Wet Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Tutorial with Chica Chimu

Gina DunfordPainting with Wool

I’m naturally drawn to colour and form. I love the way the light glows through these little beauties, accentuating each and every felted fibre. The great thing about making your own pre-felt is that you’re in complete control of the whole process. You can be ever so painterly and really go to town with your creativity. With this in mind, I’d like to share with you here how to make your very own lampshade. We’re using a wet felting technique – and it’s going to be easy-peasy.

A Quickie Introduction to Wet Felting

Wet felting is used to make wool and other animal fibers into the dense fabric known as felt. The process involves the application of warm, soapy water – which causes layers of fleece, placed at 90 degree angles to one another, to hook together into a single piece of fabric. Wet felting can be used to make clothing and textiles.

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Difficulty level : Beginners

Time to complete : Around one hour (excluding drying time)

What you Need

How to Make

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Place your bamboo mat into a tray and lay out three very fine layers of wool roving at 90 degree angles. The finer the wool layers, the more light will shine through!

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Incorporate silk circles towards the end of the layering process.

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Pink and gold look equally as luscious as teal and mallard

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Once layering is complete, carefully lay down a length of tulle over the top of your wool and drizzle the whole piece with washing up liquid and spray with hot water. Then gently rub in small circles with your hand over the surface of the wool. The tulle helps to keep everything in place and stops the design from distorting.

Roll your layered wool sheet up in the bamboo mat and then roll forward and backward once. This movement counts as one roll. Do 50 rolls, unroll the mat and turn the sheet 90 degrees. Re-roll another 50 times until the sheet is fully felted

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Here you can see my felt sheet saturated with water. The design won’t become properly apparent until the felt has completely dried out.

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

From time to time during this process you can alternate between hot and cold water plunges to quicken the felting process.

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Dried, your felt sheet should be gossamer thin and really glimmer in the light. The silk doesn’t shrink in the wet felting process like wool does and so instead compensates by ruffling, creating these beautiful rivulet shapes.

Silk and Felt Lampshade Tutorial

Then, all you have left to do is attach the felted sheet to your lamp insert!

If you’d like to make the fab felted lamp shape shown here, just follow my Needle Felted ‘Lamp Shape’ tutorial.

Needle Felting at Hobbcraft >

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I started my small business Chica Chimu in late 2012. My background in fine art and textiles has led me to where I am now. I love creating beautiful objects in luxurious materials. More than that, I take great pleasure in showing others how to do it too!

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