Friday, January 20, 2012

Making a Felt Book, Pt. 5: Binding

I've tried all kinds of bindings for felted books, but this simple form seems to work the best: three folded pages stitched to a wraparound cover. You will want to try to get the folded pages as close together as possible, but your sewing machine may dictate just how close that is. You can also sew the pieces to the cover by hand. In the photo you can see a pearl-headed pin temporarily marking the center sewing line. Even after it is completely sewn the pages may spring open in this little book. Two pearl-headed pins for closures resolve this issue, now this cactus-themed book is its own pin cushion. For a book that always stays closed try making a book with a landscape  or horizontal format.

Cactus Couple, 2012
"Their relationship was prickly soft"


Velma said...

this whole felted book tutorial has been very interesting. i do have a question about the moth issue. do you ever find moths infiltrating them? (i have had this happen in my studio-ugly and many many pounds of wool were lost).

Alisa said...

So sorry to hear this! Awhile back, I posed the moth question to some longtime felters and, strangely, all of them either had never had a problem or were horrified that I could even ask such a thing. No one was able to give me a definitive answer.

After poking around for advice, the precautions I was able to come up with are:
1. Seal each color airtight in a separate gallon Ziploc bag. (Color isn't the issue. Air is.)
2. Store bags in a plastic bin with an airtight lid.
3. Keep a sachet of cloves or cinnamon with the wool. I read that moths don't like strong smells (camphor, processed camphor in the form of moth balls, or cedar are other possibilities).
4. Someone also suggested putting bags in a hot car (in summer, one would assume) or some other hot place which is supposed to kill off the eggs.

Air, heat, strong smell. So far, these have been working. Good luck!

Velma said...

thanks for the ideas...i don't keep anything like the amount of wool around i used to. but i wonder about felt books. it's possible all the dyeing plus whatever chemistry one uses will help keep the moths away. but i do wonder about felt! again, my studio at the time was largely fleece, wool yarn, and woven woolens. (and i have tried the freezer, artemesia, moth balls, cedar...)

Alisa said...

Regarding the books, I wonder as well. It has been nine years and I haven't had a problem, yet. Handling the books a lot, sealing them in the airtight plastic bins, and/or creating boxes for them that incorporate some of the scented things I mentioned or PVA (particularly the kind with the pepperminty smell)—all things I've done—may work. If you dye your own wool I'm told you can incorporate a certain chemical into it. Here's hoping…

Velma said...

good ideas. india flint might remind us that eucalyptus (or other similarly strong scent) could be part of the dyeing process which might also deter critters.

Merry said...

Here in Tucson, I have awful moths. Really a deterrent to doing any felting. Never been able to get them to go away, but I've learned to put out lots of traps and trained my cats to catch them. Rotating woolen items seems to help, but it's a never ending issue.