Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fibre of the Month September - Short Fibre Merino Project

Although I have lots of batts left.. I also came back from the Lizard workshop with a fair sized bag of wet bits.. pieces that I had pulled off from areas that had too much fibre (from fluffy roots being too long or in places where folding over rays would of overlapped and needed thinning).  All the colours were in together in a soggy, soapy mass.. so I rinsed them and dried them and put them aside for later use.

I decided to use them for this project.. a wallet style purse for me.  First step was to card the fibre into a variegated batt.

All my lizard colours mixed up together..
a purple base with flecks of red and green and occasional bits of silk
I wanted a wallet, with zipped coin area and a couple of pockets for keeping cards safe.  I decided to go for 3 sections which would fold up.

I cut paper to size and laid it beneath my bubble wrap as a guide for laying out
Added a resist for what would become the coin area
Folded rays over, then enclosed the resist as usual
On the middle section I enclosed smaller resists which would
become card holders
I flipped it over and added the outer decoration:
slubby red yarn and a rather rainbow-ish corner.

I wanted to hint at the Hundertwasser inspired spiral bag I use every day
and plan to keep this purse in
Part way through
Cutting the felt to remove resists.
Actually I left the smaller resists in place as long as possible
to prevent them from closing up
Finished felting.. inside
I made folds where I wanted them and left it to dry
Then hand stitched a nice red zip in place over the coin pouch
My finished purse :)
I love this slightly squashed vintage brass shank button closure (which came from Hungary).  The loop is several strands of cotton thread with tight buttonhole stitch over.
Beading and simple embroidery finishing touches
Showing the card holder section
and finished outside
For comparison to sampling data

Layout size: 47cm x 20.5cm
Finished size: 34cm x 15cm

Shrinkage: 27.5% x 26.5%

This actually shrunk less than the sample even though I worked it hard.. guess I needed more hot water and elbow grease.. though it would of been too stiff if I had done that and probably wouldn't of bent.  

** Note: I know that the shrinkage of my lizard was about the same as with the sample (I don't have my starting measurement to be exact). The smaller amount of shrinkage on this purse is because I stopped when it seemed that to work it more would render it too stiff to bend - I probably needed a finer layout to felt to maximum shrinkage.. then my sizing would of been better too**

Anyway as a result it is a bigger, slightly more cumbersome purse than I had planned.. but I like it well enough and it was a good use for what had essentially been waste fibre.

I had a comment from Pat on the previous post, she mentioned how good short fibre merino is for felting cords..  I found this too when making my lizards tail. It felts quickly and easily into a strong cord which has a really nice feel.. with a different character and nicer than cords felted from long fibre merino.


Unknown said...

great purse! I have at least 30-40 % shrinkage .

Heather Woollove said...

What a super idea, Deborah!! I love the embellishments, too!
...must try one, myself one day!!

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks :)
Yeah I got 30 & 35% shrinkage on the sample.. With this I stopped when the purse was feeling well done, I think to felt it to the max I would of needed to lay down less fibre.. if I felted this more I wouldn't of been able to fold it lol.

Been using it a couple of weeks now and there's no sign of pilling or softening.. yet.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Heather :)

Lyn and Annie said...

Very well thought out/designed. Not only practical but very pretty!

Els said...

O WOW what a splendid idea !!!!!

(might borrow that one time ... I hope you don't mind ...)

Unknown said...

Beautiful work. It's so detailed, with the coin pocket as well as card pockets. Very, very nice!

FeltersJourney said...

Lyn & Annie, if I made it over again I'd tweak the design.. but that's part of the fun isn't it :) x

Els, feel free.. it isn't really an original design, just a felt wallet purse.. made seamlessly. Bound to of been done before I'd imagine. Nice of you to check though :) x

Thank you Nancy :) I enjoyed adding the beading and old button x