Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Felting for doll attire

One of the main reasons I got interested in making art dolls is the variety of media and techniques that can be utilized in creating three dimensional figures. Stitching, beading, embroidery, clay sculpting, paper mache, felting, etc... It can all be incorporated into creating one art doll. I get bored with always doing the same craft (as is evident in the fact that my one and only full size quilt isn't completed after 5 years...).
So recently, since Yvonne made Susan's doll Peruvian, I've been looking at Peruvian textiles online. Decided to try felting some patterned wrapping blankets for my dolls. For once I've remembered to get some in-progress shots.

Here I had laid out and lightly needle felted some wool roving for the background. I forget what kind of wool this is, but it's scratchy. Not great for wearables, but it really felts nicely - both needle and wet felting. And I like the blah, neutral color against brighter colors.

Meanwhile, I brushed one side of my dog, Gussie Sue, and got all this.

She gets a real thick undercoat and she's going thru her big annual shed right now. Her undercoat is really soft and silky - like angora almost. I often throw it outside so the birds can line their nests with it. And sometimes I scatter it around the chicken coop to scare predators off. Well, since it was handy, I decided to felt some of it into my background.

Here's Gussie Sue vegging with Angel - a very rare occurrence as these are my two "no snuggling allowed" pets.

Mayberry said it felt much softer and cushier after some of Gussie's fur was added.

Next I wet felted the wool to mesh things together more. I soft felted without shrinking.

Then it was time to lay in some stripes of color. This is pre-dyed merino roving needle felted into the background wool.

I wanted a more muted, heathery affect, so I needle felted more of the back ground wool onto the back. The fibers get poked up thru the front colors to give it that heathery affect.

Okay, so that was the boring part of making the felted textile. Now I get to start adding pattern. I'll be felting and stitching in some simple patterns using more roving, wool yarn, and wool thread. Tune in later for more progress.


Magpie's Mumblings said...

Ooh...I'm eyeing Odin with considerable interest right now...wonder if HIS fur would felt. Love what you're doing Gail!

yvonne said...

I'm going to have to learn needle felting after seeing this!!!