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Create something soft at felt making workshop

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Felt coats and mittens are soft and warm. Many shaped hats are felt, and nowadays colorful hats that are more freeform are all the rage. Artist Jo Thompson is indroducing felt-making in a one-day workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge Art Center.
Felt has been used for producing headwear for many centuries and is perhaps the oldest textile material. Archaeological evidence shows that from very early on, people had discovered the tendency for fibers to mat together when warm and damp, many years before they learned how to spin and weave yarn. Felt is made by a process called “wet felting” where natural wool fibers, stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually soapy water) build into cloth. Felting leads to a fabric with no set grains, so it can be molded into forms, or sewn without concern for edges raveling.
Thompson’s enthusiasm for making felt “magic” essentially began when she learned that felt is believed to be the earliest form of textile making. She headed for Konya, Turkey to study the traditional wet felt method with Master Mehmet Girgic in 2008, and subsequently studied with American Master Horst who influenced the development of her free form.


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