Cobweb felting is our new favorite form of felting. Why? Because you can't go wrong and you end up with a deliciously, soft, elegant item that drapes beautifully. Alpaca fiber is fabulous for this type of felting.
The photo is of a scarf we handmade using this technique.
We can hear your questions through the internet! What is this type of felting? How do you create cobweb felt? What can I make with this form of felting? We're going to answer these for you.
First, what is cobweb? It's a type of felting that leaves you with a soft felted item that has thin spots and even holes, thus the name cobweb. When you normally felt an item, you lay down 3 layers of fleece, felt it, and then full it until you have a thick stiff felt. Cobweb style of felting is traditionally done felting just one layer, but it is, also, done with the same 3 layer method. The latter is the method we use.
Now we will briefly tackle the second question. To create the cobwebbing, you start with your carded fleece. You will lay it down just like you do with your regular felting in 3 layers. The difference is to lay it down very thin. You must be proficient at drafting fibers out of your fleece to be able to pull the thin whisps out. It doesn't take long for you to learn how to do this. Just keep drafting out fibers until you can get thin whispy amounts.
Lay down the first layer on the smooth side of bubble wrap, then the second layer at a 90 degree direction from the first. Then, lay your third layer down in the opposite direction of the second layer. See? Just the same as you would normally felt your layers. Now look at your layers. Can you still see through them? If you can, then you are about to create cobweb felt. It helps to lay something under the bubble wrap of an opposite color to the fleece you are working with, such as a towel. For instance, if you are working with light colored fleece, put a dark towel underneath. It will help you to see if your fleece is thin enough or if you have some spots that are just way too thin.
The following photograph is of the scarf pictured at the beginning of this article. You can see just how thin this felt is when you look at the photo.
Finally, we come to the last question. What can you make with cobweb felting? Anything that you want in a thin, drapey fiber. Scarves, shawls, vests...Your imagination is your only limit.
Earlier we said you can't go wrong. How's that? Well, when you felt cobweb style, your felt looks better with holes and uneven edges to give it that cobweb style. How is anyone going to know if that's the way you meant it to be or not. Sometimes, you'll be surprised at what a lovely felted item you have created a little bit by happy accident! Of course, you want to control your thin fiber and holes a little so that your fiber holds together.
Cobweb felting is an exciting way to create elegant wearable items. Alpaca fiber being so fine gives it an even lacier quality. It is lightweight and has beautiful alpaca drape. Give it a try. We think you'll like using your awesome alpaca fiber for this type of felting.
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