How to Make a Wool, Felted Scarf Using Bubble Wrap ...

Supplies you will need:
Liquid soap
Measuring cup
Wool roving for felting
Cotton gauze or silk gauze fabric (lightest weight) cut to
6 -10 inches wide X 60 - 72 inches long
Scale for weighing out roving
Scissors & rubber bands
Bubble wrap (small bubble size: 12 inches X 60 - 72 inches long)
PVC pipe: 2 inches in diameter X 12 inches long (or other rolling pin)
Rubber gloves

I like to work on my kitchen counter, so am limited in the size of felt I can make. If you want to work larger, then you must use a larger table, rubber tray (the kind used as an automobile oil drip pan) or whatever surface you prefer.

supplies needed

In this case, the ultimate goal of the felting is to work as thinly as is possible and so create a scarf, or other item that is absolutely as thin and soft as is possible. This is done by using only the barest amount of wool roving, very thinly spaced out. Its best to weigh out the roving, otherwise you will tend to use too much wool ... you won't belive how very little wool is needed.

The other thing to keep in mind is that some parts of the fabric will be exposed in the final item ... this is considered to be a "design element" (this means, I meant for it to look this way, it is intentional) and is NOT an accident nor a mistake.
If you want to cover the fabric entirely, then you will need to use just a small amount more wool.

The long piece of fabric can be cut with square ends, with rounded ends, or with a pointed end (like a man's tie). Cutting the shape of the fabric will determine the final shape of the scarf. Using the gauze fabric, there will be shrinkage of the fabric ... as with wool shrinkage in felting ... you are losing air spaces, not fiber. Gauze may come in black, white, or colours.
This cutting or shaping of the fabric should be done before the felting is done, not after the scarf is finished.

To figure out how much wool to use for your scarf:
(1) figure out the number of square inches of gauze fabric: length X width = square inches (for example: 7 inches X 72 inches = 504 square inches)
(2) to say how much wool is needed: multiply the square inches X .035 (for example: 504 square inches X .035 = about 18 grams of wool per side or 36 grams total for both sides of the scarf) Notice that this is only a bit more than an ounce of wool roving needed for this size of scarf?
Divide the 36 grams of wool into thirds, so that you don't use too much per side ... use about 2/3 rds for the first side ... the rest on the other side (the final, "up" side)

thin layer thin layer
Roll out the piece of bubble wrap on your work surface. The bubble side will be up, the flat side will be down.
Begin to pull off thin "wisps" of wool roving and lay out on the bubble wrap. You will not be covering the entire bubble wrap with wool ... it can be seen through the thin layer of wool roving. You will lay out this layer of wool so that it extends beyond the width of the fabric by about 2 inches on either side.
(if your fabric is 7 inches wide, then the width of your wool layer would be about 11 inches)

Wet the piece of gauze fabric with cold water, then press the water out of the fabric.

laying the fabric onto the wool folding the wool onto the fabric

Unfold the fabric, (getting out all of the twists and wrinkles) holding one end in your hand, and with the other hand, begin to lay the wet fabric very carefully on the layer of wool roving. Be sure that the fabric is laying smoothly on the wool ... the edges aren't folded or twisted.

Pour 1/2 cup of hot soapy water in small drizzles up and down the fabric.
Carefully fold the wool that is on the edges of the fabric over the edge of the fabric, and gently press it into place. You are also working the soapy water into all of the fabric and wool.

adding wool on the other side

Take the remaining roving that you had put aside for the second side, and pull off wisps of wool to cover the remaining exposed fabric, working thinly as you had laid out the wool for the first side.
Don't feel compelled to use up all of the roving if you don't need to? Pour the rest of the hot, soapy water the length of the scarf.

starting the roll putting rubber bands on the roll unrolling the roll

Place your rolling tube at one end and begin rolling up the bubble wrap, wool and fabric. Be careful that you don't roll wrinkles into the surface. Gently pull the fabric and wool from the opposite end if needed.

Use a rubber band to secure each end of the rolled up package. Place the rubber band as close to the edge of the wool as is possible, without being on the wool.

How many times to roll on each side? You can count the number of times ... about 150 rolls per side, or you can time yourself, and do so-many-minutes per side.

Unroll the bubble wrap, place the roller at the opposite edge, re-roll the package, and roll the same number of times again.
Unroll the bubble wrap, and very carefully turn the felting over the whole length of the scarf. Repeat the rolling as above ... 150 times, then unrolling and placing the roller at the opposite end and rolling another 150 times.

Repeat all of the above until the felting is complete. You will know this has happened when the wool will no longer move and is fixed onto the fabric. (You will probably have rolled the package at least 450 times to 600 times)

Once you have finished with the felting, unroll the scarf and place it into the sink with hot water. Move it around and remove the soap.
Place it into a sink of cold water and remove the last of the soap.

Felting Instructions Part 2

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