How Do You Know If You’ve Felted Enough?
Mar 18, 2021
I often get questions about felting in the comment section of my YouTube channel. Yesterday, one came up that I thought deserved a longer answer. Since it’s a frequently asked question, it made sense to me to write a blog post on the topic.
Here’s what Kathleen McKinney wanted to know: “How do you know if you’ve felted and fulled enough? How do you know when an item is finished?”
As it’s often the case in wet felting, I have to start by saying that it depends on what you’re making.
The general answer would be “do the pinch test”. If you pinch the surface of your felt and the fibers don’t lift any more, that means your felt is ready (see video).
But there’s more to it than that, so let’s go into more details for different items:
- Felted ball – If you’re felting a ball, I recommend you do the “bounce test” to make sure it’s ready. More on that in this blog post.
- Pre-felt – If you’re making a pre-felt, you don’t want it to be completely felted, because you might want to have it attach on another piece of felt. Here are 2 blog posts that go deeper into pre-felts: "How to make a pre-felt" and "What's a pre-felt".
- The difference between felting a carpet or a sturdy bag and felting a pair of baby booties or a nuno scarf – There will be a difference between how much you compact sturdy items and soft items. Though they all need to be well felted (pinch test), your soft scarf or baby booties should never be as compact as a basket or carpet. In other words, you don’t want to over felt pieces that should keep their softness.
- If you're nuno felting, you basically should watch out for the same things. I.e., do the pinch test. If the fibers don't lift, the felt is ready. Of course, it's also important to check if the fibers have migrated to the other side of the fabric. After that, you decide if you felt more ot not, dependig on the effect you want to create.
I hope this answers your question Kathleen. Let me know if something is still not clear.
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