Saturday, August 27, 2011

Felted Fall Leaves

I am back to the felting topic again and I thought I would give you a photo tutorial of felted leaf making.

I started with mohair dyed in fall colors.  I picked the mohair open and tried to remove and pieces of pasture left behind in the twist.

Once the mohair was picked open, I placed it on a piece of plastic bubble wrap.  I kept the mohair overlapping and tried to blend the colors using mixed color mohair.

Liquid soap was evenly distributed on the mohair (1/2 cup) and boiling water (4 cups).  The bubble wrap had larger bubbles and it did not work as well as the wrap with smaller bubbles.  At this time, I used the back side of the bubble wrap.  I didn't want to have large holes in the felted piece.

As you see, the mohair went down quite a lot in size.  Once I added pressure of rubbing and continued to add hot water, the mohair was felted.  Unfortunately, there were some thinner spots and holes in the mohair.  I expected this since I could not lay the mohair both ways and cover all spaces prior to felting, like you can when using roving.  NOTE:  Mohair would be nice to felt over a piece of wool felt so thin areas would be fine since it already has a backing of felt.

Once the felting was done, I washed the mohair in cooler water to wash out the left over soap and I laid the piece flat to dry. 

I planned to needle felt embellishments on the leaves, such as the veins.  I found that it was necessary to needle felt any thin areas and holes first.  Then the leaves were cut out.  The left over pieces were able to be needle felted together to make a third leaf.  I let the shape of the leaf keep the natural curl of the mohair as much as possible.  The edges of the leaves and the stem were needle felted so they did not come apart when used.  The edges and the veins took some of the curl look from the mohair, but it still retained the bright colors and the soft feel.

The colors did not quite come out the right colors on the indoor pictures.  Look at those curls of the mohair.  WOW!

The veins were made using a thin yarn of mohair in the same colors of the leaf. 
They are at the base of the tree in this photo and the oranges just pop with color!


These are great to use under your mug, teapot, or coffeepot.  A friend of mine thought they would look nice alone as decor.  She also suggested the edges should be rippled when they were drying, so they maintain that rippled shape like normal leaves.

Thank you for viewing my tutorial.  Blessings to you and yours!  Dawn