I’ve been working on a big project – big  for  me anyway – felt mats to form part of the centrepieces at a wedding reception. The mats are around 41 x 68 cm each and there are 13 of them! The colour scheme is purple and turquoise with gold so I enjoyed working with those.

felt mats

I’ve managed a rate of about two mats every three days over the last few weeks, fitting them in round other things and I couldn’t have done it without the generous instructions for tumble dryer felting provided by Treetops Colour Harmonies on their web site. I added a couple of notes to myself regarding the process. One is to use  the biggest heaviest towels that will fit in your tumble dryer for the fastest felting. Another is that when smoothing out the plastic layers between tumbles, if you use the backs of your hands and not the palms the plastic doesn’t drag. I started off using painter’s dustsheet plastic but found it not very durable and quite difficult to handle. For the size I was working on, cut up kitchen bin liners worked fine and one liner did all the mats and is still going strong. Plastic dustsheets come in huge sizes though so they would be a better option for bigger projects.

felt mats

To keep the size and shape uniform I made samples beforehand and kept notes of the amount of fibre to use for each layer – a good discipline for me. The mats have three plain layers and then the decoration. Each one is decorated slightly differently. I decided early on that it would be good to have something lasting at the end, so the mats are only lightly fulled and still have plenty of shrinkage in them. After the wedding I’ll bring them home and finish fulling them to produce smaller table mats for the bride and groom to keep.

felt mats

I’m committing them to the postal system shortly – wish me luck!

a few felt mats…

9 thoughts on “a few felt mats…

  • May 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm
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    You are such a star! And I am so looking forward to seeing these.
    Helen

  • May 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm
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    Absolutely fab! You’re a very disciplined crafter 🙂

    Good luck mats!

  • May 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm
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    That’s a lovely project and I like how you are thinking ahead & of their second purpose.

  • May 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm
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    WOW!!!! I can’t wait to see them. The photos are just stunning 🙂 Thank you

  • May 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm
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    They are gorgeous 🙂
    I love the colours and surface design.

  • May 15, 2013 at 9:44 am
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    They are lovely! I am amazed that you have managed to get them so uniform.

  • May 15, 2013 at 11:22 am
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    Thanks for all the lovely comments. Getting them uniform – I was amazed too. I cut out two plastic templates, one for laying out the fibre and one for the final size. I laid out the weighed fibre in the same order and amount for each mat. After wetting out I went round the edges and smoothed them all so I started with a good rectangle of the right proportions with nice edges. Between each session in the tumble dryer (equates to one set of rolling) I smoothed and stretched it out into shape, and made sure that I alternated the end I rolled it up from every time to keep it even. When it was ready to full I did the corners first to get rid of any butterflies and then just fulled very carefully constantly checking against the final template. When they got to the right size I ironed them. It was a challenge and I learned a lot!

  • May 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm
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    Very impressive! And nice idea to shrink them further afterwards for the lucky couple to keep.

  • May 31, 2013 at 9:11 am
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    What a lot of work, well done – please do not let my son who gets married in the summer hear about this!

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