Is it Wool Felt or Felted Wool?

What’s the difference between wool felt & felted wool? Both are made from the same ingredients, wool roving, but they are created very different.

It starts with fiber that has been sheered from an animal…most often a sheep.

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Hello!!!

These fibers are then cleaned and carded (the process of breaking up unorganized clumps of fiber and realigning them). The result is what we call wool roving. Now here’s where each textile takes a different path.

WOOL FELT

Wool Felt is a non-woven textile. There is no thread or weaving involved in the making of it. It originates as wool roving and by adding heat, moisture and agitation, the roving compacts and matts together tightly to form what we refer to as pure wool felt.

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There is no weaving structure to the fabric.

Wool felt blends are also made using the process described above but with a combination of wool fibers and those from another material. The most common combination is wool and rayon, a non-synthetic man-made fiber derived from wood pulp. Rayon’s properties are similar to those of cotton and linen, making it an excellent choice for wool blends.

Nationalnonwovens is a company that I buy a lot of my wool felt from https://www.nationalnonwovens.com/Applications/Arts.html

FELTED WOOL

Felted Wool is a woven textile. There is thread and weaving involved. Like wool felt, it originates as wool roving, but the roving is spun into thread after being cleaned and carded. This thread is then woven into wool cloth, which is washed in hot water and dried on high heat to emulate the “add heat, moisture and agitation” process used to make wool felt. This process turns wool fabric into felted wool.

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This felted wool then becomes a solid piece of fabric that you can cut without fraying. Some wool felts harder and more dense then others. So you would have to decide what type of project you are making. A fabric that is not tightly felted would not be good for cutting small applique shapes out of as it would have a tendency to fray.

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Wool roving is also spun into yarn, which is used for knitting wool sweaters and accessories such as scarves and mittens. You can “felt” these knitted items as well but regardless of your wash/dry temperatures, they will not compact as tightly as wool fabric woven from thread. A good rule of thumb when looking for wool garments at the thrift store it that the item is made from 80% wool or more.

WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE?

I have used both. Wool felt is soft yet strong and comes in a variety of colors. It is also more economical to purchase then wool fabric. Felted wool comes in many colors and patterns. It is however, more expensive but the choices in patterns are more. I use both sometimes in a piece…whatever works with the project I am working on. There are some ladies who prefer their wool applique to be authentic; all done in felted wool all.

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I hope this information helps clear the confusion!

Happy Creating!

Anita

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oh what fun!

This image came up in my Facebook feed this morning. As we enter into a new year I am reminded of a simpler time in life. One in which the magic of Christmas was in homemade gifts and family traditions!

Each year my Auntie would make us all (4 in total) a new set of hat, mittens & a scarf. We would eagerly go outside with our sleds and try out our new gifts. Mother would have to take a picture of our colorful prizes (even though the film was black & white!). We just wanted to capture the moment.

My beloved Auntie!
Auntie’s Knitting.

As I reflect on those days I remember all the love we had for each other as siblings and the fun we had going out in the cold. We are grown now and have just recently, due to an accident to my younger brother, have all come back together. The last quarter of 2019 was a trying time for our family but with a happy ending!

Now as 202o rolls in I am going to make this the best year ever and remember the acronym KISS: Keep IT Simple Stupid! I have a habit of going bigger then I need to and making things more complicated then they need to! So this year I am focusing on de-cluttering my house. A much needed process. (My hubby is in the backroom cleaning now as I write this…LOL)

I am also making a BIG Commitment to my business this year! I am making a vow to do things with what I have….and I have A LOT! When I look around my studio I see so much potential. And there in lies the problem…too much stuff, too many ideas that I get overwhelmed.

Here is to setting goals, making a plan, and taking it one day at a time!!!

Happy New Year & Happy Creating!

Anita

The Pineapple

SYMBOL OF HOSPITALITY

The pineapple as a welcoming icon can trace its roots to Christopher Columbus, who brought he succulent fruit back to Europe from its ancestral home in the late 1400s. Believed to have originated in Brazil and Paraguay, Columbus “discovered” the fruit in Guadeloupe in 1493.

