Monday, January 30, 2006

How Julie Skeesick can make felt faster.

Yep, Joe, this is a trick I stumbled onto that might partially repay a rabbit hide-glue effort...
it's a neat trick, too.

You will need:
1. one bamboo screen or equivalent.
2. hot water and soap
3. a batt of wool ready for pre-felting
4. an old broken plastic blind or other plastic sheeting, smooth
5. A fifteen-dollar 1/4-sheet random-orbit palm sander (if you want to be all crazy-go-nuts and use a 1/2-sheet sander, go for it, but a cheap used one is fine)

1. Wet-felt your batt, however makes sense to you (I'm laying the batt on a reed blind and rolling it for ten minutes in the bathtub).
2. Take your pre-felted batt in its "oh, yay, I'm a single piece now" arrangement, and lay it out on plastic sheeting.
3. Take sander (without any sand-paper!), and place it on the edges of the felt sheet. Pick it up and put it down until you have the majority of the loose surface strands under control and behaving.
4. Begin to "sand" the felt. I'm finding that small circles felt the material down quickly, but tend to grab a few staples and twist them up, whereas long strokes (always going the same way) tends to make them lie down, but aren't as effective at getting them all to hold together.

Using a batt pre-made off a carding machine, I made a 2'x4' piece of felt inside an hour, and it has stayed compact as it dries.

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