How to make a seamless wet felted purse
Stage 1 - Preparation
Before you start you’ll need to prepare your wool, resist and soap solution:
- Merino wool top looks like a very loose rope of fibres. Pull off a piece about 90cms long then split it down the middle, lengthwise, to make two easy-to-use lengths.
- To pull off a tuft of wool, hold a length 10-12cms from the end, and with your other hand, grip the end of the length between your fingertips and your palm, then pull gently – if you pull too hard the wool will resist you.
- This purse will be made from 8 layers of wool fibres (4 each side of the resist) and each layer should use approx 12.5 grams of wool.
- Merino wool will shrink by about 30% when it’s felted, but the exact amount of shrinkage will depend on many factors.
- The finished size of the purse will be about 19cm wide by 24cm high.
A ‘resist’ prevents two layers of wool from felting together and this is what gives you the ability to make 3D shapes, by allowing wool fibres to only felt together around the edges of the resist.
To make the resist for this purse:
- Cut a rectangle of plastic 27cm x 34cm, then round the corners as shown in the second photo above. Sharp corners are difficult to felt over.
- You may find it easier to cut a paper template first. By folding a piece of paper in half and drawing just one side before cutting, you will get identical sides when you unfold the paper.
To make a soap solution:
- Get a clean, plastic, 1 litre milk container and punch holes in the lid to make a shaker.
- Grate a bar of soap to get 2 rounded dessert spoonfuls, put it into the plastic container and add a few fluid ounces of very hot water to dissolve the grated soap, then two-thirds fill the container with warm water.