Wednesday, March 14, 2018

On retreat 2

Those of us on retreat last week had a lot of fun watching Cindy Rollins made felt.  Her first project was to make a pair of slippers, and we made her call us over to watch each time she did a new step in the process.

First, she made lasts for the slippers.  She put on a pair of throwaway socks and proceeded to apply many layers of duct tape over her feet.  Then she cut through the whole contraption, removed each one from her foot, taped it back together and stuffed it with plastic bags.

She marked the forms with the height she wanted the finished slippers to taken.

Then she started to lay small patches of wool roving onto the forms, gradually building up several layers of felt.  She massaged soapy water onto the slippers as they developed, wrapping them in nylon net so she could work them vigorously without the wool coming off into her hands.

Eventually she encased the slippers, still on the lasts, in bubble wrap, tied them tightly in a pair of old knee-high stockings, and put them in the dryer for one last round of heat and agitation.

Everybody there gathered around to see each step of the process.  We were impressed by how neat Cindy had managed to be while doing wet felting, with all the mess contained in a big plastic tub and a lot of old bath towels pressed into service to keep things dry.  And of course we all wanted a pair of slippers!


  1. brilliant description of the process. thank you. Very impressed. Irene from Northern Ireland

  2. Interesting.
    "Dangerously and deceptively easy interesting!" says she who does not need another project.
    "But I really could use a niiice pair of slippers instead of wearing out the socks or suffering those ill fitting store bought slippers!" says she who suffers from cold feet.

    So the dryer is only for heat and agitation, not for actual drying? Not that I'm planning on trying this.
    Yet. :-)

    1. I am not a felter, but my understanding is that the dryer accomplishes the heat and agitation. Subsequently unpeeling the slippers from the forms and letting them sit on the table for a day accomplishes the drying.