The felted pebbles
I’ve eventually worked out the way (well my way) of creating the wool pebbles to make a decorative mat. This has been a project instigated to enhance a Victorian cast iron fireplace hearth, for my son.
On deciding on a polyfibre batting core, I wanted the pebbles to have a soft centre and not felt all the way through (even after washing for cleaning later)
I started by lightly needling the batting into a basic pebble shape.
Using the blending board, I used various colours of wool fibres keeping the range as near to natural colour ways as possible, I created some wool bats.
These bats were then needlefelted over the polyfibre formed pebble shape. The main aim here is to create a soft even “shell” over the core not to make a hard felted shape.
Next to shrink and compact the pebble shape. I used some clean tights (just the legs) and placed the shapes into them knotting each section, looks really surreal at this stage… and then into the washing machine (with some washing to be economical)
Once the load has finished now to snip the knots and peel away the tights, this sometimes needs quite a bit of pulling but the tights do come away (do use manmade fibre I.e. Nylon, as cotton will adhere to the wool)
Nearly there, now to polish those final fuzzies into the shape.
Take a plastic bag I like to use sandwich bags for the size, and water and a little dish soap in a bottle. Squirt a little of the mix into the plastic bag and put in a pebble rub the surface vigorously until the surface is smooth.
I like to give the pebbles a final rinse in cold water and a spin in the washing machine to ensure I have no soap left in them.
Leave them to dry, and then use them for your pebble project.