The Dodo Blog

Tools & equipment for felting & fulling

May 25, 2024

Have you ever had one of these issues while wet felting?

  • You used bubble wrap to roll a nuno felted piece and it left circular marks on your project.
  • You fulled a cobweb scarf in the washing machine and it came out unrecognizable.
  • You rolled a nuno felted piece on a bamboo mat only to discover that it pulled on the silk fibers.

If you’re unsure which methods or equipment to use for fulling, I recommend you don’t just follow what you’ve seen someone doing. Your project may be completely different, so it may need different fulling methods as well.

It’s not that there’s an exact recipe for the fulling methods to use. But, as a general rule of thumb, delicate pieces need delicate felting and fulling, and sturdy projects need methods that are more “aggressive”.

Think of it like you’d think of your laundry: do you wash a pair of thick jeans the same way you wash a cashmere cardigan?

This week I’ve prepared a couple of examples for...

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How to use prefelts

May 11, 2024

I think the importance of prefelts in wet felting is sometimes underestimated. Prefelts are extremely useful and there’s no end to how you can apply them in your wet felting projects. So, mastering how to make them exactly as you want for a particular piece can massively improve your work.

Let’s have a look at some of the many ways prefelts can be used, as well as a couple of tips to apply them successfully.

 

PREFELTS FOR NUNO FELTING

In most cases, nuno felted pieces decorated with crisp designs are created with prefelts. But prefelts are a bit more difficult to attach to silk than unfelted wool.

So, to make it work, you need to:

  • use thin prefelts,
  • felt slowly and gently,
  • and work with cold water,

to give the wool fibers time to migrate into the silk.

The most effective felting technique in this case is sanding, since it creates a lot of pressure, that accelerates the fiber migration through the fabric.

If you run into issues, and some parts of your prefelts...

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Q&A: Prefelts

May 05, 2024

As you may know, I’ve been working on a blog series about prefelts. I’ve started by going into what prefelts are, as well as explaining the differences between commercial and handmade prefelts.

The next post in the series dealt with what you need to pay attention to when making prefelts to use in other projects.

And I’ll finish this collection next week by going deeper into how you can use prefelts, what type of projects you can use them for, as well as the best felting techniques for making them.

But, before that, I wanted to answer the questions that I received from you about this topic. So, today we’ll have a format that’s a bit different from what I usually do: a simple Q&A.

 

Q: I am very curious about prefelts - especially as a new wet felter. When is something prefelt? Or what is the prefelt stage?  I’d like to create some prefelt in order to place onto my work and felt everything together. How do I do that?

A: A prefelt is...

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How to make your own prefelts

Apr 13, 2024
 

As we’ve seen last week, a prefelt is a partially felted piece of wool felt. That means, it’s made in the exact same way as a piece of felt. The only difference is the degree to which it’s compacted.

I usually make my prefelts by wet felting Merino tops. For some projects, I have also needle felted wool batts. This second method is a way of imitating the industrial prefelts. But I find it’s only a good option for small projects.

 

What do you need to pay attention to when making a prefelt to use in other projects?

1. Evenness

It’s important to create your prefelts with an even thickness. If this is difficult for you, start by training your layout skills.

Do you need help with this? You can find everything you need to train your layout skills in the blog post “Resources To Help You Perfect Your Layout”. (Click link or image to access!)

2. Thickness

The thickness of your prefelt will depend on which projects you’ll be applying it...

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What are prefelts? Commercial vs. handmade prefelts

Apr 06, 2024
 

Years ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts about prefelts, but there are many details I didn’t mention back then. Since I still get a lot of questions about the topic, I thought it would make sense to write a new, more complete and up to date series.

This first part caters to new felt makers, who I know are often a bit confused about prefelts.

If you’re more experienced, this won't be new to you. But, as I explore the topic further, there'll be more details that may be useful for you too. So, I recommend keeping an eye on the rest of the series, if this is a topic that interests you.

We’ll start by looking at what prefelts are, and then talk about how and when to use them. So, let's dive in!

 

WHAT ARE PREFELTS?

As the name suggests, a prefelt is a partially felted piece of wool felt. In other words, it’s simply a stage in the wet felting process before the fibers fully compact.

