Sunday, 11 November 2012

Tree of Life #2

 After laying out the bag and drawing the design took so long, I ended up leaving this till the next day to felt.  I worked it HARD, got loads of shrinkage and a nice sturdy felt.  The sari fabric worked really well for the motifs I think.. these are my favourite bits :)

The pomegranates'
Acanthus leaf

The tussah silk on the inside really lightens it up
The felted bag was just the right size.. with a nice roomy bell bottom and 2 integral pockets.  The only 'problem' was I know that I'd be tempted to everload it due to its size.. and though it could easily carry weight the handles would end up distorting.   They needed reinforcing!

So, I felted a matching piece of felt and cut it to match the shape of the upper part of the bag.  I did it in 2 pieces which met at the sides of the bag.  Carefully pinned then hand stitched it in place.
Blanket stitched handle reinforcing.. and integral pockets.  The mobile phone pocket is near to the top so you don't have to go delving into the bags depths when it rings
both sides

Lovely and sturdy now :)

Project finished.   Tree of Life design out of my head & I'm a happy bunny


Charlotte said...

That is just lovely.

Ruth said...

What a nice design and I like how you made the handle area more sturdy. Great bag!

Heather Woollove said...

Gorgeous, Deborah!! The reinforced handle is genius! XXO-

Terriea Kwong said...

Gorgeous color and sturdy all function bag. Pattern is simply pretty. May I know what sort of coarse wool you used. Were they from WoW also? How big is the finished size? I can imagine how the hard work to do with 1.5 by 4 ft template !

Unknown said...

Thats beautiful Deborah, great idea to reinforce the handles, it looks so strong you'll be able to carry lots with you :)

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you ladies :)


Terrie it measures 20" deep and 13.25" across the bottom 12.25 across the top.
The coarser merino is just a higher micron than the stuff I use for scarves etc. The merino I used for this is 23 micron from World of Wool, for next to the skin softness I use 21 micron from Wingham Wool Work.
I will never use superfine merino 'cos I worry over how it is produced. In my opinion the practice of keeping sheep confined to small indoor penns in plastic jackets, alone or in small groups, for their entire life is exceptionally cruel.. and that they do it just to produce a finer fleece is disgusting (this is sometimes called Sharlea after the farm where the method originated).
I know Winghams 18.5 micron fine merino is NOT produced in this way 'cos I asked, they also disagree with this farming method. But to be honest I never struggle to get a fine enough or soft enough felt from 21 micron merino so don't see a need for using anything finer.


Terriea Kwong said...

Thank you Deborah for the detailed reply on my queries. I also buy from Wingham and WoW. So I know now 23 micro is good for bags. I used 21 mic that too fine. Cruel to sheep just to have the finer, I resist too.

FeltersJourney said...

I use the 21 micron for bags sometimes too.. it depends on the bag.
I use 6 fibre layers for bags and the inner 3 would be a courser wool (Falkland, BFL & Norwegian all work nicely like this) then 3 layers of the 21 micron merino.. it makes a nice solid bag and the white fibres creeping through give a nice heathery effect to the coloured outer.

FeltersJourney said...

Karen I tested it with a packed lunch, 600+ page hardback book and bottle of water :) worked well

Vicki-anne Carter said...

Hi, love your bag and your creative process. I agree with you on the process of sheep being kept in plastic jackets and alone just to keep their microns lower is animal cruelty. I have found a lovely farmer here in Australia that has gotten 13 - 15 micron through good food, her sheep are out in the paddock with no jackets, just very happy sheep. Her name is Nui Milton and is from Casalana fine wool. I have been to the farm, so I speak from first hand knowledge.

Those who mistreat their animals should not profit, but those who treat their animals with the best of care need to be promoted, not demonised.

I hope you don’t mind my comments. I thank you for your inspiration! Now I need to make a bag lol.


FeltersJourney said...

hi Vicki-anne, sorry I have only just spotted your comment.. I stopped blogging a coupe of years ago so don't monitor it as such.
Thank you for the information, it's always lovely to hear of good practice.. I hope that your friends approach is taken up by others.
I don't have a use for such fine fibre personally but hopefully your info will be found by folk who do use it.
Best wishes
Deborah x