felt luminary

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Leather & Felt Boots

 What else would a felter be doing at 1am....listening to Jackson Browne in front of the fire while sitting on the floor with cold, wet felt wrapped around their feet making another pair of boots.  While it definitely isn't warm and cozy now it will be once these babies are dry and ready to wear.  A few blogs back I did a bit about a pair of boots I made and then dyed.  I didn't think I would need another pair of felt boots for some time....then I saw these soles on Etsy!  Had to have them and had to make a pair of boots to go in them.  (yes, I have a slight shoe issue-the funkier the better!) They come from an Etsy shop called "linhood" and are made by Eric Gonzalez.
Usually he sells them with the felted boots but he was kind enough to sell me the soles separately.  I was so jazzed the day the arrived!

I decided to make the boots for my new soles out of a wool I just discovered called CVM, it says it's from a breed called Romeldale which is a cross between Romney and Rambouillet and it is the natural brown; it was so soft when it felted up!  I got this wool from another great Etsy site, Woolgatherings.  They carry an incredible selection of natural and hand dyed wools, this is where I get my white superfine & natural merinos from as well as other goodies.  Check them out.

 I made a bag out of the CVM to test it out and it felted and fulled up great......but not these boots!  It's taken me almost 2 hours of just rolling in the bubble wrap to get them mostly felted and then I did some hand rubbing.  Another few hours to full them, then onto the floor to get them fitted to my foot.  It's possible that I laid the wool out thicker since they were for boots...?  I have this great tool, we just call it a felting & fulling tool, that I used to get the boots to fit my feet and it made such easy work of it.  It has these ridges up and down it and since they have the glaze on them it won't rip up your felt like a washboard can.  I did a blog piece on this tool a few posts back, you can get one from my friend Carin Engen, you guessed it-another cool Etsy shop- CarinEngenFiberArts, she carries the felting tools as well as some of my favorite hand dyed wools and silk;

The foot of the template measures 16" across and the finished boot is 9", that's a lot of shrinkage!   Now the boots are drying, I can't wait to see how they look in their new leather soles......

Here are my finished felted boots with their leather soles.  I've been wearing them around here for a couple of days now and they are incredibly comfy!  The wool is soft but hasn't begun to stretch at all, I think they'll be pretty durable. I realize they aren't to everyone's liking (my sister's not a huge fan....) but I love 'em!