In this project I wanted to use/experiment with conductive felt but unfortunately it was not easily available, therefore I decided to make my own felted shapes and added conductive thread to make it appropriate for the project.
I experimented with shapes and materials all with the same hand felting technique. Hand felting is a simple technique, which is quite a long process, and repetitive. It consists of using a specialized felting needle that would be used to puncture into the loose felt to make various shapes, sizes and designs.
How Its Made/Process…
I begin the felting process by first retrieving a large sized sponge and set it on a table then place the fabric I want to experiment with on top. Since my pieces are small sized using the sponge was easier to use. I take thin piece of loose felt (since I want an intricate design) and start to form my design on top of my fabric, then I start to repetitively puncture my needle through the felt until its flat and most of the fibres have gone through the fabric to secure your materials and designs in place.
After needle felting in my designs, I place the conductive thread over my designs and using the same felting needle to puncture through the thread to keep it in place.
Loose felt – merino wool
Silk felt (inside plastic baggy) with wool yarn
Cutting organic cotton and hemp fabric – prepare for felting
Placed on top of felting sponge
Using my hands to place felt into place (purple felt is also wool) and using the needle felt to puncture it into place. End result of felted in shapes after being punctured.
Back of fabric after being needle felted into place
Felted heart designs
After design is complete, I add conductive thread on top of the felted designs.
Finished purple hearts.
Silk/wool blend felt – shaped acutely into a heart on top of a felting sponge
Continuous process of hand felting with needle – added more silk felt to fill in small space inside the heart shape and make it more thicker. Used fabric scissors to cut off excess felt and make the heart shape more prominent.
Added conductive thread – felted with needle in a spiral shape for a design aesthetic. Started process of felting a ball.
Added conductive thread – felted at the bottom and worked my way up.
Finished felted ball – wrapped conductive thread around – wrapped the pink wool yarn afterwards.
Resources & Different Uses of Felt
OCAD U Fibre Studio Room #201 (equipment can only be used by MAAD students but I think materials can be purchased including felt needles)
Examples of Canadian designers and their felted products
It is not 100% guaranteed they hand felted the bags, probably used a different method but it is the same idea but faster process.
Conductive Thread – Creatron Inc. 647-349-9258
Wool Felt White – Fibre Studio @ OCAD University
Silk Wool & Purple Wool – Romney’s Wool Queen St West Toronto
Felt Needles – Fibre Studio @ OCAD University 416-977-6000 ext.267
Pink Wool Yarn – Romney’s Wool Queen St West Toronto 416-703-0202
Organic Cotton & Hemp – Fibre Studio @ OCAD University
Felt Sponge – Can only be borrowed from Fibre Studio (cannot leave studio space)
The handmade shape of hearts give off a childish vibe. I can see the silk-felted heart being used as a nightlight for children and the purple hearts can be used as a mobile above a baby’s crib.