Log in


Felting natural fibers has become a very popular fiber art and Suri works wonderfully for felting. There are two general types of felting. Wet felting uses water, soap, and agitation to get the fibers to entangle and compress against one another into a permanent structure. Needle felting uses barbed needles to push fibers into each other without moisture.  Both will be discussed here.

There are many different stories about the origins of wet felting and its first uses. We won't discuss those here. Wet felting can be done with Suri or with Suri blended with other fibers. It can be done to create flat pieces such as a scarf or shawl, or it can have more dimension such as hats, drier balls, or even cat houses.

Regardless of what is being constructed, the method requires moisture (usually warm), soap to allow the fibers to slide over one another, and agitation. There are multiple videos online that demonstrate different techniques and there is more than one way to achieve the same result. For instance, a scarf can be made using just ones hands and some bubble wrap and rolling back and forth to end up with a wearable piece of art. Or, the fiber can be laid down, wetted, covered with netting or bubble wrap, and a battery sander (without sandpaper) can be run over it to agitate and meld the fibers together. Yet another method is to use a felting machine where the entire piece is either rolled up and agitated or laid flat under metal plates with a textured surface and agitated to create a scarf. There are several different felting machines on the market.

Three dimensional pieces such as a dryer ball can be made from layers of fiber formed into a ball, wetted, and agitated between the palms of your hands, or you can place the ball shaped mass of fiber in a stocking, tie it in place with a knot in the stocking and throw it into the washing machine and dryer.

To provide some structure and predictability to a piece, the Suri can be felted onto a piece of silk. The video above shows a couture designer making felted gowns using this technique.

This fiber art requires the use of special felting needles that are held in a plate in a mechanized felting machine. The plate holds thousands of the needles and moves up and down over a bat of fiber. Barbs on each needle grab the individual fibers pushing them downward to tangle with other fibers in the bat. When the plate moves back up, the needles release the fibers. Little by little the bat is advanced under the plate and the fibers in the bat become more compressed and tangled. The slower the rate of passage, the more condensed the bat becomes. The advantage of this process is that it requires no moisture.

Used individually, the felting needle can help sculpt fiber into three dimensional art forms or it can be used to applique fiber onto another fabric surface. Again, there are some wonderful videos online that demonstrate techniques to achieve some amazing sculptures. Suri fiber is a wonderful medium for this because of the natural colors it comes in and also because it can be dyed into other colors to accent your creations.

Needle felting can also be used to create fiber "paintings".

A yurt in Kyrgyzstan and its interior. Both the inner and outer walls are felt and the interior carpet is as well!

Suri Network
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

P.O. Box 1984

Estes Park, Colorado

Copyright 2021  
Suri Network

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software