How to Wet Felt a Hat on a Multi-Way Bell Hat Shaper
Wet Felted Hat
Wet Felted Hat Close-Up
The 'Classic' Drum Carder
Carding the Right Way
Jacobs Wool and the 'Classic Drum Carder'
The Jacobs wool batts in this tutorial were made on a Classic Drum Carder. I am delighted with my purchase from Classic Carders. My experience of using this carder has thus far been overwhelmingly positive. It is a joy to use.
Over the coming months, I will be washing and processing raw wool purchased from various breeds of sheep for future tutorials. This is the first in a series of wet felting tutorials where I will be using wool processed from . Jacobs sheep
Classic Carders are made in Shropshire, England. Not only are they beautifully designed but they are affordable and made by a craftsman in solid wood. They can even be customised to suit the needs of the customer. The carders also feature adjustable drums which come in a choice of three different grades of cloth. The design allows one to use interchangeable drums with different grades of carding cloth for different fibres.
- Suitable for use with all wool fibres, alpaca and angora
- Available in ash and oak
- Made from sustainably sourced woods
- Come in a choice of three grades of card cloth (48tpi, 72tpi and 120tpi), two pin lengths and two cloth colours (red and pale blue)
- Folding handle for easy storage
- Come fully assembled with a doffer, table clamps and full instructions
- Adjustable and interchangeable drum system
- Come with a two-year guarantee with after-sales service for the life of the carder.
- 2 Washed and carded wool Batts (Jacobs Washed Fleece or similar)
- Small quantity washed Teesdale wool curls and hand carded Teesdale wool (for the flowers)
- 1 Hat template cut from thick plastic or bubble wrap
- Hot soapy water (dish washing liquid or grated olive oil soap)
- 1 Plastic Multi-Way Bell Hat Shaper
- A tumble dryer
- 1 Heavy duty bamboo blind
- 1 Towel for mopping up surplus water
- Vinegar diluted for the final rinse
Multi-Way Bell Plastic Hat Shaper
Multi-Way Bell Plastic Hat Shaper
Washed and Carded Jacobs Fleece Wool Batt and Teesdale Curls
Step 1—Cut out the Template
- Draw a template on a thick sheet of plastic packaging and cut it out.
- I used Pickford International, recycled packaging material. Bubble wrap or floor underlay will work equally well.
Step 2—Place 1 Wool Batt down onto the Template
- Cover the template using 1 of the wool Batts.
- The wool should overlap the edges slightly.
- If the Batt is very thick, split it in half first and use the second half to cover the other side of the template.
Detail of 1 of the Jacobs Wool Batts
Step 3—Cover the Fibres with Curtain Netting
- Cover the laid out fibres with a piece of curtain netting.
- Wet the wool using hot soapy water.
- Add hot or warm soapy water to the surface and press the water down and out towards the edges of the template.
Wetting the Fibres with Hot Soapy Water
Step 4—Rub the Covered Fibres with Hot Soapy Water
- Rub and smooth down the fibres up and until the edge of the template.
The Curtain Net Wet Covered Fibres
Step 5—Carefully Remove the Curtain Netting
- Gently remove the curtain netting, making sure not to disturb the fibres below.
Removing the Curtain Netting
The Wet Fibres
Step 6—Turn the Template Over
- Carefully turn the wet wool covered template over onto the opposite side.
The Template Turned Over
Step 7—Fold in the Loose Fibres
- Fold the loose fibres over the edges of the template.
- If required, add a little soapy water to help smooth them down.
Turn over the Loose Fibres
Step 8—Cover the 2nd Side
- Cover the 2nd side of the template with wool from the second piece of wool Batt.
- If the folded edges are thick, add the Jacobs wool only to those parts of the template which are not already covered.
- Maintain an even layer throughout the project.
Covering the 2nd Side Using the Jacobs Wool
Step 9—Cover the Fibres and Wet the Wool Below
- Cover the template with the curtain netting.
- Wet the surface with hot or warm soapy water.
Step 10—Rub the Wet Fibres Gently
- Press down on the fibres and smooth out the wet wool until you reach the edge of the plastic template.
Smooth Out the Wet Fibres
Step 11—Turn the Template Over
- Fold over any loose fibres which have overlapped the edges of the template.
- Smooth out with additional hot soapy water.
Step 12—Place the Project onto the Bamboo Blind
- Put the project onto the bamboo blind.
The Project Ready to Roll
Step 13—Roll the Project
- Roll the project well inside the bamboo mat
- Do this gently at first and then and then roll harder as the wool below begins to felt together.
The Project Inside the Bamboo Blind
Step 14—Change the Direction of the Roll
- Keep changing the direction in which you roll the project.
Turn the Project
Step 15—Changing the Direction of the Roll
- Keep on turning the project inside the bamboo blind.
- Roll until the plastic template begins to show signs of buckling.
Turning the Project on the Diagonal
Step —16 Cut the Project Open
- Do a Pinch Test and when the fibres are sufficiently stable, cut the bottom edge of the project open and remove the template.
The Cut Edge
Alternatively, you may wish to leave the template inside and only remove it when more shrinkage has taken place. In some cases, this is a better option, especially when the wool felts very easily. You don't want to allow the two sides to become attached to one another during the felting process!
In this case, the Jacob Wool is slow to felt and it will take longer to shrink the fibres.
If you don't have a tumble dryer, roll for a longer period inside the bamboo mat and then remove the template.
Step 17—Remove the Template
- Remove the plastic template from inside the cavity of the project.
Step 18—Put the Project Into a Tumble Dryer
- To save time and a lot of effort, put the whole project minus the template into a hot tumble dryer.
- Allow the project to shrink
- The length of time which it will take for the project to shrink will depend very much on the type of wool used.
- The Jacob wool took longer than any previous wool I have used before.
- Merino wool will felt very quickly. Watch it carefully. Keep on checking the contents of the dryer.
The Shrinkage Which Took Place!
Step 19—Put the Project onto the Hat Shaper
- Put the shrunken project onto the Hat Shaper.
- Put into the kitchen sink and begin applying hot soapy water.
- Rub with a piece of bubble wrap until the hat moulds to the shape of the Hat Shaper.
- Rinse with hot and then cold water.
- Do this several times and use a final rinse which has a little vinegar added to it.
- Trim the edge and allow to dry.
- Use the trimmed edge to make a Hat Band.
- Finally, follow my step by step tutorial for making the felt flowers.
- Allow the Hat to Dry on the Shaper in a warm place.
Hat Drying on the Hat Shaper
Teesdale Wool Felt Flowers
The Completed Hat
The Completed Felt Hat
Carding on a Drum Carder
Do you own a Drum Carder?
3 D Flowers
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Sally Gulbrandsen