fibres and their scales as they integrate to become felt. The fibres will shrink more along the length of the fibre and we can use this to influence the size and shaping of our felt work during layout. In general though, we want consistent, even, perpendicular layers.
After fulling completely, rinsing and laying flat to dry, both samples are tight and evenly finished. The batting appears just a little more smooth and flat.
So… no dramatic results! The same amount and size of sample produced a similar end result, as happens when an experiment goes exactly as you think it will!
I chose between roving and batting based on two main criteria. The first is availability. What fibre form is available to me in the particular wool breed I want. I love C-1/pelsull for bags, and that is most readily available in a batting form. But I also make most of my bags in white and then dye them after, and for those I use Finnish wool, that is most readily available as a roving. The second criteria is the density of the finished felt. When I am making the lightest weight, structural felt garments, I will use an extra fine merino roving. I feel I have the most control over the density of my felt (when I don’t rush!) using the wool in a roving form.
It is valuable to touch and work with the different forms. Laying out with locks alone is another great experience. Exploring and using the different wools informs our felting sensibilities and understanding of the fibre qualities, as well as deepening our physical appreciation and hand recognition of the wools.
Merino: New England Felting Supply
Merino Cross: Living Felt
Norwegian C1, C1-Pelsull Blend, and Pelsull: New England Felting Supply
Bergschaf: Dyeing House Gallery (Italy)
distributed in Canada by ArtGus Studio
Finnish: Piiku (Finland)
Icelandic: Alafoss (Iceland)
Rovings or Tops are much easier to come by, and there are many wonderful online sources, including most of those above. Too many to list here, but I do purchase most of the coarse wool breed rovings from:
Lots of felt with!