Sunday, January 6, 2008

My tips for using Felbi Prefelts in vessels

I have two vessels in process which use the Felbi prefelts. They look great. The prefelts give nice definition.
My tips for using this product in vessels:

  1. They are very thin! Gossamer thin, in fact. I have always used 4 layers of batts for making vessels. Batts are thicker, even when peeled into layers. If using the Felbi in combination with batts, do not count the Felbi as a layer. I need to figure out how much of the Felbi is equivalent to a typical layer using batts. I think I could lay out a batt as if it were one of my vessel layers, and then weigh it. I could then weigh the Felbi and see how many square feet of Felbi was the same weight as a layer of the batt. Hmm. Anyway, take care to use sufficient fiber to avoid thin spots. I have to add fiber to both vessels to fix some weak spots.
  2. For opaque color that doesn't allow the colors of other layers to show through, double the thickness of Felbi by needlefelting 2 or more layers together before laying them out on the ball. I used this technique on my first vessel: I needled the Felbi into a double thickness before cutting out shapes.

  3. A single layer of Felbi prefelt allows the color of the next layer to show through. If this is the look you want, use single layers of the prefelt. I used this technique on my 2nd vessel. I wrapped yarn around the final layer before felting.
  4. In my second vessel I wanted to layer Felbi behind another layer of Felbi. To keep the second layer from falling off the ball while laying out, I used a glue stick here and there to stick the second layer to the previous layer. The stick glue is water soluble and doesn't seem to have left any residue or other side effects on the piece. I have heard some people recommend "temporary spray adhesive", but I don't have any. It is probably available at craft stores.
It feels great to have my hands in the fiber. I feel like I accomplished a lot this weekend. Thank you, dear husband!

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