Sean and I went to the first annual Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium in Point Reyes Station back in November.
It was an inspirational event updating the community about the state of the local Fibershed project, uniting artisans, farmers, shepherds, shearers and entrepreneurs.
We were inspired by this pair of slippers we saw there.
We wanted to make our own. Sean bought some nice brown felt while we were there. I bought some processed wool from Meridien Jacobs to make a sheet of felt myself.
So first I had to make the felt. I laid out strips in one direction.
Then I laid more strips on top of that in the opposite direction.
And a few more layers until I had a nice thick pile.
Then I dribbled warm soapy water all over it.
Then I began to gently PRESS the wool, letting it soak up the water and start to squish together.
After a while of that I started to gently rub with my hands back and forth, creating friction. I used a little plastic mesh bag to help create friction without disturbing the fibers too much until they really started to cling strongly together. Then I began to rub pretty vigorously as the fibers shrank and got more tightly enmeshed.
I actually ended up throwing it in a quick wash and spin cycle of the washing machine to felt it further, then let it air dry.
Once it was all dry we were ready to cut out our slipper patterns we had found online here.
Sean has only finished one so far.
We used embroidery thread to sew around the edges.
Rustic but functional.
Then I added some leather soles.
First time I used an awl.
yay, slippers. I love them.
The whole process took about nine hours, spread out over three days.
I have leftover felt, so I’m sure I’ll be trying some other patterns.