Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Tutorial: Making Felt Slippers
I did this tutorial a few years ago, when I was making a set of reproduction 1400's ecceliastical felt boots for an arts competition. But that was in my Live Journal, so I thought I'd transfer the entry over to here. This is the first half of the tutorial, showing how to make the felt boot. If you stop here, you've made a great set of house slippers. And if you vary the colors of wool that you use on the outside layer, they can be very decorative! I'm thinking of making another pair for myself, for winter house wear.
First, make your pattern by tracing around your foot, and adding a couple of inches and an upper, like so:
Then transfer that to either plastic or a tightly woven fabric. Flip it over and trace it again, so you end up with a weird U shape.
Cover this resist with three layers of carded wool.
Flip the whole shebang over, remove the resist, and wet down the middle of the pile of wool with very hot, soapy water.
Put the resist back in place.
Fold the wispy edges of the bottom wool over onto the resist. Add another three layers of wool on top.
Wet the whole mess down. Flip the thing over. Fold the wispy edges of the wool over, and gently wet them into place with very hot water. This creates the seam on the sides. Your resist is totally enclosed at this point.
Gently massage the surface of the wool until it just holds together. Roll the wool up in netting or bubble wrap, and roll it around until the edges just start to curl up. Cut the two boots apart, and remove the resist.
Now, spend 4 or 5 hours abusing the wool. Roll it, smack it, give it lots of hot hot water. The wool will shrink more in the direction you are rolling, so you can control the shape. Turn it inside out now and again.
Shrink specific places even more by rubbing them on a wash board.
Do the final shaping by massaging the boot while it is on your foot.
One down, one to go!
Continued here: http://tangibledaydreams.blogspot.com/2010/10/tutorial-felt-slippers-into-1400s.html