The new colours of the Bergschaf wool are finally available! Beautiful as ever and ready to win you over from the moment you lay your eyes on them. We’ve chosen an old friend to baptize them all properly. A refined fiber artist with an impeccable technique - Ricarda Aßmann.
Ricarda had lots of fun making felt pieces just for us. Playing around with the colours, enhancing the characteristics of this particular Bergschaf wool and also mixing up several products together. Vases, small furnishings and experimentations are the wonderful outcome of this concoction. Every single piece is full of detail and we can’t thank Ricarda enough for using our Bergschaf with such mastery and passion.
I’ll now pass you over to Ricarda, who is going to tell us all about this project, complete with a fascinating photo gallery of the finished pieces.
Like everybody knows, carded Bergschaf wool is a reliable worker, gives rugs and shoes and vessels or bags body and strength. It often stays in the background, humble and unspectecular. So it's high time, to put it on stage and let it show its beauty, especially in combination with noble DHG fibers or fabrics, and finished with some spots of free machine or hand embroidery or artgold on it. Well felted you can achieve a texture like ceramic. DHG has now developed also for the mountain sheep a wide range of beautiful colours, with a lot of glowing powder shades - elegant and perfectly matching to their merino offers, their silks, cashmere and fabrics.
I made some patterns, tablerunners and containers with it, to see how it felts and what is possible with it. And I have to say to have now the opportunity, to use for my works the new carded Bergschaf wool, is a real pleasure. Especially the combination with baby camel (how to felt with), cashmere or bamboo on top, attracts me a lot. But also playing with blingbling materials and stitching.
The fleeces are soft and the hairs shorter, this guarantees a perfect dense surface. Fabrics or fibers on top stay visible. I tried several fabrics like cotton, crocheted granny laces, devorée, tulle, gauze and others. Some prepared as a prefelt, some pure. Silk bark, silk paper and soy fibers give an interesting look, and the fitting coloured silk hankies support an elegant, closed surface. Old lace and fabrics with lurex (also when it's polyester) or sequins, organza and polyester fabrics usually used for decoration can be easily connected. Especially a layout in several thin layers from different colours make a wonderful lively felt and give to objects, if you like, a kind of elegant vintage charme, too. In my eyes perfect for interior design.
I usually lay out the fleece like a band, because laying it out in small parts and not in big parts, may need a bit more time, but helps to obtain a strong and dense felt at the end. Before felting I gently press my hands on the dry wool and move them on the wool a bit, to achieve a first connection and to take care, that less air is in between the layers. And the more thin layers you lay out, the better will be the result at the end. When I wet the wool, I before put some soap into the water, this helps the water to soak faster into the layers, because this wool like others with a high micron need a lot of liquid.
At the beginning the carded Bergschaf wool needs a little more time before it starts to get fulled, but with patience you get a strong and dense felt, although when it is very thin. I used some techniques like hollow felt, and because I wanted a thin but strong body, I made the template larger and used a higher shrinkage factor.
I usually give a lot of efforts in finishing the works, and this carded Bergschaf wool can easily be shaved or burnt (I use a heat gun for embossing for this aim) at the end. Once shaved, you can put metal textile colours or art gold on the surface, and it makes a lot if fun to stitch on it as well. I use an old and simple sewing machine and only two or three stitches or I stitch free by hand. For sure I will use this wool for further projects and I will play with the combination of Bergscahf wool and merino on top.
Let those new breeds inspire you for your own feltmaking.