Felt making is a very simple process, by which loose hair (in my case sheep or alpaca fleece) is matted into a fabric through friction.
I started felt making because of my love for my local Malling Hill and the mixed flock that grazes there. They are a wild and motley looking crew of herdwicks, hebredians and others kept to maintain the downland environment. I desperately wanted to wear their wool, feeling it would be one way of making myself a part of that landscape, so I approached the Shepherd and felted myself a dress using a mixture of their fleeces.
I love felting because it it such an immediate and physical way of making,it is also very environmentally clean. The wool hasn't travelled far and warm water and olive oil soap are the only other ingredients apart from my own energy.
If you would like to see more of what I've been up to lately feltwise, or would like to find out about buying or commissioning a hat or other feltwork please visit my new website www.barbarakeal.com.
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