Suzanne’s felt rug is finished, here are some pictures and a brief explaination!

I’ve just don’t have enough time in the day to write a detailed post about how I felted my sister Suzanne’s rug but hopefully these pictures will give you an idea of what the finished rug is like, I LOVE the fact that it is reversible! I did upload more pics of the work in progress to FB if you are interested, thanks everyone for your positive comments as I progressed throughout the afternoon.

Starting size 1m x 2m (39.37″ x 78.74″) – I laid the design out in merino on top of a fine wool and cotton fabric base prepared at Mehmet Girgic’s studio in Turkey.

Design laid in merino wool on top of a base prepared at Mehmet Girgic's studio in Turkey

Note the areas where I have left uncovered, these will become textured white parts in the finished design, again I have uploaded a detailed picture to FB. Mehmet makes the bases from approx 6 fine layers of undyed wool covered with a sheet of tightly woven cotton muslin. This is wet out and stamped until the wool fibre is starting to penetrate the fabric but no shrinkage has occured. I bought quite a bit of this base material from him several years ago and this was a piece left in my stash.

Working the reverse of the rug with my new fulling roller and stretching the edges with a pliers

Niki Collier and I will be selling beautiful hand made fulling tools to our own designs shortly, the grooved roller that I used in the final stages of this rug is one of them and it worked wonderfully to spot full and even up the edges. I also pulled with a pliers to stretch a bit where necessary, these ones are just jewellery pliers that I picked up in Aldi for a song! Pin It

The last picture I’m sharing today is one of the finished rug. In actual fact the rug is fully reversible and if you head on over to FB you can see the reverse side, I love the subtlety of the design blending with the natural wool on the back. For those of you with a mathamatical bent the lay out size was 100cm X 200cm and the end size 72cm X 140cm. Using an online percentage calculator this means that the rug shrunk 28% widthways and 30% lengthways, I did work it slightly more in the lengthwise direction as I wanted to get the best shape and size possible for Suzanne!


Suzanne's new felt rug!

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Slightly sidetracked by felt rug!

Today I will be finishing laying out and felting a hearth rug for a belated Christmas cum birthday present for my sister Suzanne. I need to get this finished and off my two large tables by tonight at the latest leaving me free to finally finish tidying the studio on Tuesday. I’m teaching a private workshop here on Wednesday then have a beginners and improvers day on Saturday so need the space sorted. I’ll take some pictures of the completed rug and post them tomorrow if I get a minute, thank goodness I can blog from my phone!

Look at the faces of these first time felters!!!

One of the blogs that I enjoy following is Becky Utecht’s ‘River Oak Farm & Studio‘, I hope Becky and her son don’t mind me sharing this video of her community felting experience at the Sticks and Stones Art and Cultural Festival last September.  Participants made prefelt which Becky then used in a the creation of her very first rug, just look at the faces of these first time felters!!!  Way to go Becky and Matt!

The rug is in position at last!

This morning I drove to Dublin to deliver Sylvia’s rug with the big hope that a. it would be the right size and b. Sylvia would be happy with the finished design and colour!  

Sylvia with her new rug in position

If you remember, the colours were chosen to compliment the woven hearth rug that was already in place in front of the fire and the idea was to echo the blues with a modern design and pull the whole seating area together into a cohesive grouping.  Until today I didn’t realise that the beautiful Danish coffee table was indeed so beautiful because Sylvia had always covered it with a lace cloth and mountains of books (must be a family trait!!!) but now the rug is fully in view through the glass and the whole room looks great.  Thankfully everything went well and after a delicious lunch (cold meats, great mixed salad, brown bread, strawberries, blueberries, home-made yoghurt, fresh coffee and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc!) I drove home tired, happy and satisfied that the rug will be well used for the purpose that it was created for! 

Close up of the rug in position

Still shaving …….

I am still shaving Sylvia’s rug in preparation for delivery on Monday, this time the wool fibres coming through the cotton on the back.  At one stage I thought that I wouldn’t remove these ‘hairs’ but eventually decided that because the rug will be lying on a carpet base probably with time the fibres would pill so it would be better remove them now rather than later.  My finger is a bit of a worry, not sore at all but when I knocked it again the other day loads of blood from such a small cut!  Obviously I am being really careful because the last thing I want is red all over the white in the rug!!!  Now I am looking forward to seeing the rug in situ and taking some photos but I am also a little aprehensive as I still have a few cms all round which I would like to shrink but just don’t seem to be able to achieve, Sylvia’s initial measurements were approx so hopefully approx will still fit the bill!

Apologies to anyone who might be waiting for an email or a reply to a comment, golf duties have totally taken up any other available time these last few days and what with my finger and the rug computer activity has rather taken a bashing until tomorrow.  I am just off now to a Visiting Captain’s Day in Kilkenny, tomorrow it is the Captain’s Prize to the Ladies in Borris and I have meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, an Open Day on Thursday and a big in house competition on Saturday, phew.

Almost finished fulling the rug …….

Pictures speaking louder than words again, hope to finish the fulling process later this afternoon!  Please excuse the poor quality of the photos taken inside but I did want to share the various stages of this project and it has proved difficult to get clear pictures depending on what time of day the images were taken.

Ironing to heat, flatten and work the rug

Felting mouse and wash board for spot fulling


Rex guarding the almost finished rug

Almost there fulling the rug!

At last I feel as if I am starting to get somewhere fulling Sylvia’s large felt rug.  Measurements as of this afternoon are 1.67m X 2.67m so 17cm width ways and 17cm lengthways and finally the rug will be the required size!!!  No time to write any more but picturers to follow tomorrow morning and answers to some of the questions people have been asking me here and on Facebook.

Large felt rug, an excercise in logistics

The large felt rug that I am in the process of making is an interesting if challenging excercise in logistics! 

Adding some wool over the stitched centre line

Adding the border

From the samples that I did I worked out that my initial layout would need to be over 3m by over 2m and eventually decided to stitch two long lengths of rug base together (prepared in master Turkish rug maker Mehmet Girgic’s studio) and lay the design on top.  I also decided to try and work initially on my three large tables moving and folding the rug to accomodate the place I was working on at any given time.  This meant that my back would not be under as much pressure as if I were working on the floor but laying out and getting the design to the rolling stage has taken almost two weeks by now. 

Working by hand


Apologies for the lask of words but all my energies are taken up by rolling at the moment!  More pictures of the rug in progress tomorrow ………