Felted Beads

Felted_Beads
These wool beads have so many uses it’s almost ridiculous. String them together an you have a soft, interesting necklace. Wire a loop out of the back and you have a shank button for a hand knit cardigan, roll them all the same size and bag them up for a set of soft marbles” Fill a bowl full of varying sizes and you have an unusual centerpiece. Stitch tiny beads and string them up for earrings, Make an oversized one for a soft and natural baby ball. The sky’s the limit.

Things you’ll need:
Wool Roving
Liquid Hand Soap
Access to hot and cold water

Things to do:
1. Pull out a hunk of roving about three times as big as the finish bead size you are looking for. If you want a bunch of bead that area all the same size, use a digital scale to weigh each hunk before you start felting.
2. Tease apart the fibers and layer them on top of one another to form a rough ball.
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3. Wet the wool and start rolling lightly between your hands. Don’t squeeze or press, use as light a touch as possible.
4. Once the ball is rollable, soap up your hands and continue rolling. It helps to slightly cup your hands so that you avoid pressing the ball. The agitation of the rolling and the soap are what make the wool fibers bind together.
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5. Continue to roll, rinsing the ball every now and then and reapplying soap, until the bead has reduced by about 2/3 and is firm. Run water over the bead, if it soaks it up like a sponge, the bead is not fully felted.
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6. Once the bead is fully felted, shock them by pouring boiling water over them and then cold water, this will help bind up any loose fibers and tighten the bead further.
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7. Allow the beads to dry fully before using them. This can take three or more days depending on the size of the bead.

* Wool roving can be dyed with acid dyes, purchased already colored or left natural.

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3 Comments

    1. All you have to do is thread a needle through each felt bead to create a string of them. You could also try felting your fibers around something cylindrical to create that hole if you wanted, perhaps a straw? Then create your round ball around the straw piece. Happy crafting!

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