What is ProFusion Prefelt
Outback ProFusion or Wool Prefelt is a lightweight, needled pre-felt yardage that can be used in numerous ways to speed up your felting, or to add another dimension of creativity. ProFusion is produced exclusively for Outback Fibers in Australia. It is needled at a 60" (approx) width in 100-meter rolls and is cut into various sizes by us once it arrives at the Outback Fibers warehouse in Colorado.
How to use ProFusion prefelts
- It can be cut into specific designs and applied to the surface of your base fibers. It can then be needled or wet-felted into the background. It can be used in single or multiple layers.
- Applied to sheer fabrics such as silk, cotton scrim, chiffon etc it will readily penetrate the fabric since it is a fine micron merino. It can be applied as an entire sheet, or may be cut into strips for a lattice design, or random shapes for individual design. Folding a strip of Profusion over the raw edge of silk fabric can provide an easy edging. After rolling, use the tossing method to develop the texture in the laminated felt. A few minutes in the dryer on medium heat can produce even more intense texture at the end.
- A single layer of our prefelt batting can be topped with fine layers of merino roving and silk fibers for perfect scarves, shawls and wraps. Shrinkage will be about 40% using this method.
How to Create Yardage
To create felt yardage in less time, and with less effort than you thought possible, take a full or half-size sheet and unfold it into a single or double thickness. A single thickness, when fully felted, will produce yardage that is very lightweight, and may possibly have some thin patches. A double thickness will produce a yardage that can be cut and sewn into garments without bulky seams. Three layers will yield a yardage suitable for making a coat or using as a blanket.
Several options for initially felting the ProFusion
- I am comfortable with using the sander, and after wetting down the prefelt with soapy water and rubbing to ensure full penetration, I sand both sides until there is a nice "skin" on the felt. When sanding, simply press the sander down for 3-5 seconds in each spot, moving over the entire side twice before turning over. Work from the outside into the center, gently pushing the prefelt into the center to prevent creating thin spots. Turn and sand the back side.
- At this point I can transfer it to the front-loading washing machine and set it to the short cycle. If you have created a good skin, the prefelt will not stick to itself during this process. If your machine permits it, it is advisable to pause the cycle, open the door and work your hands over the entire piece, gently stretching and checking that the edges have not rolled over on themselves. Resulting shrinkage is usually about 40% using this method. The finished felt will have an overall pebbled texture on the surface. If you prefer a smooth surface, simply iron on medium heat while damp.
- A second option gives you the opportunity to incorporate shibori dyeing and shaping before fulling the piece. Open up the prefelt and gently dunk it in a bowl of warm, sudsy water. Squeeze out some of the water and drop or “toss” the wet prefelt batt into the bottom of your sink or on your work surface. Open up the piece after every 4-6 tosses and check to make sure the edges are not rolling in and felting together. Peel apart gently if they have, and continue tossing. A total of 40-50 drops will stabilize the prefelted batt to a stage where it can now be over-dyed or resist-dyed. It will then need to be fulled. Fulling can be done by rolling, tossing or using a front-loading washing machine.
- A third option is to wet down the prefelt and roll until the prefelt is stable and has a skin on both sides. It is my experience that rolling in bubble wrap can sometimes actually create thin patches where the bubbles rub against the prefelt. This usually only occurs when a single thickness is being used. Using thin painters' plastic and a rolling "bar" (pool noodle) is a better choice as it allows the prefelt to draw up during the rolling which helps make it more stable. Rolling in rubber carpet underlay works well for double or triple thickness, but can be a bit harsh on a single layer.
Our ProFusion is the thinnest on the market and is designed to permit an additional layer of surface design fibers to be added without the finished felt becoming too bulky to drape well for a scarf. For garment yardage we would typically recommend two layers of prefelt with desired surface elements being added.
Different colors can be layered together to create attractive yardage that offers reverse collar/cuffs options when folded back.
Nylon cording can be placed between multiple layers to create channels that can be cut to reveal the colors beneath. Fulling by tossing is the best method to cause the channels to flare open.
Cutting or slashing should be done in during the fulling stage to avoid cuts from stretching too much. Practice will help you create the effects you desire.
Feel free to experiment with our ProFusion, and send us photos of new and interesting effects you come up with. We would be happy to feature your creations.
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