Sunday, October 30, 2011

Handmade Felt Pillows

My Pillows.  Made with Handmade by me felt....
I'm a Fits and Starts kind of person.  I get an idea or inspiration and I throw myself into it, learning the process completely, getting all fired up and creating an abundance of products.......for about 2 months....and then I stop....either I lose interest or hit a roadblock.  Felting is one of those things that I started several years back and then abruptly stopped.

My Felting Life starting when I went back to college at 43 and was encouraged by my teacher to do fiber art instead of studying colour theory and architectural drawing.  I did a fair bit of work, had a couple of commissions and got 3 of pieces into a juried art show.  And then I stopped. Later, in a fit of inspiration I made several pieces of felted cloth.  Handmade felt is made from rovings....the clean and carded wool from a sheep before it is spun.

I started to buy roving from Maureen Harding at Dreamspin Fibers.  Maureen knew sheep and better still the farmers from whom she purchases her beautiful fibres. I experimented with different sheep's wool.  Corridale, Blue Faced Leicester and Finn wool quickly became my favourites.

Felt is the oldest fabric know to man, thought to have been created by accident when men used wool to sit on while riding horses.....the sweat and agitation from riding caused the wool to bind into fabric.  Working with roving, pure vegetable soap and water and a bamboo mat, I created my own handmade felt fabrics.

I love the process and the finished product because it is completely chemicals, no sewing....a purely organic process.  I've made a few felt vessels. has taken me 3 years with hundreds of pieces attached and still to be attached.......

The fabric is completely washable and cozy and beautifully soft. When I first started felting I wanted to start with raw wool...and like a real amateur I worked with raw Finn wool for a while. Although my hands were always nice and soft from the Lanolin, my house stank like a barn....I moved onto cleaned and carded wool.

Last night I took some of my finished pieces and some sample pieces of linen and velvet and decided to finally after 3 years to make some felt pillows. I may be slow to get around to it because sewing is my least favorite thing to do.  I actually found the felt quite easy to sew and it is thick and sturdy and doesn't move around......

And so I made 2 handmade wool felt pillows.  A black and white Zebra and a black and lime Spotty print....

Because the felting process is organic, you lose control of the shapes somewhat.. The shapes don't stay true and they morph a little.  Hence the spots are not perfectly round. Perfectly imperfect.

Now that my 3 year pillow project is complete, I am pleased with the way they turned out and once again inspired to dip back into making felt all over again.  Below is a photo from Dreamspin Fibres showing what roving looks like.

I am linking to Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
and White Wednesday at Faded Charm Cottage


  1. Gorgeous pillows! I've always wanted to learn how to do this.

  2. These are just beautiful.

    You are a constantly surprising read:)

    xo jane

  3. Gorgeous and one of a kind! You are an artist.

  4. WoOt..Organics baby- your true heart. You know how much I love your felt sample piece. Maybe it's time to show that again to new followers who have not seen? I covet the sampler.

    These pillows are fab! I am such a polka dot or circle fanatic. Something about the circle, the continuation, the lack of beginning and end I suppose? and the ZZZZebra? love it!

    You are on a roll!

  5. A wonderful result and a heartwarming story Chania - after all creating is in itself an organic process and proceeds when the spirit moves. I'm so glad you didn't get hooked into clock time with this, it would have dimmed the pleasure!

  6. Oooo, I am loving that polka dot one for sure! You do an amazing job and I just may have to try that myself. Looks so lovely! Kit

  7. I love your pillows!!! They look so snuggly and warm. Very nicely done.

  8. that was very interesting. I loved the cozy way the pillows looked. It would be neat to have a whole bunch of solid ones for the bed in various shades of whites, pale camels and pearly greys. Maybe that's the winter hater in me talking :)

  9. Chania, you're a woman of many talents. They are very cool cushions and the whole process of creating them is fascinating. xx

  10. Chania...those pillows are utterly gorgeous. I have always been a HUGE fan of boiled wool (ask my girls) and I think felt is very close in texture. I love, love that those spots are off...makes them all the more beautiful.
    Do I feel a little cottage industry coming on?

  11. I love that you wrote "Perfectly Imperfect". That's the beauty of life.
    Love the lime green!

  12. Chania, I am completely impressed. They are very beautiful. And thank you for enlightening me about the origin of felt as well.

  13. I'm in awe! Not only that you made those pillow, but you put them together in one evening! Takes me a week to sew on a button - three days to think about it, one full day to unpick the huge knot of thread that I've managed to accumulate behind the button and one day to get it right!

  14. Your pillows are amazing!! I've always wanted to learn to felt, especially after being surrounded by so many talented felters in Ireland. It's such an art. xo

  15. beautiful! I would think that felting is difficult enough to do without trying to add pattern to it - the zebra stripes are beautiful, you did a great job.

  16. Hi, I am so glad that you stopped by for a visit because I now know about your blog.! I have been reading and I had to comment on these pillows, they are simply wonderful!

  17. I love yarn and wool of all kinds. Your felting is beautiful!

  18. Your handmade felting pillows are just marvelous, specially that polka dots and zebra cross work looks stunning.. i just love all kinds of handmade needle felting, embroidery work..


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania