What is Short Fiber Merino?

Our Short Fiber Merino (SFM) comes in enormous cardboard boxes from a place far, far away.  Alikya, in our shipping department, almost cries with delight when it comes time to break those boxes down into batts– first pounds, then four ounces, then half an ounce, then itty-bitty bits.  The process is endless, but she loves it for its softness and color.  (I personally prefer playing with it while felting- it felts like a dream- but to each their own.)  I compiled some tips for felting with SFM, both from our website and from my wonderfully knowledgeable co-workers.  NEFS owner Christine White even popped by with some tidbits! Here’s some information on this fast-felting wool, coming to you live from www.feltingsupply.com!

Short Fiber Merino batt is the fastest wet felting wool on the market. It yields a finer, tighter finish compared to merino wool roving, so it’s excellent for smooth hats, shawls and neckwear, jewelry, accessories and artistic and sculptural felts. Nuno designers and jewelry artists love its smooth finished surface. Like all merino, use a de-piller to keep it smooth once felted. Also, Short Fiber is great for those learning how to felt and for kids’ felting projects.

Short fiber merino felts so quickly that you can actually create prefelts without water!! Just slowly rub it in your hand.  It starts as 18.5 micron fiber, but because the fiber has been cut into small pieces, the finished surface is equivalent to 17 micron fiber.  Since SFM felts so quickly and so completely we recommend olive oil soap and/or less soap that other wools; otherwise it smothers the fibers and it felts slower.  Be especially gentle when laying out and wetting down your wool, in order to maintain control of the process.  If you are interested in mixing colors peel off thin layers of color from your batts and stacked them on top of each other, but be sure to peel it apart in layers rather than pulling off chunks.  If you can read through the layer of batting, the colors will show through. The blending possibilities are endless.  When you’re laying it out, feel with your hands to make sure it’s even.  If it’s not, it will shrink unevenly and you could end up with holes. Keep your hands on the edges when rolling, and then spot felt if the edges stick out (in other words, give those places a little more rolling love). Before you stop rolling, be sure it has the pebbling effect that indicates finished felt.  If it’s not fulled all the way, it will start to fall apart; layers will come off and holes will break through.

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