Wool Felting – How to make Lattice Felt

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Learn all about Wet Felting with Wool using the Lattice Felting Technique

Welcome to Part 4 of my Wet Felting Techniques Series! We’ve already cover the basics of felting as well as the nuno felting technique. This time, we will delve into the wool felting technique known as Lattice Felting.

FYI – this is my favorite roving for super soft, next-to-the-skin felt!



Wool Felting with the Lattice Felting Technique


What is Felting?

Felting is the process of taking loose wool fibers and binding or interlocking them into a fabric. There are two methods: wet felting and dry felting. For more about wet felting, please read on.

If you are interested in dry or needle felting, check out How to Needle Felt for Beginners.



What is Lattice Felting?

Just like the name suggests, Lattice Felting is a wet wool felting technique which produces a fabric, but with deliberate holes in it. There are a few different ways to achieve this.

In the first method, you would dampen or wet felt a solid piece of fabric using wool fiber or roving. Then you would use scissors to cut away pieces of the felt, leaving it with holes.

In this tutorial, I will show you the second method:
You will lay out the wool or roving in a lattice pattern or design and felt the wool with the holes in it.

If you’re a beginner feltmaker, you may be interested in What is Felting? A Beginner’s Guide.



How to Felt Wool - Lattice Felting Technique


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Wet Felting Supplies







Wool Felting Supplies


Laying out the Wool Roving

First, you will want to cover your table with the plastic. Wet Felting uses a lot of water so you may want to cover your floor as well.

Now, unroll the matchstick blind. If you are using bubble wrap instead, lay out one long sheet (make sure it is longer than your desired scarf).

Okay, so before you begin actually laying our your roving, you will need to draft or thin it out first. The reason for this is because it is more difficult to get the water into the middle of thick clumps of wool which prevents it from felting.

Drafting the Wool:

Take a length of the wool roving and hold it firmly with one hand. With your other hand, take a hold of the roving about 12″ or more away and gently pull out a thin length of wool. This takes a bit of practice to get it even. If it breaks, no biggie, just overlap the ends.

Now, lay out the drafted pieces of wool, all in one direction. I used 5 lengths about 8 feet long.



How to Felt. A Wet Felting Tutorial - Lattice Felting


Once you have finished placing the first layer of strips, add some silk on top, if using. I like to add silk to my pieces to give them more dimension, texture and luster. This, however is completely optional!



Wet Wool Felting - the Lattice Felting Method


Add a Second Layer of Wool

Again, draft your strips of roving and then lay them in the opposite direction, creating a lattice pattern. The lines don’t have to be straight and can overlap each other and the edges for a more artsy look. Again, add bits of silk.

Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com

Sprinkle the Wool with Water

Now, you are ready to begin the felting process. Fill your bottle with very warm water and add a couple squirts of soap. Sprinkle the wool roving thoroughly.

Lay a piece of plastic or bubble wrap over a section of fiber and begin rubbing the surface with your hands to work the water into the fiber. You want to make sure that the roving is completely saturated (dry fiber won’t felt). Add more water, if necessary. Do this to all of the fiber, again, making sure it is completely wet.

Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com
Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com

At this point you can also adjust the edges where needed. Some of the holes in the lattice work may have been closed up by fiber. Gently, move the fiber back in place.

Rolling the Felt Fabric

Beginning at one end, tightly roll up the blind or bubble wrap. Using yarn or nylon hose, tie your roll in 2 or 3 places to secure. Now, lay your hands on the blind and begin rolling it back and forth, from your hands to your elbow and back again. Do this about 200 times. Arms getting tired yet?

Slowly and carefully, unroll the piece, re-wet your fiber and roll it up from the opposite end. Again, secure with string and roll it back and forth another 200 or so times.

Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com
Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com

(Did you notice that my blind looks different?? I do so many large pieces that I had to tie two blinds together.)

Pinch Test the Felt

At this point, the fiber should be felting well and holding together. Carefully, unroll your piece and do a pinch test. With your thumb and forefinger, pinch a bit of fiber and gently pull up. Is it holding together? If yes, move on to the next step. If no, continue rolling.

Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com

Fulling the Wool Fiber

Next step….throwing! This will full your fiber, meaning it will shrink and complete the felting process. Don’t start throwing until your piece has passed the pinch test! Make sure all of the fiber is holding together, especially the joints where the pieces intersect.

Pick up your scarf GENTLY, wad it up and let it fall on the table. No force here, just gently let it drop. Pick it up and drop it again.

Do this about 50 to 100 times. After a while, you’ll notice the fibers firming up so you can increase pressure. Now, carefully lay it out and pull apart any areas that are not supposed to be sticking together.

Continue throwing your scarf until it firms up. The longer you throw it, the more the felt will harden and shrink. Once it’s all holding together, how long you throw it and how much you shrink it, is up to you.

Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com

Finishing the Lattice Felted Scarf

All that’s left now is to thoroughly rinse all the soap out of your scarf. Hang up to dry.

Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com
Lattice Felting How-to, Fiberartsy.com

Stay tuned for my next Wool Felting Tutorial. Have you tried wet felting? How’d it turn out?

Related Wet Felting Tutorials

DIY Wool Dryer Balls with Needle Felt Designs
What is Felting? A Beginner’s Guide
How to Needle Felt (for Beginners)

Part 1 – Basic Felting
Part 2 – How to Felt Wool – Cobweb Felting
Part 3 – Nuno Felting
Part 5 – Resist Felting

Merino Wool Lattice Felted Scarf with Wet Felted Flowers of Alpaca Fiber and Silk


Lattice Felted Scarf with Felted Flowers made from Alpaca Fiber and Silk

How to make lattice felt
Lattice Felting for Beginners

 

Wool Felting Techniques. Lattice Felting Tutorial

 

Wool Felting – How to Lattice Felt

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