etsy mini

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Hat making step 4

Now your fibres are firmly matted and you have had a cup of tea we will go on with the next step. With your hat covered on both sides with bubble wrap, roll up the package like as swiss roll as shown above. It may be slightly tricky as the cardboard is probably still stiff but it can be done.If the package is very wet squeeze it out over the sink or you will get wet feet!
Next you need to place both hands on the roll and roll it back and forth on your worktop. Roll about 50 times in one direction and then open your package and smooth out any wrinkles which have appeared. Smooth out both sides. Roll it all up again but with another side of the hat facing you and repeat. Keep doing this until all four sides have been in the middle of the roll. Undo the package and have a good look at your hat. Poke it gently with your finger tip. Do the fibres move around or are they firmly stuck together? If they still move around you will have to repeat the above step. Eventually you will notice that the hat shape is starting to shrink and the cardboard has to bend to fit in. This is when you cut and take the form out.
Decide where your opening is going to be. If you are making a beret it can be in the middle of one side or slightly off centre so it will sit at a jaunty angle. With the shape of hat I am making here I cut the straight edge.
Now very gently take out the form. The felt is still quite fragile at this stage and can easily stretch or even tear so be very gentle and ease it out.
Turn the hat inside out and check to make sure the inside is well felted. If it isn't put the bubble wrap on and rub and roll as before. Now squeeze any excess water out, turn it back to the right way out and arrange it on the bubble wrap so that the bits which were at the sides are now at the back and front. Make sure there is not a ridge. If there is rub them until it goes. Then roll up as before and roll again. Each time you roll check that the insides are not beginning to felt together. If they are gently separate them and roll inside out. Repeat this until the felt feels firm and sturdy. The next bit is really hard work so go and have another cup of tea. Maybe a biscuit as well.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

hat making step 3

Now you need to lay out your fibres. Firstly lay your bubble wrap on the work top with your cardboard form on top. Then lay a thin layer of wool, evenly over the form arranging the colours as you wish. This first layer will be the inside of your hat. Spray with soapy water and then cover with the rest of the bubble wrap. Holding it carefully between the two layers of bubble wrap turn the form over. You will be able to see some of the fibres sticking out from underneath the form. You should fold these over so they come around the sides and on to the second side of the form. Now repeat those steps on the second side. You need to keep turning and adding more layers until you have 3 layers on each side.
Now keeping everything covered with the plastic rub the fibres in a circular motion to tangle them. Gently at first then with more force. Do this on both sides and pay particular attention to the edges. You should be able to feel the cardboard edge through the fibres. If you let the two sides felt together at the edge you will have a ridge in the finished hat.
This step will be quite exhausting as you have to keep going until the fibres are matted in to place.
Now sit down and have a break. I will be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

hat making step one

First you need to assemble the things in the picture.

Fleece - I have used Merino tops but any fine to medium fleece will do as long as it has been de greased, washed, carded and dyed first. You can buy fleece which is ready  to use from good craft suppliers.
Bubble wrap - just the usual wrap which is used in parcels. It needs to be double the size of your form.
Cardboard form- this is what you need to get the basic shape of your hat. For instance a beret would be a circle. I usually cut up breakfast cereal boxes to make mine. Imagine the shape of the hat you want to make squashed flat. That is the shape you need to cut out. It also needs to be at least 3 inches bigger than the size required.
Cling film - this is to wrap the form in so that it does not disintegrate when wet. 

Tomorrow we will begin to lay out the fibres.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Felt hat making

Hello every one. I know I have not written for a while but one of my new years resolutions is to write at least once a week. I thought you may be interested in how to make a felt hat with no seams. You may even want to try it your self. Over the next few posts I will be giving you step by step instructions on how to make the hat pictured here.