The other little project I have been delaying was to make her a new cover for her stainless steel water bottle. We made one last year and I didn't really know what I was doing and while it looked pretty - rainbow felt - it wasn't strong enough and it pilled and wore through in several places. I showed a few 'felting' friends and one suggested that I try using a template..the first time I had just wrapped fleece around the bottle itself, added soap and water and rolled like a madwoman.
If you have been reading this blog for a while you will know that I am not a fan of felting ~ don't get me wrong I love felted stuff but I generally get bored by the process ~ it takes soooo long; Steiner would say I lacked will ~ well not today!
I am clearly not an expert, nor very clever at wet felting but these covers turned out ok so I'll show you how I did it.
I made a template out of bubble wrap by roughly cutting around the water bottle and allowing for about 1/3 shrinkage (it looks bigger than a third but remember it has to go around the bottle)
From here it is pretty standard ~ massage gently all over until the fibres are pretty firm then roll up in the bubble wrap and towel and roll like crazy in one direction, unroll the lot, rotate your work 90 degrees and roll like crazy again.
keep going; rolling and rotating until the felt starts to curl up because the template is getting too small
When you get bored and grumpy use your thumb and forefinger to gently pinch and lift a little fiber on the surface. If individual fibers come up, it is not through the felting stage so keep rolling. If they hold onto the fabric around them so that the whole fabric picks up as one unit, it is felted and ready for fulling to make it tougher. Yay!
Fulling is the use of heat, moisture and extreme agitation to make a wool fabric shrink and therefore become stronger. Felt that is used without fulling will likely pill and shed fiber until it falls apart (this is what happened to the rainbow version). So rinse it under stinking hot water and then cold water a few times - this helps shock the fibres and gives you something else to do for a bit.