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Wet-Felted Boots Master Class Tutorial

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials and techniques are as individual as she is—unique, experimental and always interesting.

Wet Felted Boots ready to be attached to rubber soles with Speedy Sewing Awl and Latex.

Wet Felted Boots ready to be attached to rubber soles with Speedy Sewing Awl and Latex.

A Little About This Felt-Making Tutorial!

This tutorial is aimed at the more advanced felt maker who has already understood the basics of wet felting and would like to learn a bit more.

Alternate Felting Method

In this lesson, we will deviate slightly from what is considered to be the 'normal' way of laying down wool fibers to an alternate method where the roving is gently teased apart to form a flat sheet which will be used to cover two of the four layers.

The second and the fourth layers are down in the 'normal' way where the wool is plucked from a length of wool roving and then placed down in a fine but even layer over the much thicker layer below.

Making a Template

You will discover that template-making is not complicated when you have Wellington boots to use as a guide. An easy-to-adapt free template has been included with this tutorial.

Template measurements included here are for a ladies' size 7 UK boot, but these can easily be adapted using different size Wellington boots or shoe lasts. Alternatively, you may wish to draw around your own feet.

This tutorial demonstrates how complex templates are not always necessary to achieve the best result.

The Finished Pair of Boots

On completion, you should have a pair of boots which not only have a tongue but laces and rubber soles. They should be sturdy enough to withstand general wear and tear, rain and snow. The wraparound rubber soles will be glued and stitched to the base of the boots.

Eyelet Rivets

Eyelet Rivets

Things You Will Need to Complete This Class

  • 500 grams wool roving in color or colors of your choice
  • Warm soapy water
  • Curtain netting
  • Bubble wrap
  • A large bamboo or plastic window blind
  • A pair of Wellington boots and shoe lasts in the same size as your feet. (Alternatively, you use may use your own feet.)
  • Thick plastic sheeting on which you can draft your template
  • Pair of scissors
  • Boot laces
  • Speed lace hooks and/or metal eyelets
  • A pair of rubber soles a size larger than your current size boots. These should preferably be designed specifically for use with wet-felted boots.
  • Speedy Stitcher Awl for sewing on the soles
  • Pebeo Gedeo Liquid Latex for 'gluing' the soles on
  • Waxed thread for stitching

1. Place the Wellington Boots Down Onto a Sheet of Thick Plastic

Checking the height of the boot on the template.    For longer boots retain the complete length of the boots for your template.

Checking the height of the boot on the template. For longer boots retain the complete length of the boots for your template.

2. Check the Size of the Wellington Boot Against the Template

Adding a border which allows for shrinkage to take place during the felting process.

Adding a border which allows for shrinkage to take place during the felting process.

Boot template with measurements.

Boot template with measurements.

Template should be placed on a fold

Template should be placed on a fold

3. Transfer Drawing to a Thick Sheet of Plastic

A shoe last can be used instead of a wellington boot. Note that the toe area has been shortened and the leg width has been made wider.

A shoe last can be used instead of a wellington boot. Note that the toe area has been shortened and the leg width has been made wider.

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