Felting Experimentation

Tuesday 14th March

Today I decided to spend the day in the pathway and experiment with some techniques to see how I could manipulate different fabrics to make them useful for my development. As a group of students we decided to look at felting. Therefore, after a tutorial on how to successfully felt material from our textile technician, we were able to go away and produce our own. For this I decided to produce a design that would manipulate the image of meat. Therefore, using flesh like colours, such as beiges creams, cherry reds, browns and pinks and nudes, I was able to layer up the felt, ensuring each layer was in the opposing direction. When layering the material, I decided to go from a skin colour, such as the nudes and creams before then diverting into the more blood flesh colours like the reds and browns. This was done in the hope that the material would look like the fur of an animal and then the flesh of animal on the other side.

Once layered, the material then had to be soaked with hot water and soap before then rubbing together using the friction cause by the moving hand and the contact between the bubble wrap and the wool. Rubbing this in the different directions caused the fibres to link together and shrink in the process tightening the intertwined connection between the fibres. Once fully felted, the fabric needs to be air dried.

Overall this created a really successful piece which effect represented the idea I had in mind. Therefore, because of this proposed potential ideas which developed this technique further. As a result, ideas that have originated are the idea of producing a felted layered cape representing meet on the inside and fur on the outside, more visual side. This would be a representation of the fur industry and the ongoing campaigns at the moment. To take this idea further, I have thought about hand embroidering the inner side of the cot with quotes and campaign headlines. In order to test this idea and see its potential I would work first with projection to see how this would visualise. By testing in this way I would hopefully be able to collaborate with fellow students to create some photography pieces showing the work.

To improve what I have experimented with so far, is the process I used to cause the wool to felt together. I would ensure that the water is much warmer in order to speed up the shrinking process. I would also ensure that the layers of wool I have placed are in opposing directions to ensure that the felting will be structurally secure.

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