header pic from here

Friday, June 24, 2011

Making wool strips

Once you have decided on your pattern, the next step is to cut your wool into strips.  Many people prefer to use yarn as a way of avoiding this step, but I believe the end result is worth it.  
The wool strips look very nice and are super sturdy.  
There's no perfect way to do this, as long as your strips are precise.
This is my method.
100% felted wool
rotary cutter
self-healing mat
clear ruler

Step 1:  If you have bought 100% wool clothing from a thrift store(this is what I do) then you will need to felt it.  Remove the linings/waistband/zippers and simply wash it in your washing machine in hot water, then dry it on high heat.  When you take it out of the dryer it should look something like this:
Step 2:  Make sure your starting edge is even, then lay your ruler 1/4" over the edge of the fabric.

Starting at the edge closest to you, run your rotary blade along the ruler.  When you get almost to the top, stop - leaving about 1/4" uncut.

Move the ruler over 1/4".  

Begin at the top and cut down - stopping 1/4" from the bottom.
Cutting it in this manner will create nice long strips of wool 
- meaning you will have to stop to rethread less later.
Continue this process until you have cut the entire piece.
Step 3:  At the tops and bottoms where you left 1/4" you will have little tabs.  Just snip these off as close as you can without cutting through the strip.
It will look like this:
 You'll still have a little extra sticking out, but I haven't noticed it affecting the rug making 
- and it sure is nice to have long pieces.
So that's it!  Now you're ready to start punching.  A tutorial is coming soon.
warmly yours,

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