Monday, July 19, 2010

Felt Cord/Purse Handle Tutorial

 

 

 

 


If you're a regular reader, you know that I love to make purses...

...and I'm always trying to figure out new ways to make handles for them.

Over time, I've hit upon a method to make purse straps and hanging cords...

...which are sturdier and able to bear more weight than pure wool ones.

(For women who feel compelled to carry 'all but the kitchen sink'!!)

Since I've never seen anyone else make felted cords this way...

...I thought that a tutorial might be in order.

First, I cut one-inch twill tape the length of my desired cord...

...and fold it into thirds...the way you fold a letter for mailing.

I machine stitch as close to the open edge as possible...

...making a narrow length of tape.

Using my needle-felting foam and multi-needle tool...

...(you can use a single needle, of course, if that's all you have)...

...I needle felt roving to the front and back surfaces of the cloth tape.

(You can push the needle through the twill tape-it won't break.)

Once each surface of the tape is covered, I add more wool...

...wrapping it evenly around the emerging cord until it is as 'fat' as I want it, and needle felting it on.

Since the roving is fluffy...

...it will be fatter at this point than the finished cord.

Wet felting will shrink the wool...

...and make the cord harder and less elastic.

If you're going to felt it into a project...

...make sure that you keep the end (or ends) loose.

I add extra roving to each end of the cord when I am going to use it as a purse strap...

...flaring it out like a paintbrush and keeping it dry while I wet felt the remainder of the cord.

Dip the cord into hot, soapy water (protecting the dry sections)...

...and begin rolling it in a bamboo placemat with gentle pressure.

After you've rolled the length of the cord...

...you can make additional passes using increasing pressure.

You may need to re-wet the cord several times during the rolling process...

...to help the wool felt around the tape, shrink and become harder.

When the cord is as hard and narrow as it will get, it is finished...

...ready to be attached to the intended project.

I made this cord for my latest project...

...and it is as long as I am tall.

Next time: the finished cord and what I did with it!



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3 comments:

Jasmine said...

Thank you :)

Kathleen said...

The twill inside is a great idea!!

Kathy

Angela said...

I've never made one with twill inside just the pure wool ones. I've not had a wool one break - is it common. Think I'll have a go at this method :)