I am excited to share with you my second tutorial. I first want to make it clear that I am not a felt making expert. I am actually not an expert at any particular craft form but I love to try new things . A number of years ago I learned how to make felt with the age old techniques of wet felting. There are a number of good books and on line tutorials on the subject . These are some of my favorite books on wet felting ( not needle felting or fulling knitted articles) . I am going to show you how to make an egg although the same technique could be used to felt over any hard object that can withstand hot soapy water and friction. You will need a few things : an egg shape ( I use hard plastic eggs from the dollar store but you can use wooden ones or stone eggs ), wool roving , liquid soap ( I use dish soap) , hot water and a place to work ( I use the kitchen ). A wash board or bamboo mat for the friction rub is helpful but not essential. Some people use bubble wrap for this but I don't find that very environmentally friendly.
Not all wool is feltable. My favorite quick felting wool is merino sliver from my favorite Canadian wool company, Fleece Artist of Nova Scotia
Now cover the egg with some hot soapy water. I use a one part dish soap to two parts water mixture. Gently squeeze the wool egg / soap / water object and press together the fibers so that it doesn't all fall apart at this stage. When it is all warm and soapy you can start to very gently rub the egg with your finger tips .
The next step is fulling which binds the fibers together in a stronger union making it more durable . Some people call this hard felting. I do this by rubbing the soft felted object on a wash board or a bamboo mat. You can continue to use your hands for this step but it takes more time and my hands already feel like leather from all the hand washing I do. You don't need to be gentle on this step and it usually helps to have some music on. I am listening to the Across the Universe soundtrack.
You are almost done. Now rinse out the soap and you have yourself a wet felted egg. Place it somewhere warm to dry . A little warning is that some cats are fascinated with these soft felted things and I have had a few eggs and other felted objects demolished over the years.
This is a great activity to do with your children and is also excellent therapy for anyone with arthritis in their hands. The finished eggs can be embellished with embroidery , wrapped yarn needle felting or anything else your imagination desires. I will leave with a few pictures for inspiration.