Patty Benson TextilesPatty Benson Textiles Artist: Patty Benson
Handmade Textile Jewelry & Decor
Creating your own textile from scratch is pretty exhilirating. Working with wool has allowed me to make fabrics that combine all the things that I love – texture, color and getting my hands dirty. Through the labor intensive process of making my felted wool, an organic fabric emerges with all its quirks and unevenness, forcing me to calm my perfectionist brain.
About Wool and My Felting
Wool is a pretty remarkable material. It is totally natural, completley renewable and has some amazing properties – it’s non-flammable, insulating, dirt repellent, water repellant, anti-microbial and doesn’t retain odors.
There are many ways to use wool. It can be spun into thread that will be then be used to create woven fabrics that you will wear, or into yarn that will then be knitted into a sweater. It’s used in the toes of ballerina pointes and It can even be used in industrial applications for vibration and shock absorbtion.
I use wool, that has been cleaned and sometimes dyed, to create my own flat non-woven textile by wet felting, which is a very ancient technique. I lay out the wool in many layers, subject it to water, soap and many hours of agitation which essentially removes all the air, shrinking it down to a tight fabric. It is a labor intensive process that results in a piece that can’t be replicated by weaving a fabric or by printing on one. If you haven’t guessed by now, I have some stong feelings about wool, and really….if you want to know how I truly feel about it….quite simply – Wool is magical.