5. All About - Felting / Fulling on the GR

This is the big one!  Learn here all about how to use the Gentle Roller to felt and full your projects.
Before we get to the videos, please note that we do have a written Owner's Manual divided into three downloadable documents.
It is highly recommended that you download and read Parts 2 and 3.  These contain valuable information and tips and you will definitely gain more understanding of your Gentle Roller if you read these resources first.

Part 2:   Key Components of your Gentle Roller
Part 3:   Comprehensive User Guide
And when your are starting here is a bonus page just for good measure:   When the gods are against me!

 

Now to the videos.  The first series of videos that you should definitely watch, whether you are experienced or not, are not shown on this page as they have their own page (also repeated on the GR Blog).  The following link will take you right there.  It isn't our most striking work but it takes you slowly through the felting and fulling process from start to finish.
Make it your first video view and then come back to the All About page.  The link is:  Making a simple nuno felt scarf.

 

We begin with 2 videos that will probably be obvious to experienced felt makers - they are snippets taken from the 'must see' video mentioned above. Then we'll look at a false end fold before we delve into some projects we have completed and recorded over the years. 
Key Notes for this video: Joni is looking at some thick silk hankies on wool to see if they are ready.  The wool under is clearly felted as it adhered to the silk carrier fabric.
Key Information on this video: Is my felt ready?



Key Notes for this video: How much water is enough?  
Key Information on this video: Make sure your felting is evenly wet.



Key Notes for this video: There are a few ways you can create false ends and you may see slightly different methods on other videos.  The important point is that you are trying to give all areas of your work equal exposure to the idle rollers.  (note: the green roller is an original soft feel roller which is now coloured aubergine.)
Key Information on this video: False ends, and an 'alternative' false end.  (For more information on false ends please refer to the Owner's Manual - Part 3:   Comprehensive User Guide)



It is worth mentioning that nearly every project on here is an 'original' and most videos are a first attempt at using the Gentle Roller for that specific material mix and design. 


Key Notes for this video: A start-to-finish sided vest using merino on a silk carrier and embellished with silk hankies.  A lot of the rolling is at high speed and all is carried out in lots of 250 cycles.
Key Information on this video: Rolling with two drive rollers,  how to add soap to your project, checking for felting at 12:45, drying at pre-felt to join two panels, creating an invisible seam, fulling to size and checking on a dress maker's dummy.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: If you use two rollers at the same time, you can make two panels or two different items simultaneously improving your efficiency if you are a busy felt maker.
Key Information on this video: How to make a soft drive roller from a hard drive roller.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: Your carrier fabric selection will impact your finished item.
Key Information on this video: Crisper silk gives more texture. 

 

 



Key Notes for this video: A double sided silk scarf - that is, two different layers of silk bonded together with merino so that each side has it's own style.  The entire process is shown with repetitive parts on fast forwards.  All rolling is sets of 250 unless otherwise specified.
Key Information on this video: Repairing your carrier fabric, orthogonal laying of wool, using patchwork panels for effect, false ends, how the GR frees you to do other things while your felting is rolling, fulling in your plastic in the fulling bag.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: An early demonstration at a potential customer and felt trainer (c2018).
Key Information on this video: Rolling Alpaca for the first time, wall art.

 

 



Key Notes for this video:  An early demonstration at a potential customer and felt trainer (c2018).   Rolling 100gm of wool in a 30cm x 30cm square to make dense wool tiles.
Key Information on this video: Rolling a thick wool 'brick' to make tiles.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: Another visit to Cheryl Cook (c2017/18) to complete a piece of wall art.  Includes a mix of fibres and threads.  Still using the prototype drum.  And a big tick from Cheryl.
Key Information on this video: Wall art, thick felt, introducing the fulling bag.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: Felter's gauze (muslin) base and cotton fabric pieces on top.  Shows you don't always need to work in silk. 
Key Information on this video: Amazing fulling.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: Video from 2017 introducing the GR to the world.  
Key Information on this video:  Irregular shape, rolling from both sides, uneven bundle, protective layer, checking pre-felt quality, tidying edges, comparing hand rolling with GR rolling.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: This home designed hooded scarf project includes the first detailed explanation how different parts of your item receive different amounts of work and the necessity for folding your felting and creating what later became known as false ends.
Key Information on this video: Rolling an irregular shape,  soap solution, the first explanation of the necessity for what later became known as false ends.

