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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

My piece is dry and there is a hard spot on it … 

Chances are this is a spot where the paper did not dissolve completely. Many times you will actually see the paper, but even if it isn’t visible, there could still be some residue left. Simply pour additional boiling water over that spot and the remaining paper will dissolve. 

My felted piece is too large … 

You can further shrink your piece at any time by wetting it and putting it back in the dryer, preferably loose in a tied plastic grocery bag. You can do this at several stages … when the paper is still attached, after the paper has been dissolved, and even after your piece has dried (if you wet it again). Felt will continue to shrink when water and agitation are combined. Throwing your piece in the washer works in the same way. However, the dryer is your best method, as you have more control regarding when to remove it. 

My felted piece is too small … 

If you feel your piece has shrunk too much and is over felted, you can soak it in very hot water for a few minutes, then remove the excess water, stretch it with your hands, and iron it dry. This helps a bit. However, as a rule of thumb, try not to felt your piece too much. You can always make your piece smaller, but not bigger. It is easy to control the amount your piece felts by checking it in your dryer frequently. 

My piece has holes I do not want, or … it has fallen apart in areas … 

You have several options. For holes, it is easiest if you take a small piece of the Artfelt® Paper and place it behind the hole. Use the roving of your choice and fill in the hole, making certain that the roving overlaps with the already finished area. Wet down just the new area and about an inch around it. Roll it back up and put it in the dryer as normal. Only the wetted area will continue to felt. You can also simply use the roving and needle felt the holey section. However, needle felting does not produce as smooth a surface as Artfelt® does. 

What is the best way to control the density of the felt as well as shrinkage? 

You can control both density and shrinkage in several ways. The first way is with the thickness of the roving you tack onto the paper. The more roving layered onto the paper, the denser your felt will be. Very light layers, in general, create a finer felt. HOWEVER, if you leave a piece with light layers in the dryer too long, it can potentially shrink up to 50%, and felt into a very dense piece. To see how lightly felted your piece is, look at the back side when pulling it out of the dryer. The roving shrinks; the paper does not. If the paper is barely wrinkled, your piece is very lightly felted. If it is heavily wrinkled, your piece is going to be quite dense. You can also control this with the type of roving you use. In-Silk roving can be tacked in very sparsely then felted heavily (at 50%) and you’ll still have a very lightweight material. The best thing to do is to play around with practice squares. They are not only fun, but can be functional as well. They can be turned into eyeglass cases, phone cases, mini-wallets, or whatever!