That, of course, means a prefelt can be further felted. And that is precisely...

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Free Easter felting tutorial

Mar 10, 2024
 

This year, make your Easter gifts extra special!

Here’s a sweet tutorial to help you gift some extra love this Easter

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR THE BUNNIES?

That will depend on how many you want to make. So, I’ll just give you the list of materials for 4 bunnies like mine. You can adapt the colors and/or decoration to your own taste.

  • 40 cm of green ribbon
  • 40 cm of pink ribbon
  • 2 small bells
  • 2 sew-on strass pieces
  • Green and pink thread
  • A thin needle (that can pass through the holes of the strass)
  • A thimble
  • 2 thin felting needles
  • Felting foam
  • Some white fine merino wool
  • 2 thick (about 7 mm thick) sheets of pre-felt (pink and dark brown); each of them should be big enough to cut 2 bunnies
  • The pattern
  • Some gold and silver thread

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by making the pre-felt with your wool of choice. I can’t say exactly how many layers you need, since that’ll depend on how thick you lay your wool. But 4 should do if you’re working with thick layers.

Cut 2...

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Resources to help you perfect your layout

Mar 03, 2024

After you’ve learnt the basics of wet felting – how to make flat felt and how to make a simple shape with a resist – it’s tempting to think that all you need to learn next is which shape a resist must have or which technique to use for a particular project. I’d argue that, before you think (or even while you're thinking) about those aspects, the next thing to do is master the layout.

In fact, I can say with total certainty that the moment I understood this and started working on my layout, was the moment my felt massively improved. I know I run the risk of being annoying for insisting on this. But I would love to support you in becoming a better felt maker, so I accept that risk.

There are two ways you can work on your layout. You can either spend some time making samples or just go ahead and work on your technique while making a piece. I know most felt makers avoid sampling, but I still think it’s the best way to perfect your work, and save time...

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New To Wet Felting? These Resources Are For You!

Feb 25, 2024

Have you just recently discovered wet felting, and don’t know where to start? I’ve put together a list of resources for you to help you know what to learn next.

START BY MASTERING THE BASIC WET FELTING SHAPES

When people approach me about learning to wet felt, they often tell me they’d like to make scarves and garments, so they’re particularly interested in nuno felting.

But to get to nuno felting and other more demanding techniques, you need to be confident with the basics first.

So, here are the simplest instructions for the 3 basic shapes, whether you would like to work with wool batts or with wool tops.

And here are a couple of additional tips that can help you perfect your technique:

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My 3 tips on how to create your own wet felting style

Feb 18, 2024

When we start a new hobby, the natural tendency is to imitate someone else’s style. And there’s no reason to feel bad about it. We all do it. I did it too. When I was discovering wet felting, I had no clue how I could explore it. Following what other felt makers were doing was the only way to learn and grow.

So, it’s absolutely natural. Throughout History, if you wanted to learn how to paint, you’d start by copying some else’s paintings. This would teach you their techniques and processes, so that you could develop your own later.

But there comes a time when you don’t want to be LIMITED by imitation anymore. Instead, you want to grow and create your own style. It may not be well defined at first, but slowly you start seeing your character, preferences, and your ‘touch’ in the pieces you make.

How about you? Which stage do you think you’re in? Do you feel like you’re getting close to that fork in the road? If you are, I have...

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How to mix color theory concepts to create your color palettes

Jan 28, 2024

If you’ve been following this series on how to combine colors for wet felting, you know about

Complementary, triadic, and analogous colors are now clear to you.

You also understand how to create a monochromatic palette, and you’re aware of the warm and cool sides of the color wheel.

And you know what neutral colors are and how you can use them to reduce overwhelm in a color palette and create harmony.

With all these tools in your color toolbox, you’re now ready to start mixing your wet felting color palettes.

If you have a deeper knowledge of color theory, you may think “Wait, Vanda, why haven’t you talked about which colors to mix to create brown or what are hues and value in color?”

My answer to that is I never intended this series to be about going deep into color theory. There are thousands of sites online doing exactly that. I wanted to prevent the overwhelm that color theory means for those of...

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