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International Day of Felt

October 5, 2010

Saturday, October 3 was a riot of color, as we joined feltmakers around the world in observance of the 2nd Annual International Day of Felt. This is a day organized by FeltUnited as a way to promote community among felt makers and raise public awareness of one of the oldest textile traditions in history. Events the world over ranged from small studio days to large, public art installations as felt makers joined together creating felt in this year’s specified color palette – the color wheel wedge from yellow through green to blue.

Our day began as instructor Valerie Stein gave a brief lesson in the traditional art of feltmaking, using wool, soap, water, and elbow grease. Students had a range of colors within the scheme to choose from, as well as wool, angora goat, and silk fibers. They learned color blending and basic surface design as they made four small pages for a hand-bound book.

After a delicious meal prepared by Don Harker, the afternoon resumed with tutor June Steegstra, who immersed the students in an alternative method of feltmaking – using needles. Through a series of pages designed to teach a myriad of techniques, students learned how to create surfaces, attach objects, and make three-dimensional features with needle felting.

The afternoon drew to a close as Gail Harker gave a lesson in a simple, stitched binding that could be used to put the pages together. Everyone worked on a tiny little book, which left them with the skills to finish their pages into books once they returned home.

These are just a few of the many photos taken during the day. A full gallery of the festivities will appear among the many projects on Felt United’s web site. Be sure to check it out!

The group digs in to a beautiful range of fibers in the theme colors to lay out their felt batts.

Fulling our felt on a beautiful, sunny October day.

On the left, a wool batt laid out in preparation for traditional wet felting. On the right, a needle-felted piece in progress.

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