won’t go deep into it. But, I wanted to shed some light on this subject, so here´s a link to a very extensive tutorial about felting with a sander. There you can get all the details, in case you want to try it out.
Hope this has been helpful!
Talk to you soon!
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