Friday, 20 August 2010

Felted curly Gotland rug...

Fibre-related posts have been a bit thin on the ground lately so it's time for some felted rug action! I recently made a wet-felted rug from some gorgeous Gotland fleece that I added to my stash at Woolfest this year.

It's curly...
View across the rug

Very curly!
Corner detail 1

I made it with a thick layer of Shetland wool on the back for strength and squishyness (although it could be squishier... maybe I should have added a layer of Finn wool in there too).

Here it's folded over so you can see the back...
Detail of folded back edge

It was a complete mission to make it and I was totally knackered after a whole day of large-scale felting!

It was easy enough at the start, laying out the curls nice and evenly...
Gotland curls laid out

And then piling on layer after layer of lovely white Shetland...
First layer of Shetland fibre

But then it descended into a hard slog and ended up resulting in blood (those bamboo blinds are hard on the hands...), sweat (feltmaking is a full body workout!) and almost tears as I jumped up and down on it in the bath to try and rinse all the soap out!

I'm quite pleased with the results, although it didn't shrink as much as I was expecting (should have made a sample first!) and it's come out almost square at 90 x 100cm, rather than the rectangle I was aiming for. Oh well, I've got a nice curly rug for my troubles and nearly half the Gotland fleece still left to play with! :)

19 comments:

  1. this is sooooooo stunning and gorgeous!!!! now i want a curly felty rug so darn badly! :)

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  2. thank you lovely people! :) The Gotland sheep that provided the fleece should take all the credit for this rug, those curls would look good no matter what was done with them! :D

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  3. You could sell this for hundreds - I absolutely love it! You're so clever and talented. xxx

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  4. Aww... thanks! You're making me blush! :)

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  5. This may be the most beautiful rug ever created! You're incredibly talented!

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  6. Thanks very much! I'm going to go and check out your blog... looks like there's lots of interesting fleecy and fibre-ey posts to read! :)

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  7. oh wow! You make a workout seem so worthwhile! Seriously gorgeous rug!

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  8. This is fantastic. Would you mind sharing how much of the Gotland wool you needed for the top layer? Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I can't remember exactly how much of the Gotland wool I used since it was a while ago, but I've got a vague feeling it was about 700g or so. If you had less than that, you could just space the curls out a bit more and the fibre you use as the backing will show in between the gaps. I got the idea for the rug from a book where the curls were used very sparingly as highlights (white curls on a white background) and I'd intended to copy that but got carried away laying out the curls and did a solid layer! :)

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    2. Thanks for replying! I got a couple of sheeps' worth of wool and was thinking about making a rug for my daughter, but it's a bit rough looking, so some curls would make a huge difference, I'm sure. Thanks again. :-)

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  9. How did you felt this rug without turning the curls into a matted layer? I would think the curls would turn into a matted layer of felt, but these curls are still beautiful and lively? Is there a trick or is that just how it turns out?

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    1. I put the curls down first on the bamboo mat, with the tips of the curls on the mat and the butt ends of the curls (the end that was shorn from the sheep - fluffier and more open) facing upwards. Then the rest of the wool was layered on top and I didn't turn the rug over during felting, so the back of the rug got the brunt of the force used during felting (mainly the rubbing before the rolling). The curls are less inclined to felt than the fuzzier end of the locks (where they were attached to the sheep), but you still have to be careful not to rub them too much or they fluff up and felt into a mass, as you said :)

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  10. How did you manage to only felt the shetland? Does gotland not felt?

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    1. The Gotland does felt really well, but by laying out the curls with the tips facing the bamboo mat and the butt ends (where the wool was attached to the sheep - much more open and fluffy) facing upwards, I was able to preserve the structure of the curls. The fluffy butt-ends of the Gotland felted well to the thick Shetland layer and I was careful to do all the rubbing onto the Shetland so that the curls didn't turn into a fuzzy mass. The curls did fluff up a bit, but not as much as they could've done if I'd been rougher and rubbed that side of the rug during felting :)

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    2. You mentioned a book. Would you share the name. Is it step by step

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    3. The book is called Felt Handmade Style, by India Flint and Tokyo Sugiwaka. I followed the directions for the 'shaggy rug with fleece curls' on page 40, but I added a lot more fleece curls than the version in the book. It is a good book with step-by-step instructions and photos :)

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  11. hi there, your rug is gorgeous! I made a similar one from the same book years ago but forget the name of the book! Would you mind sharing it along with the author? I would like to order it for myself and make another rug! :)

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    1. Hello! Thank you! :) Yes the book is called Felt Handmade Style, by India Flint and Tokyo Sugiwaka. It's a great book! Have fun making your next rug :)

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