Felting with Mohair

I thought I would share this in my blog, since it came up in a CAGBA yahoo discussion.

The picture above is of a landscape that I needefelted while hanging out at a show. I wet felted it when I got home. The abstract flowers were needlefelted on after the wet felting. Wet felting has a tendency to flatten everything and dull the look. To get a cool textured look, needlefelt on top of the base. The yellow flowers on the left are wool. I think the sheen of the mohair makes a huge difference in the look of the finished piece. This landscape was also needlefelted and then wet felted. The coiled tree, angora goats, and the bushes were added afterwards. In order to have the tree really look like a mesquite tree and remember the placement, I laid the trunk out with mohair, and the tree had a shade of green wool laid out. The coils of the tree were needlefelted on afterwards. I had intended to put more mohair over the tree trunk, but left it alone, since the initial needlefelting held up and the mohair did not flatten out with the wet felting.
The above is a piece that I use to show beginning needlefelters how to get texture. I use both wool and mohair so they can see the difference.
This is my favorite landscape to date. Mohair coiled is gorgeous and draws the eye. I have a light that shines on it and no one misses it! The mohair in the sky was applied before wet felting and a little wool was drawn over the locks to ensure that it remained in place. The whole background was two of my batts laid out as a third layer. All of the design was needlefelted on months later. It is based on a picture that I took last fall while visiting Taos.

This landscape was needlefelted at a show in Colorado to pass the time. I did not wet felt it. It is fairly thick and has varying depths.

The piece above is one that I wove. The warp was a second clip of mohair. The weft was a Rambouillet shade of wool that was dyed red. The weft shrunk by 30 percent. The mohair just fuzzed. It was felted in the washing machine and got very thick and heavy. It also filled my washer with a lot of hair, since I did not put it in a laundry bag!
The above is a purse that I knitted and then felted (not really) in the washing machine. It is 100% yearling mohair. It did not shrink or loose hair in the wash, but it fuzzed up and the loose areas filled in with fiber. By the way, it is a very heavy bag. A larger one would make a great tote bag. Very sturdy!
This is a wet felted purse. The orange is mohair that was blended into a batt with Shetland wool. The areas with the mohair did not ripple in felting as much as the wool did.
This bag was wet felted with strips of kid mohair laid on top and small bits of wool covering them to hold them in place. I don't recommend using this technique with older mohair, because it takes more wool to lock them down which spoils the effect.
Kid mohair will felt beautifully in the washing machine, as I have learned to my regret, if you forget to stop the machine before the agitation begins. I have a top loader and lots of fiber that has to be washed. I have learned to fill the washer with soap and hot water, turn the dial to spin, and then turn the machine off before putting my laundry bags in. Losing one gorgeous fleece forced me to come up with a way to ensure that it never happened again!