Lissa (lissamc) wrote,

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How to make felt boots

A pair of felt ankle boots.

I've finished the first step in my Estrella entry. Go me! If I simply wanted warm house slippers, I could stop now. These are actually really comfortable to wear. I took pictures of the process, so there is a visual how-to behind the cut.

First, make your pattern by tracing around your foot, and adding a couple of inches and an upper, like so:
initial pattern

Then transfer that to either plastic or a tightly woven fabric. Flip it over and trace it again, so you end up with a weird U shape.
fabric resist, ready to go

Cover this resist with three layers of carded wool.
cover the resist with 3 layers of wool

Flip the whole shebang over, remove the resist, and wet down the middle of the pile of wool with very hot, soapy water.
wet down the middle with hot soapy water

Put the resist back in place.
put the resist back in place

Fold the wispy edges of the bottom wool over onto the resist. Add another three layers of wool on top.
fold edges of bottom layer over resist, add top layer

Wet the whole mess down. Flip the thing over. Fold the wispy edges of the wool over, and gently wet them into place with very hot water. This creates the seam on the sides. Your resist is totally enclosed at this point.
wet the whole thing down, flip over, smooth edges over to close seam

Gently massage the surface of the wool until it just holds together. Roll the wool up in netting or bubble wrap, and roll it around until the edges just start to curl up. Cut the two boots apart, and remove the resist.
Gently work surface until it holds together. Cut in two, and remove the resist from the middles.

Now, spend 4 or 5 hours abusing the wool. Roll it, smack it, give it lots of hot hot water. The wool will shrink more in the direction you are rolling, so you can control the shape. Turn it inside out now and again.
Spend several hours rolling and abusing the felt, with lots of hot soapy water.

Shrink specific places even more by rubbing them on a wash board.
Selectively shrink parts using the wash board.

Do the final shaping by massaging the boot while it is on your foot.
Do the final shaping on your foot.

One down, one to go!
One down, one to go.
Tags: pics
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