Wet Felted Tote Bag with Perendale Batts

IMG_0659I don’t have any process photos for this bag.  Here it is all wet out and waiting for the sander.  I had some Perendale batt left over and thought I would use most of it up by making a tote bag.  The colors of the Perendale determined the colors of the tote and so I went for Autumnal colors.  I had 4 layers of Perendale, 2 full layers of merino, one in greens and one in oranges and browns.  I then had a top layer of very fine mixed greens and oranges with some chopped up yarns.

I made a rectangular resist of approximately 20 x 16 inches.  So, I sanded, rubbed, and rolled 50x on each side and flipped over and rolled 50x again.  I took out the resist and turned the bag inside out.  I picked out bits of vegetable matter and rubbed, rolled 50x as before.  I had a lot of layers and I wanted to make sure it would all felt together.

IMG_0669Here it is all finished.  This is the front.  Sorry about the poor quality of the photo as the colors are richer than shown here (even though I took the photo first thing in the morning before the sun came around the back!).  I was inspired to make the handle the way Ann did in her post here.   It is a very easy way, by just cutting a slit and stretching.  I can fit 4 fingers through here.

IMG_0673This is the back.  I was hoping the green layer would migrate through the orange layer, but that didn’t happen.  I am glad I added some to the final decorative layer.  This is one sturdy tote.  I probably didn’t need to have the extra layer of merino.  In any event, the Perendale migrated through.  It looked like dog hairs coming through at first.  I had to give the bag a shave and gave it a once over with some gaffer tape.

IMG_0672Here is a close-up of the decoration.  You can see how the wool migrated considering that I mostly worked this bag inside out.  As with the previous bag I made with the Perendale, it was taking a very long time to full down and to shrink, so I popped it into the tumble dryer for 15 minutes.  10 of those minutes was cold.  In any event, that did the trick.

IMG_0674I even added a pocket.  You can really see the hairs here.  It looks like my little dog rolled in it!

IMG_0676You can see the shrinkage here.  The bag is about 15.5 inches wide x 14 inches.  It didn’t shrink much on the height.  I wasn’t expecting a huge amount of shrinkage due to the amount of layers

So what have I learned for the last two projects?  Don’t wet felt with Perendale, unless you are making slippers.  I won’t be buying this again.  Although it doesn’t look like it in the batt, Perendale is hairy and takes ages to felt down.  However, it is strong once felted.  As a project, it was a good thing to do as it really kept me busy, I learned a lot, and I did make a tote that I was relatively satisfied with.  Not sure what I am going to do with it though.

I am taking a little break for a few days from felting bags.  Instead I am going to try out different color combinations on 8 inch squares.  I will be just playing around for a bit. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Wet Felted Tote Bag with Perendale Batts

  1. Felting would get boring if we didn’t discover things that worked and things that didn’t work as we would like!
    The colour pattern you laid out worked well and the bag certainly looks like it would be strong enough to carry stuff.
    Good luck with your sampling – playing around is both fun and useful.

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    1. I don’t feel I wasted my time as I ended up with a sturdy bag in nice colors. As they say with painting, not every one is going to be a masterpiece! I’m still new to felting, so learning about the wool is a good process for me. 🙂


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