Karoliina Arvilommi




In April 2016, the IFA co-ordinator for region 9, Cheryl Cracknell, organised a four day workshop by the Finnish felt maker Karoliina Arvilommi.


Using Karoliina's techniques, we made wall hangings and rugs and, after a lot of hard, physical work, we were delighted with the results.


Karoliina and her partner, Rod Welch, were wonderful tutors and offered immense support, urging us on when the going got tough! 

Wall Hangings By Students













Annemie Koenen returned to Felt in the Factory in September, to teach a workshop entitled, “Surface Design”. She is an accomplished felt maker and embroiderer, with several books to her name - including a new one she brought with her that’s hot off the press! 


Annemie shared her wet felting techniques for producing pleats, frills, ripples, balls, ruffles and leaves, and each participant interpreted these in their own way to produce pieces that were highly individual and intricate.  Some students chose to take inspiration from Annemie’s beautiful embroidery to embellish their work - handbags, neck pieces, hats, shawls, boot -  many of which were created using Annemie’s wonderful fibres. 


In addition, Annemie is an authority on Central Asian felt making, having spent time in Kyrgyzstan  studying the felting techniques there, and one student opted to make a fabulous rug using the shyrdak technique. 


As ever, Annemie’s attention to detail and calm, patient manner were greatly appreciated by her students. Following the workshop, she stayed at Felt in the Factory for a few days to use the studio to work on her own projects, and produced some stunning hats!


















Felt in the Factory was delighted to host Lisa Klakulak on her first teaching visit to the UK in September. Lisa taught two workshops - "Sculpting Hollow Form" and "Solid Form", both of which were innovative and inspirational.


The hollow form workshop introduced us to the concept of weighing fibre out in hundredths of a gram. To watch a two dimensional layout comprising pieces of partial felt and very fine layers of fibres start to take a three dimensional form under our fingers was so exciting! Creating a 3D form from a 2D layout, using only the principle of differential shrinkage based on the weight of fibre in any given area was revolutionary!


In the solid form workshop, we used miniscule amounts of merino fibres to create spheres, discs, barrels, cones, hoops and cords, and then learning how to join all these components together in various combinations. Lisa showed us  the method she uses for colour mixing, and we constructed beautifully subtle colour gradations which we were able to reproduce by weighing the fibres.















Iris's Slipper Workshop was a great success! It's always nice to have cosy toes this time of year smiley






On the most perfect of spring weekends, complete with wall-to-wall sunshine and dancing blossom, Felt in the Factory hosted an inspirational workshop with the felt artist, Andrea Hunter. Andrea is renowned for her depiction of the flora and fauna of the Yorkshire Dales: she has lived most of her life in the breathtaking beauty of Wensleydale.


The workshop was entitled, “Felt Pictures”, and Andrea demonstrated the methods she uses to create her gorgeously intricate images, building depth and texture by drawing with the fibres, laying down fine layers of wool in an almost painterly style.


The studio space was often almost silent, as the participants concentrated intently on laying down layer upon layer of extremely fine fibres to build up shimmering images that were almost reminiscent of watercolours. 


As ever, a plethora of tea and coffee was consumed, along with several packets of biscuits and two home made cakes baked by Nina.


And then, on Sunday morning, Nina announced the birth of twins … one of her Hebridean ewes – Dryfe - had given birth to twins in the early hours!


























Uzbek Shawl Workshop

Diana's cut out design: 

On a very wet Wednesday in May - it didn't stop raining all day! - we used lengths of the wonderfully fine and delicate handloomed Uzbek silk (AKA Margillan silk) to create shawls.

When making our prefelt, we tried to create the effect of watercolour, blending the colours together to achieve a softness, with smooth transitions.

As the edges of the silk were raw, they had to be felted, so we cut narrow strips of prefelt and laid them around the perimeter of the silk. Diana's design was a cut out pattern where shapes were removed from the felt to allow the silk to show through so she didn't have to construct a border using her prefelt. 

Once our design had been laid out on the silk, we began to roll ... and it didn't take long to reach the pinch test stage. Because these shawls needed to be drapey, we didn't take the process too far.