|Lindsey Warf felted soaps|
You might have heard of felting, seen felted clothing or even worn a felt hat. Felting is a way to make fabric by compressing, shrinking and matting animal fibers such as sheep wool and alpaca fiber. It is an ancient process that is practiced the world over by many from nomadic peoples in Central Asia to artisans in Appalachia.
There are two main felting processes - wet felting and needle felting.
Wet felting is a process in which you shrink layers of animal fiber by aggitating them with hot water and soap. The crimp in the fibers latch together due to the friction and start shrinking down to a tight strong fabric.
Needle felting is a process using barbed needles to compress the fibers. You can create 3D figures or decorate fabrics using a small needle felting tool. There are commercial machines to make whole sheets of felt using this technique as well.
The Gallery has added a new fabric artist to their lines. Lindsey Warf grew up surrounded by the beauty of the West Virginia mountains She comes from along line of crafts people, and graduated from college with a BFA in graphic design. She found that design did not fill her need for hands on art.
|Warf's felted hat|
After college Lindsey went on a life changing journey to New Zealand and discovered a whole new world of growing food from seed and making fabric from sheep wool. She took a few felting classes, began experimenting with designs, styles and color, creating her line of hats and felted soaps. She also hand dyes the wool in small batches to get the most brilliant and original colors. Lindsey lives in the area and uses the wool from local sheep.
|Felted hat by Warf|