Saturday, 6 December 2014

Fibre of the Month PROJECT - Estonian Batts

As mentioned in the sampling post for the Estonian batts, the fibre blend is Gotland and merino.. with Gotland being the main fibre I would think from the feel.  Gotland is great for thing which need to be hard wearing.. so I decided to make BOOTS.

At this time of year I absolutely love watching the skies.. winter is my favourite time for watching the sun rise and set.  ANd the solstice is just around the corner.. I love winter solstice, always have as far back as I can remember.  Maybe it's because I was born just a few days before, but I've always felt very 'in tune' with it.  Anyway.. someone happened to mention boots in sunset colours a few weeks back and WHAM.. my mind went into overdrive forming these boots in my head.. I just had to make them to get them out!

Estonian Batts in Sunrise/set colour palette
The main colour used was this gorgeous terracotta orange..
with the reds and purple touches in the final layers.  I added slubby red yarn too.
Building sun-spirals
Drying out..
I added bluey-grey slate coloured leather soles.. and Italian wood toggles..

The sun rises on the left ankle
And sets on the right toe :)
For comparison to sampling data

Layout size: 73cm x 36cm
Finished size: 54cm x 27cm (pressed flat to measure / 54cm is length of both boots added together)
Weight: 220g

Shrinkage: 26.5% x 25%


The shrinkage is less than that of the sample..but 'more fibre = less shrinkage'!  - The layers are thicker and there are twice as many as used in the sample, so I'm not surprised that the shrinkage is less.  

Also I did really stretch the length of the boots back up as I wanted them fairly tall.  That's something I like about these batts actually the felt is nice to manipulate in the final stages.. just get it good and hot.  It does shed hair a quite a bit in the final stages, I find Gotland always does.

I also found that it seemed to really want to form ridges at the edges. Constant vigilance - as Mad Eye Moody would say :) - was needed to prevent them from developing and becoming a problem.

It's made a lovely thick, sturdy felt.. I think they will be really comfortable and cosy boots.  The feel of the finished felt is different from Gotland alone.. it's much softer against the skin.  But I don't think this will effect how hard wearing the felt is.  

In fact, Jane (of Jane Flanagan Textiles) tells me it is commonly used for footwear and other hard wearing products in Estonia, when laid down thickly and felted well.  She says it is also used for more delicate items when laid finer etc. but I haven't experimented with that..

I definitely plan to use it for more slippers in the future!

This pair are destined for my Etsy shop tomorrow.. they're a UK size 6 if anyone is interested :)


Teri Berry said...

They look lovely Deborah, I made a pair of slippers with merino on the inside and gotland on the outer layers, the gotland gobbled up the merino but they are still lovely and soft on the inside, I expect the Estonian has a similar feel?

Heather Woollove said...

Mad-Eye Moody...snort! Love it (and you!)