 

 



Key Notes for this video:  We detail how a large 2.7mt x 1.4mt template is used to create a beautiful jacket with 4 deliberately difficult decisions taken to really test the GR.  The final jacket is only 25% of the original lay-up.
Key Information on this video: Using a resist, using multiple folds to share the 'work', using hand touches in finishing.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: How to create texture with embellishments while creating a patch work cotton top.  Despite Joni's concerns when pre-felting this item finished beautifully.
Key Information on this video: Aiming for texture, 4 paneled garment worked together to create invisible seams, mixing materials on one project, incorporating sewing, lots of rolling to make sure the difficult silks felt, benefits of using cold/cool water to full rather than shocking the fabrics with hot water.
At 5:30 there is mention of a complimentary hand rolling tool that is no longer included. 

 



Key Notes for this video: Guest felt maker Jillian joins us to try out the Gentle Roller and discovers she can save hours or even days of work.
Key Information on this video: Silk tissue and floral decoration, how the GR avoided the need for needle felting, the stability of the GR in handling design elements, clearly visible fibre migration.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: We started with conflicting goals of thick embellishments on a difficult silk which we didn't want to over work as we wanted minimum fabric rauching.
We used 5 momme silk for this project - this is the max momme we would recommend for felting.  If you shrink your fabric by 30% in length and width, you will effective have 10 momme at the end.  Joni was over-worried about the level of finishing which proved an unnecessary concern when the GR was finished with the project.
Key Information on this video: Using thick embellishments, trying not to over-rauch the carrier fabric, introducing off-set fwd-rev settings, rolling wool side down, how to hand finish if required.


Key Notes for this video: Felting without rauching on fine chiffon - to avoid rauching implies minimum fulling as the fulling shrinks the wool which would in turn pull on the carrier.
This video featured a 'home' modified grey drive roller as we discovered the hard roller diameter was too small to get good idle roller contact.  This was the impetus for the development of soft drive roller for rolling fine felts.   
Key Information on this video: Using embellishments only, soap solution mix, rolling with wool face down (recommended), modifying a hard drive roller for making fine felts, false ends, checking the pre-felt.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: A repeat of the above video with pre-felt flows for embellishment.  The highlight is really our great team-work :-)
Key Information on this video: Using pre-felt embellishments, false ends.

 

 



There are additional videos on the Gentle Roller Blog including making a fleece rug, making a slipper, making a shoulder bag, making a basket and probably others.


Below are a couple of early tutorials.  Not our best work as we were learning ourselves as we went.  You will see me (Philip) studying closely the wool and embellishments trying to understand fully what was happening and there is a lot of discussion with Joni before deciding next steps.  I've kept them here more for historical purposes than anything else.
Key Notes for this video: This was an early tutorial video 2017/18 when we were still learning ourselves.  We only had a prototype fulling drum and it pre-dates the creation of the soft drive roller which would have done a better job.   I also rolled in lots of 1000 cycles at a time which we have since discovered is not the most efficient unless you are working a material that you expect to take 10,000 rolls.
Key Information on this video: Roll straight, roll in the middle of the drive roller, using a protective layer of plastic, hex end on the left, using the control panel, the difference between 3 revolutions vs 1 revolution, checking if the pre-felt is ready, using false ends to even out the 'work'.
I mention locking the drive roller in place, this is not actually necessary on models post 2019/20 although a locking device is still included.

 

 



Key Notes for this video: This was also an early tutorial video 2017/18.  It started as a beginner's piece but we ended up doing all sorts of odd things (not necessarily recommended).  It's a crap piece but what the heck.
Key Information on this video: Showing that you don't need to cover the entire nuno carrier surface, using different pivot hooks to angle your rollers, using bubble wrap with your rolling (not actually recommended), how to avoid felt migrating to one end.
When I angled the idle rollers at around 6:00, to get roller contact, I could have achieved the same using false ends and rolling across the item to even out the work being done to the project.

Stay connected with our newsletter

Reduce the carbon footprint of your purchase with carbonclick