4. Felting ‘ Tree Trunk’ dress

My inspirations of course come from the LOVE of trees, especially the texture & colour of the barks. So much variety!! When you look close there is a whole rainbow & trees do spiral to the left….unless strongly wind effected. SO my dress will be lap seamed to the left.

tree trunk 2 tree trunk 3 tree trunk texture


After meditating & morning gardening I get prepped for a full 2 days of felting. It’s full on physically, & as I work on the deck at the moment it’s awesome being out with the elements. As long as it’s not windy…as wool fibres are so ‘fly away’ …… Thankfully I have perfect conditions, thanks elementals.

“Campfire Card” .…It’s all about sharing stories & allowing others to learn from you. I hope I can eventually do this with this blog, as I have gained so much knowledge & tips off the web from felting tutorials…..the sharing of wisdom……..my opportunity to give back……you learn something new every time you felt because it’s so tactile & reactive.

I weigh the wool out to make sure the dress is even on all 1/4’s.  Selecting & balancing the colours as I go.

camp fire card notes scales


Cut the pre-felt, this is the Centre back, there will be long ties, like a corset. Start laying out the fibres, it can be like fairy hair, so to prevent any air blowing it away, I spray water to keep it in place.

I love getting leaf gifts drop down on my work…..colour perfection.

pre felt 1 pre felt 2leave gift


After the fibres are placed, cover with a nylon woven curtain fabric & rub with soap & warm water until the fibres mat together. Here I have to the two back panels together to check they are matching with the back ties……made just like dreads, hand rolled.

bk rub 1 bk rub 2 bk rub 3


Star craters are openings on the trunk to show the sap that flows through a tree. A plastic resist is used to stop the top star sticking to the red wool. Silk fibres over the top of the wool star.

crater 1jpg crater 2 crater 3


After rubbing (bonding fibres) & fulling (shrinking) the dress, cut & remove the resist to show the under colour, rubbing & holding into shape.

cut crater 1 cut crater 2 cut crater 3


Incorporating chakras (trees are life & being a tree is lovely to be)……into the front of the dress using bright popping colours & curly sheep wool that does not felt…you can felt it in using marino fibres, but it stays curly & free…..great texture to add to the spirals like a spinning light/fire wheel. The heart chakra (Green) is felted onto silk chiffon & attached to the neckline later, the throat chakra (Blue) felted on to chiffon, is worn as a neck piece, the Brow will be a crystal piece off the Head Piece & Crown chakra on the head piece opening.

chakra 1 chakras fulling 2


Once the fibres are bonded from rubbing…It’s rolling time, this can take up to 500 rolls!! Essential for a well bonded, no ‘fuzz’ finished product. So the neck ties don’t fuse together place plastic in-between the layers. The felt can do be handled roughly…..to start the major shrinkage, it can be picked up, dunked in HOT water, & thrown down hard onto the work surface to get the fibres cranky & shrinking & grabbing on to each other tightly. This is when the checking back to the original pattern size is monitored & garment is shaped, cut outs are made…then final rinse with some vinegar to get all the soap removed.

rolling rolling check fulling 1





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