Felted Hat Class

Today I attended a class on how to make a felted hat, taught by Deb Moroney of the Bisbee Fiber Arts Guild. Twelve of us muddled through, had a blast, and went home with a hat.

Deb Moroney shows us a few hat styles.

Deb Moroney shows us a few hat styles.

First we each of us chose a piece of wool batting and divided it into four somewhat equal pieced.

Gently tearing the batts into four pieces.

Gently tearing the batts into four pieces.

Then we stretched out one piece to cover the pattern we’d chosen. It took awhile for me to get mine to the right shape. I wet the wool with warm sudsy water and then stretched out another piece of batting to top it with. Then I covered the sudsy mess with tulle and patted it into shape. I flipped the whole thing over, repeated the process on the other side, and wrapped edges of the fibers from the first side over the second side so the whole thing would felt together.

Shaping felt to pattern.

Shaping felt to pattern.

Patting and patting the layers of wool.

Patting and patting the layers of wool.

Then the fun: choosing pieces of wool and yarn to decorate the hat.

All four layers shaped to fit the pattern.

All four layers shaped to fit the pattern.

All decorated.

All decorated.

Next, I rolled the whole dripping hat in a large mat made of reed and rolled the hat to begin the felting process. I’d remove the hat, turn it a different direction and roll some more. Repeat, repeat, repeat. This process felted the decorative yarn and wool to the hat. Then I turned the hat inside out and rolled some more. The more I rolled, the more the hat shrank and the better the decorations stuck to the hat.

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

Finally, my hat was small enough to go into a hot water bath. Then the hard work – throwing the wet mess onto the table repeatedly. The combination of hot water and agitation causes the wool fibers to meld together and create felt.

Throwing the hat.

Throwing the hat.

Then I used a form to shape my hat, but the form was enough larger than my head that I had to sort of freeform the hat.

Hat and a

Hat and a hat form.

Shaping hats.

Shaping hats.

Shaping the hat.

Shaping the hat.

Eventually, I was done. A day of fun and a wonderful new hat!

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If you are in Bisbee, be sure to visit the Guild’s Fiber Shop which is open Fridays and Saturdays, located in the basement of the old YWCA.

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Lots of woven rugs.

Lots of woven rugs.

Hats and scarves.

Hats and scarves.

Prize winning designer items.

Prize winning designer items.

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3 Comments

  1. It sounds like a wonderful event! And, you get a cool hat at the end of the day…
    I’ll have to do that next time!

    Reply

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