Juliane Gorman talking to Feltmakers Ireland

Demonstrating at Feltmakers Ireland

At the beginning of April, I demonstrated feltmaking to Feltmakers Ireland. It's an organization that I eagerly read about ~before~ moving here. Naturally, I joined the group as soon as I could! 

Since Janurary, I've been delighted to attend their montly meetings, held on Sundays at St Brigid's Resource Centre.

Talking about Felted Hats

Juliane Gorman speaking to Feltmakers Ireland


At the February meeting, member Fiona Leech asked me if I would like to demonstrate my work. While I ADORE chatting about feltmaking, due to our enforced Covid-hemit lives, talking in front of a group of humans seemed like a super nervous-making-activity. However, I agreed because Fiona is so nice AND Feltmakers Ireland has been such a welcoming bunch.


Members of Feltmakers Ireland


What to Share?

As laying out, felting, fulling, and shaping a wet felted hat would take much, much longer than the hour and half that I was alotted, I decided to talk about the kinds of layout used for berets and other felted hats.

To help illustrate, I brought a selection of different types of hats: berets, top hats, cloches, and wizard hats. I wanted to bring some Brimmed Hats, but I don't have any left! Guess that I had better make some more of this style!


A Sampling of Hats


Wet Felted top hat and wizard hats on table for Feltmakers Ireland demonstration



The above hats have thin, flexible resists that are shaped like bells or triangles. However, berets have a circle-shaped resist. 


A wip of a felted beret and the thin, plastic resist



While the same circular resist is used in most of my felted berets, it is the direction of how the wool is laid out which impacts the shape of the hat. 


Selection of wet felted berets


A grid or orthogonal layout (where the wool is perpendicularly arranged) can aid in making a flatter and stiffer beret. The Pink Grapefruit above is an example of this. See the sketch below for the layout.


Grid Layout


Drawing with grid / orthogonal layout



On the other hand, a radiating/bullseye layout helps make a more conically shaped hat. The two yellow hats above are an example of this type of layout. You can also observe this in the Curlicue Hats in the Shop.

Then there is mixing it all up! The blue-gray beret has both kinds of arrangements: the top of the hat is orthogonal, while the underside is radiating. 

Radiating Layout


Drawings with Radiating / Bullseye type of feltmaking layout for berets



Hat Happy

Anyway, it was wonderful sharing my hats with Feltmakers Ireland. I enjoyed talking with the group and especially lovednseeing folks try on the hats.

Mary was an especially appreciative wearer!


Mary trying on a yellow felted beret


Photos courtesy of Fiona Leech who kindly remembered to photograph during my chat at Feltmakers Ireland. See the lovely blogpost that she wrote over at Feltmakers Ireland.

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