There are so many ways to create with wool Fibre in today’s world. Here in the Creston Valley we have many opportunities to learn how to create with this diverse material. Here are only a few of the different skills class participants have learned so far:
Wet Felting- the process of applying soap and variating temperatures of water alongside agitation to wool to form felt. Wet felting is a very old process and some say it is the oldest textile dating back 6,000 years to the nomadic sheep herders who wore felted clothing (Chad Alice Hagen, 2005). Contemporary wet felting can include making clothing, household objects or wallhangings, and other various purposes. It is truly an art form that allows the artist to explore the many textures of different breeds of animals to make a project that can be very useful.
Needle Felting- the stabbing of a single needle or multiple needles into wool fibre to make three dimensional objects or using the fibre to “paint” pictures and embellishments. The barbs on the needle interlocks the fibres so that the formed fibres can then be used to create many projects. The possibilities are endless as to what can be made using this technique.
Spinning- the twisting of fibre to form yarn. Another ancient technique that was used for many years by different tools such as a spinning wheel or drop spindle. There are many other tools but the idea is to twist the fibre into a form that can then be used for weaving, knitting, crochet, and other creative uses.
These are only a few examples of how a person can work with wool Fibre. There is no end to the ideas or the creativity that comes from those who use this material. Wonderful local teachers offer many classes, sharing their years of experience experimenting in this art form. Participants can’t help but be inspired!