Origami felt

Whew! What a week it’s been – a road trip up to Edinburgh via the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Bradford and Newcastle, zipping round various events at the Edinburgh Festival, including a performance of The Tempest on a beach on the Firth of Forth, and visits to the Yorkshire Moors and Burghley House on the way back.

But amid all this activity I had two days in Edinburgh learning how to make origami felt with Andrea Noeske-Parada at Hat in the Cat Textiles. This was a great opportunity to build on the technique of using partial felts that I learned with Lisa Klakulak earlier this year, as well as my interest in origami sparked off by the pleating workshop I did with Bridget Bailey last year.

Our aim was to make a kaleidocycle, a ring structure where you can change the colours by constantly turning it inside out. We started by trying to make a paper version to learn the principles of the folding technique. But of course with paper it’s simply a case of folding. With felt you have to allow for shrinkage and joining as well as folding and colour blends.

It’s a pretty labour-intensive technique that involves making partial felts, cutting out lots of triangles (I remember now why I never took to patchwork!) and trying to lay them out as precisely as possible. But the end result is extremely satisfying – and it was very interesting to see the effects of different colour combinations chosen by different students (below).

felt kaleidocycles

I also worked with short-fibre merino for the first time, and met Chrissie Day. Chrissie has been very supportive to me in the past but we only know each other online – so it was interesting to meet in real life at last! 😉

kaleidocycle1 kaleidocycle2 kaleidocycle3 kaleidocycle4 kaleidocycle5

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

6 thoughts on “Origami felt”

  1. Hello…. I know this is an older post but it has intrigued me so much. I have the book on kaleidocycles and they are lovely to do on paper. BUT, I really want to make them in felt as you gave done. The template for a kaleidocycle is all one piece…did you cut out the triangles and felt them together somehow into the shape of the template? It looks like you stitched them together in one of the pictures, then felted them, possibly removing the stitches afterwards. I cannot travel to The UK to take the class unfortunately, so I would be super happy to get some hints on how you actually constructed this thing. 😜😜. Thank you so much. I really enjoy your blog.

    1. Hi Terri,

      Funny you should pick up on this, as I recently had a hankering to make another one of these – must be something in the air! 🙂

      You’ve pretty much summed up the process – we used prefelt triangles, lightly felted together and then stitched, felted again and fulled. Then the stitches were removed.

      I’m sure you understand that I’m not going to give exact details, as it’s Andrea’s process and it wouldn’t be fair to give away the information for nothing when she makes her living from doing workshops. But if you have a book on kaleidocycles you can probably work out the template for yourself. 🙂

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