New World Felting (2015)

New World Felting returns to our market this season with some amazing fibre arts. Read Jodi Pirog’s write up below and learn about the talented artist behind New World Felting.

My name is Jodi Pirog and I am the owner of New World Felting. I have been a fibre artist for over 30 years and have found the felting medium to be the most versatile and satisfying of the fibre arts.

My felting adventures have taken me to places in search of raw materials all over North America. If you have seen my “stuff” you will know that some pieces have a little bit or bob from my adventures. When I go on vacation, I always find the wool shop, bead shop or fibre festival that has just what I need to make unique pieces of felt for handbag making or some luscious wool for scarves and shawls.

Felting wool is an ancient process that requires the wool roving to be subjected to heat, soap and agitation. The heat opens up the scales on the individual wool fibres allowing them to “matt” together, the soap allows the fibres to “slip” pass each other and intermingle and the agitation is what causes the fibres to become friendly with each other. Once the process is complete then very cold water is used to rinse the felt and lock down the fibres. That is the reason you always wash wool by hand in cold water, if you used hot water you would start the felting process all over again.

I am a constant experimenter and as a result I have self-taught myself the art of felting. By combining silks and cottons with various wools I have achieved light weight but warm products for my customers. I also felt in 3D which allows me to create hats, handbags, and other assorted accessories. By adding embellishments like beading, embroidery and hand dying my wools, silks and cottons the combinations of colors and various types of products are endless.