Don't cut your felt. Here's what to do instead.

Aug 20, 2023

Did you learn to felt 3D objects by laying out the wool around the whole resist? I did. And so did most felt makers. And it’s probably the easiest method to follow when you’re starting out and still don’t feel confident enough to try a more complex layout method. It works perfectly for round vessels for example.

But here’s an issue that showed up for me when I was only working with “closed” felt pieces: how do I add handles to a bag when I have a closed felt shape? That was a tricky one to solve…

This was the moment I decided it was time to try felting around a resist without closing the felt. And that’s when I finally found the solution to adding perfect handles to my bags!

But, in this process, I discovered something else. I found out that the edges of my felt looked waaaay better than when I had to cut them and heal the cuts.

How many times have you cut your felt, tried to heal the cut, and one (or more) of these things happened?

  • The felt looked like it was fraying, no matter how much you felted.
  • You couldn’t get the edges to be straight.
  • There were thinner and thicker areas on the edges.


This can be avoided by laying out the wool to create an open felt from the beginning. The result:

  • There will be no fraying.
  • The edges will be straight.
  • It’ll be easier to control how thick or thin the edges are becoming.


Of course, in some cases (when you only want to have a very small opening), it makes sense to lay out the wool around the whole resist.

But, whenever you can, I recommend leaving your felt open while you’re doing the layout. I even do this with berets. I create the head opening from the beginning.

Try it, and you’ll see how much better your results will be.

If you’re not sure how to do this, you can follow the instructions from this blog post. These were written for flat felt, but there’s no reason not to do the same for 3D pieces.

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