Experience Fuss-Free Felting
The following post is sponsored by Skacel Collection, Inc.
For new and seasoned crafters alike, needle felting can be a fun way to create durable and beautiful textiles. But as fun as it can be, traditional felting methods can also be quite tedious and exhausting.
While assisting his children with a needle felting project, Gerhard Schoppel of Schoppel Yarns in Germany, decided to take matters into his own hands and create a simplified yet superior new technique. Enter artfelt®, a revolutionary process developed around his own unique felting paper and fibers, and combining the key aspects of wet felting, needle felting and fulling.
“He’s a little bit of a genius in that way,” says Karin Skacel of Skacel Collection, Inc., which distributes the artfelt® line throughout North America. “He wanted to find a way to felt, that’s easier to learn and yields better results.”
Figure 1: The special Artfelt paper combines aspects from needle
felting, wet felting and fulling to easily create beautiful felted projects.
A Simplified Process
It’s a simple concept, really—with the artfelt® paper helping to bind felting projects together in a four-part process. First, the felter tacks animal-based roving onto the paper. Then, he or she gets the piece wet and rolls it up with plastic wrapping. The crafter then throws the piece in the dryer to felt and finally rinses it with boiling water to dissolve the paper. The result is a beautiful, durable piece, and the possibilities, according to Skacel, are virtually endless.
Figure 2: The possibilities with Artfelt are virtually endless.
“3-D objects can be made to a certain degree once you learn to use the paper a little bit better. You can make it wafer thin so that it floats in the air, which you can do out of a silk and merino blend, or you can make it super thick and make a floor mat. You can take it to any degree that you want.”
And because of its versatility, artfelt® isn’t just reserved for felt-only projects. “Let’s say you’re a seamstress and you have a lot of fabric,” says Skacel. “You can put your fabric face-down on the paper and put your roving on top, and then when you actually felt it, it will give your fabric a fabulous texture.” She says this method is perfect for creating pillows, floor rugs and shawls with lightweight chiffon.
Three Methods…In One
One key attribute that separates artfelt® paper from other products on the market, is its ability to withstand water until the crafter is prepared for the final step. While similar products are designed to dissolve when wet, artfelt® paper can only dissolve in boiling water, thus making it perfect for wet felting.
“It combines the three methods of wet felting, needle felting and fulling to make a quicker and more precise process,” says Skacel. “It’s easier to learn, doesn’t take nearly as much space and isn’t as physically demanding.”
Figure 3: The Holey Scarf is just one of
the many Artfelt kits available for
purchase. Here, it's shown in Modern
Crafts of All Shapes and Sizes
Skacel sells the standalone artfelt® paper, as well as a wide variety of kits to create projects such as pillows, coasters, tablet covers and scarves. The cost of the kits start as low as $15, so those interested in artfelt® can try it out without having to break the bank. And with online instructional videos accompanying each project, Karin says it’s akin to buying a class.
“There’s something for beginners, intermediate-level and for someone who wants a bit more of a challenge,” she says. An assortment of color choices is an added bonus.
But the real magic goes back to the paper itself.
“The whole purpose of the paper is to hold your roving in place,” says Skacel. “It’s sort of like a canvas.”
For more inspiration, detailed video tutorials, or to locate an artfelt® stockist in your area, simply look to www.itsartfelt.com!