warm wooly slippers for wet and windy winter

slippers-b 

So, today, more on the slippers. This time I used Massam wool. It is a British breed, also known as Marsham. It was developed by crossing Teeswater or Wensleydale rams with Swalebreed ewes, producing sheep with heavy longwool fleeces. That’s what I found on this blog, there is not much about Massam wool  on-line. You can get it from here, for example. Massam is a loooong wool, with a staple 15-38 cm, so it  probably wasn’t the best choice for a pair of small slippers, it seemed like if I was going to cover the whole resist with one wisp.

First, I traced around my daughter’s feet, cut the shape from a cardboard and traced unto bubble wrap. Enlarged by cca 3 cm all round, cut out the enlarged shape. I covered both sides with a bit of bamboo fibre and then Massam, 6 layers on each side. When they were half felted I measured 4 cm from the back edge of the slipper and draw a triangle: 4x4x4 cm. I cut through it’s two sides, but not the base, following instructions from a good book on felt Feltmaking and Wool Magic.

slipper-pattern-b

That’s where the pointy edges at the back come from. Then I cut 9 cm from the triangle’s top towards the top of the slipper. This proved to be too long for child’s feet, about 4-5 cm would be enough. I worked the cut edges with my fingeres to make them firm. I still needed to make them smaller and then shape them for which I used a washboard, keeping in mind that wool shrinks mainly in the direction of rubbing. To see if they were the right size, I put an original cardboard shape in a slipper.

slipper-b1

When they seemed to be the right size I mixed mid blue and navy blue acid dye with a bit of claret and black and dyed them on the hob. And imagine this!: I completely forgot about the top bamboo layer and re-discovered it only during dyeing! First I thought that the dye does not do it’s job, the slippers looked like if I put them in the dyebath dry, pale. The thing is, that if protein and cellulose fibres are dyed together the wool seems to “grab” most of the dye, especially if the solution is weaker, leaving less for eg. bamboo.

After dyeing I shaped both slippers pulling the wool with my fingers and even pliers – the pointy back part.

I still need to treat the sole and make the opening a bit smaller.

There is a good tutorial on felt slippers using wellies on Caroline Incle’s blog and  a clear tutorial on felting 3D on Joni Phippin’s blog. Check them out!

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13 thoughts on “warm wooly slippers for wet and windy winter

  1. Great tutorial,
    You have achieved a lovely colour with these!
    I still have to make some little girls slippers, you have reminded me!
    Perhaps I will try it this way.
    Cx

  2. THANKS SO MUCH HUN!!!
    I know it had to be much simpler than I was making it!

    I was jsut carding some dorset last night so perfect timing for this.
    better go get some bubble wrap when I am coming home from ups.

    I normally use bamboo placemats, but thats for flat items so I know it wont work for these.
    THANKS HUN!!!!!!

  3. Marianne, I stitched leather on my pair of slippers, but for this I would like to try latex. Will post more when I get more info.

    Lindsay, good luck with your slippers, it must be even more exciting, making slippers from the wool which you have treated before.

    Caroline, I have made another pair your way (still not finished), using shoe lasts, will have to discuss it with you, the kitchen was flooded, don’t know why the wool did not seam to soak water well…

  4. I haven’t made slippers in a while… they sure are warm! What I do too, to shape them, is wet and all, put them on my feet (if they are for me, otherwise you have to find the person this is for and ask for a few minutes… 🙂 )and rub with the wet slipper on… it felts to the size of your foot!

    lovely color!

  5. I did the same with slippers for me, but this is muuuuch easier and less messy and using tha cardboard means that I can make slippers for anyone providing s-he sends a pattern of the foot.

  6. Thank you, Agigail! Yes, it does felt well, but the staple is really long so for smaller size slippers it is better to use shorter fibre, like coarser merino for example.

  7. Ok I will bear that in mind, not sure I will make slippers, just found some Massam on offer and thought about buying a load… its on offer at Wingham Wool at the moment if you are a subscriber to their email newsletter. Just added you to my list of blogs to read, you have some lovely ideas.

  8. What wonderful slippers! I’ll think about them for Christmas. I’m really hoping I could have a sample of the your Masham wool for a demonstration of wool types. We raise dorset sheep but usually have to blend it with merino to produce a decent fiber. This summer we are having a “farm camp” on our farm to benefit our local watershed association. I consider this wool the ultimate of fine wool and hence hope to have a sample for my demonstration. I would, of course, want to pay for your Masham wool (a handful would do) and the postage. Hope to hear from you. Thank you for your consideration of my request.
    Sincerely, Joannah Wilmerding

  9. This summer we are having a “farm camp” on our farm to benefit our local watershed association. I consider this wool the ultimate of fine wool and hence hope to have a sample for my demonstration. I would, of course, want to pay for your Masham wool (a handful would do) and the postage. Hope to hear from you. Thank you for your consideration of my request.
    Sincerely, Joannah Wilmerding

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