Category Archives: Felting Techniques

Opening Up Possibilities with the FeltLOOM

We recently ran across this post by Jennifer at All Sorts Acre, and thought it was the perfect way to show how one FeltLOOMer works with her FeltLOOM. She has a Lexi, our tabletop model (below).

This week I thought I would try something different. I have a Lexi FeltLOOM needle felting machine. It is a great little machine that really opens up felting possibilities exponentially.

The Lexi FeltLOOM needle felting machine.

The Lexi FeltLOOM needle felting machine.

The Lexi means that I can make my own fabric. It makes the felting process faster, more versatile, and in some ways easier. Using it still has a learning curve, because, like felting, each type of fibre behaves very differently on it. Combine that with using a base fabric, and the possibilities are endless.

I don’t often use a base fabric in my felt projects, I usually just use wool, but having a woven fabric in between the front and back layer can give an incredible stability to the felt that can be time consuming to achieve when just using wool. Having the woven fabric in the centre also means that when sewing pieces together, no fabric stabilizer is needed. I have found that some types of wool are better for sewing into directly than others, but that is for another blog post.

Needle felted table runner.

Needle felted table runner.

Anyway, I had some loose cotton weave fabric lying around. I don’t remember too much about it, except that I wanted to experiment with it. So I did. Using some of my ready-to-use wool stash (all local and many different types) I got several balls of wool ready and layer it out onto the fabric.

I then put it through the FeltLOOM. To begin with I had fabric on one side only. I was not happy with this result as the woven fibres pulled and didn’t look lice on the back. So I ended up adding a layer to the back of the fabric as feel. this helped immensely. Not only did it hide the pulled threads, but it also gave the wool fibres on the front of the piece something to lock into on the back.

The front and back of the table runner.

The front and back of the table runner.

You can see threads from the cotton fabric at the edge of the piece. This is due to my rushing. Normally I would have had the fabric smaller than the piece O wanted to work on so when I trimmed it there would be a nice thread-free finished edge.
But this was an experiment so I just wanted to see what would happen.

I may put some edging on it, or further develop this into a purse or bag, I haven’t decided. yet. Regardless, I am gonigg to give it a quick wet felting to make sure all the fibres are truly locked together.  orFor now it makes a great table runner.

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FeltLOOM Is Heading to the Auckland Textile & Design Lab

It is not every day that one gets invited to conduct a workshop internationally!  FeltLOOM® is bringing needle felting instruction and ‘Fellowship’ to New Zealand! FeltLOOM® has been in business since 2003, founded by Lanette Frietag and Don Bowles, who designed and created the first FeltLOOM®, a large-scale felting machine.

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Creative felting is brought to life with this innovative machine. Direct from LanMark Farm in the bluegrass country of Kentucky, home of the FeltLOOM® felting equipment; FeltLOOM® will team up with Auckland University of Technology (AUT)’s Textile and Design Lab (TDL) with two 1-day teaching workshops on how to use the FeltLOOM® needle-felting machine to create and design textiles, April 14th and 15th, 2015.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand; New Zealand is comprised of 2 islands, Auckland can be found in New Zealand’s north island. The fertile lands of New Zealand were historically dominated by the export of wool, and today many textile and design factions drive the New Zealand fiber community. AUT’s Textile and Design Lab was established in 2000, and has reorganized itself and its identity a few times since before landing on its present identity as TDL.

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With Auckland being New Zealand’s largest city a trip for learning and exploring would be ideal!  Where else can you learn to create beautiful scarves and shawls, felt based textile products and fabric; and travel to middle-earth for a side excursion??

The workshops are an introductory learning level for beginners and will be comprised of such content as techniques, layers, patterns and textures.

Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the most fundamental FeltLOOM® functions; basic exposure to the procedure and workflow of needle felting technology, hands-on use of the FeltLOOM® tool in creation of original fabric, techniques like fiber to fiber and fiber to fabric, and the overall operations of the FeltLOOM®.
Making your own artwork, creating unique designs, envisioning one’s own fabric design, and learning how to actually create it using tried and true design approaches among other guidelines and techniques.

FeltLOOM also is adding on a visit Massey University in Wellington for the Master of Design Opening on April 9th.

So it is with extreme enthusiasm that we applaud FeltLOOM® for this international opportunity to teach and expand the fiber art community with their knowledge and their tool.

May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 

Make Artful Fabric with the FeltLOOM

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Many newcomers to the FeltLOOM world don’t realize is the ease with which they can create amazing artful fabric for their projects. We have seen the non-woven fabrics made on a FeltLOOM used for clothing, upholstery, equestrian accessories, and rugs, just to name a few applications. Here is one project that shows how to create one-of-a-kind fabric from roving.

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Download the instructions for Making Artful Fabric with the FeltLOOM.