Saturday, February 18, 2012

Leather-Soled Wet Felted Slippers


Laying out a pencil roving design...


...and covering it with layers of variegated wool roving.


Mid-felting...separating the slippers and removing the resist.


Cutting pieces of leather for the soles...


...checking the fit...


...and punching holes in the pink leather.


The finished slippers...


...with their well-protected bottoms!


My daughter asked me to make her another pair of slippers recently...

...since the ones that she's been wearing had worn through in spots.

I decided to make this pair a combination of looks and strength...

...like a ballerina in steel-toed boots! :)

I used the usual resist and layout...

...and added a bit of color with variegated pencil roving.

When they were fully felted and dry, I drew templates for split soles...

...and cut them from a piece of hand-dyed leather.

To make them easier to stitch, I punched holes into the leather...

...and used a strong beading thread (Silamide) to attach them.

Hopefully, these will wear a bit better than the last pair! :)

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20 comments:

Uta said...

Oh, they are very nice. Thanks for showing!

Heather Woollove said...

Thank you, Uta!

WonderWhyGal said...

My daughter and I still haven't made ours from when I talked to you about them last year. Maybe I can get her to play in my fiber studio with me this holiday weekend.

Question, could you felt the leather into the feet? Trap it between the felted wool? Or would it be too heavy for the wool to grip into and around?

Heather Woollove said...

Hahaha...you'll try anything to get out of sewing, won't you?!? :)
The leather will act as a resist. That means that the wool will definitely not grip INTO the wool at all.
People do felt pieces of leather into felt, but they usually later cut the felt away over most of the inserted leather so that it works as an embellishment detail.
I'd be most worried about it moving around inside the finished slippers, so if you do decide to try it, I would separate the pieces of leather into two parts (like I did with my soles), and use lots of layers before you add the leather, and then lots of layers over it.
You also would need to wrap it around the resist at the bottom as you work, which may be a little hard to do. My advice? Felt in some burlap or other open-weave, but sturdy fabric instead. XXO-

Linda said...

These are so gorgeous Heather! Oh I would love to learn to make these, they are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing. xo

Pumpkin said...

These are so adorable (and look very warm too!). Wonderful job as always!

Heather Woollove said...

Linda--It's a fairly straightforward project and it's especially easy if you have a bunch of family members. Start with a large resist, and see who it fits...then work out how big the next one needs to be based on the shrinkage! :)
Pumpkin--They're not super thick, but the leather does help to make them a bit warmer. We usually wear them with socks in my (cold) house! :)

Melissa Plank said...

More felting magic! I always come away from your blog with so many ideas!

Vivian said...

Love the stitching details! I couldn't figure out how the big flat piece turned into two slippers. Guess I'd have to go through the process to understand how they all work together.

Heather Woollove said...

Melissa--Thanks! :)
Vivian--Resists are kind of interesting, aren't they?!?

Becky J said...

Great slippers, lovely colours. It was really interesting to see how you used the leather for the soles.
Becky x

Heather Woollove said...

Becky--Thank you! It was the first time that I used leather and I preferred it to the liquid latex that I used the last time I wanted a sturdier sole. :)

Sandie Knapp said...

I love them! Great design, and with those leather soles, they should wear for a good long time. Bet they are nice and warm too. :)

Becky Utecht said...

Lovely slippers Heather! I love the leather on the bottom. I've been planning to put some my latest slippers, just need to get the leather. I loved that you dyed your leather to match the slippers. Very nice!

Heather Woollove said...

Sandie--I hope they'll last for awhile!
Becky--Thanks, but the pink leather was left over from my Valentine swap purse. :)

Rachel said...

This is something I do intend to try, but heaven knows when!

Heather Woollove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather Woollove said...

Rachel--With slippers, I think 'more is more'. I always make mine a little on the thin side, and then I'm disappointed that they're more 'sock' than boot. Aim for six or eight layers of fiber and see how you do.

KerryFelter said...

Lovely work, Heather! I'd love to get some leather and have a try at these for next winter. Where do you find a leather hole-punch??? x

Heather Woollove said...

Sharon--Thanks! The hole punch can be found (here, at least) in large fabric stores or online under 'leather hole punch'.