A Garden Full Of Roses


Where does inspiration come from? Here's a story about how I found a place with silk treasures that was lying at my feet. Most people not interested in felting, can only shrug indifferently; but I have found  a big bundle of multicolored silk ribbons. They were of different sizes, thickness and density. I saw them as a garden full of roses...


Growing roses requires time and patience; but if you succeed, the result actually attracts attention. The difficulties could not stop me and this time we'll be experimenting with silk ribbons of different density. We'll make a classic trapezoidal skirt.


Materials required: ~80g(3oz) of 18 micron Merino wool; ~20g(1oz) of silk fibers and 150g(5-6oz) of different silk ribbons.

The wool layout is assumed to be very thin, only one layer vertically (with horizontal bending allowances on one side) but horizontally at the top (6-7cm or 2in). Straight open edges with an additional linear wool layer as usually.

Silk fibers can also be used as a straightening layer. Lay them down vertically, then moisten with warm soapy water to prevent them from scattering.

Lightly rub through the mesh, preparing the surface for decoration.

Laying silk flowers, try to leave a small distance between the ribbons. This distance will decrease during felting process, making the flowers more volumetric, but very light at the same time.

Rub the ribbons patiently until first fibers will appear on the surface.

Cover with film and turn over the template.

Proceed the layout; first with silk fibers, moisten with water and bend the allowances.

Lay out the wool following the diagram, moisten and rub manually through the mesh.

Leave the distance between the roses - we'll need it in the future.

Don't hurry to begin an intensive felting process: proceed to manually rub.

Sander assistance is possible.

Pay attention to the side part - it should not have any ripples.

Remove the template when you feel that all the flowers are fixed.

Begin rolling in different directions, turning inside-out from time to time.

When the skirt will have about 2/3 of shrinkage, rinse and leave it to dry. We'll try to make the flowers more vivid using the sewing machine.

Use a special embroidery foot. Turn the feed dogs off. Sew straight stitches around the perimeter of the flower.

Take the scissors and cut off the felt between the roses, somewhere even between the petals.

Continue felting to the end, forming open edges with circular movements.

Now, the skirt is ready, but needs lining.

I used batiste fabric and linen lace to make a simple underskirt. Then I put the zipper in.

The work is done and we can make some calculations.


The one-layer layout resulted with the shrinkage being intense along the layout direction. To obtain a predictable result, calculate the shrinkage and correct the pattern before beginning the project.


In this case we obtain 30% shrinkage along the width and 40% shrinkage along the length.

k l. =  110 / 66 ~ 1.67  which corresponds to  a value of 40%  shrinkage

k w. =  92 / 64 ~ 1.43  which corresponds to  a value of 30%  shrinkage

As a result of the experiment, I've got an unique handmade garment. I've made sure that using this technique, you can create a variety of clothing, changing the design, like the images in a kaleidoscope.

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