Legend has it that captains would mount a pineapple on their gateposts outside their home to signify a safe return home. They were also an invitation to visit, enjoy food and drink and hear tales of the sailors’ adventures.

In colonial America, hostesses would place a fresh pineapple as a centerpiece at the table when entertaining visitors in their homes. Visiting was the primary method of cultural exchange as well as entertainment, so hospitality was central to colonial life. The pineapple symbolized the warmest welcome a hostess could extend to her guests and became the dessert for the meal.

I have loved this image for a long time and always wanted to make it into a project. Here is my interpretation of a pattern I found by Vicki Stratton Designs

I chose to use hand-dyed wool for the stem at the top of the pineapple. Instead of individual leaves I made it in 3 pieces graduating the color from dark to light.

Here is the finished project… a table runner. It still needs quilted but I am excited about the colors. I had enough pineapple material left over so I made a bag with the motif. There is still fabric left to make another pineapple motif and I may just make a pillow too!

Kits will be available soon!

Happy Creating, Anita

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Not just for St. Patrick’s Day!

New shop listing: March blessings Kit

I wanted to create something that would appeal to everyone not just the Irish lovers! It has the feel of St. Patrick’s day but can be put up anytime.

This banner is 6″ wide and 18″ long. Wool cut outs and wool felt background provided in kit.

Kit is $10.00 + 4.00 shipping. It can be found under Shop Anita’s Homespun–wool kits.

Happy Creating!

Anita 🙂

 

Fearing Failure!

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I don’t know about you but I seem to let failure stop me from creating sometimes. I look and look at pinterest or other sites for inspiration. I have a massive collection of books and saves on my computer! But that seems like all I do sometimes is look!

Why do I just look? I think it is because I am a perfectionist when it comes to my art work. I want it perfect the first time 🙂 When it doesn’t come out like I envisioned I usually drop that project and never go back to it. However, all the accomplished artists talk about samples.

In knitting, make a sample swatch…WHAT???…you want me to waste time making a swatch when I could just dive into the project! Painters draw ideas in their sketch book and make many samples using watercolors or colored pencils and markers.

I spoke in my last post about receiving my newest book, The Art of Moy Mackay She is a painter turned felter. She makes absolutely beautiful wool painted landscapes. In this book she goes deeper into her process.

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Her process starts with using that sketchbook and making notes and drawings. She also talks about making mini samples in various colors of the picture you want to make before committing to the bigger version.

Making minis! Making samples! Oh My….this will be a hard concept for me to follow but I am going to give it a shot 🙂 After all she is a famous artist and she might know a thing or two about process…LOL

Speaking of process….I recently came across a website written by two brothers Joe and Sam Pitcher They just had a free series of videos about process and their mom Sue Stone

She talks about the power of 5 basic stitches. It is amazing what her art looks like with just a few basic stitches!

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You can see more of her work on Facebook

So….I have decided to go small and samples before creating a big project. Those felted pieces I talked about finishing last time, well, I am just going for it. Many of them require free motion stitching before the hand stitching. I am good with hand stitching but not free motion. I am not going to worry (well almost…lol) about what I am doing. I am just going to get myself into the Flow 🙂

If you are stuck and afraid, I say, “no more!” as Nike tells us…..JUST DO IT!

Happy creating!

Anita 🙂

spring flowers

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Brrrrrrrrr…..it’s cold outside! Negative numbers the last two days 😦 But, I am turning my thoughts to spring. Currently I am working on a new wall hanging inspired by the picture above; featuring penny flowers 🙂

Background will be a dyed piece of wool with sky and ground. You fill in your garden with wool applique and stitching. It is a great way to explore new stitches or adding beads and other embellishments! I’ve got my pennies and threads ready to go!img_32355b15d

If you are not sure what stitches to try, Creative Stitching by Sue Spargocreativestitching

Now off to dye some wool background pieces and get stitching!

Happy Creating! Anita ❤