Textile artist Danielle Shelton is back at Chattanooga WorkSpace
If you’ve taken a shine to the textile arts, if you’re looking for a way to create unique and inexpensive gifts, or if you’re simply interested in learning an ancient creative practice, Danielle Shelton’s wet felting seminar has you covered.
“Wet felting is a technique that has been around for thousands of years,” Shelton says. “In nomadic cultures that herded sheep, such as the Mongols, where weaving fabric on a loom was very difficult due to frequently being on the move, felt was the alternative to woven fabric.”
“If you look at sheep wool under a microscope,” Shelton continues, “You will see that the individual hairs are covered in little scales. These scales help the individual strands of wool stick together.” By applying soap and hot water to layers of wool, these scales open up, while agitation causes them to interlock together. This creates a non-woven piece of fabric ready for dyeing. “Since wool comes from an animal, it’s a protein-based fiber,” Shelton explains, “and, like silk, it can easily be dyed a wide range of colors.”
After creating and dyeing their fabrics, participants will create felt beads and flat felt panels, but the techniques learned in Shelton’s class can be used to create, well, almost anything. “The technique the students learn for the panels can be used to make scarves, wraps, wall hangings, and even entire garments,” Shelton says, adding, “The felt beads can be strung together to make beautiful and inexpensive jewelry.”
Join Shelton at Chattanooga WorkSpace this Wednesday.