Felt is one of the oldest known fabrics in the world. It’s made by wetting layers of wool fleece and rubbing and rolling with soap until the fibres interlock to form a robust fabric that is light but incredibly tactile. It can be used to make something as robust as a tent (like a Mongolian ger) or as delicate as a cobweb scarf.
By blending different colours of wool it's possible to get effects almost like watercolour. And using resists allows you to create seamless 3D objects with incredible textures, or to incorporate non-woolly features.
I love the alchemy of turning a mass of fluffy fleece into an organic scuplture, or contrasting hard pebbles and shells with the softness of felt.
How I upcycle with felt
Old wool sweaters that have shrunk or been damaged by moths can be used with new fleece to create great textured felt - like a piece of wall art or cushion cover.
I lay out layers of new fleece and then cut out pieces of old sweaters and lay them on top. Then I wet everything with soap and water, and rub and roll till the old and new fibres attach to each other. As felt is created, it shrinks - sometimes by as much as 50%! - so I have to allow for this when I lay out the wool.