Another weekend and another experiment with hair. I know this looks bad for me but I promise I do not have a hair fetish. I just had an abundance of left over hair from my “Whair” projects. This weekend I am going to try to make felt with hair. I follow some bloggers who are incredibly talented with felt and felting so I am curious if they have any tips or tricks for me.
Here is some back story before I begin “hailting”. (felting with hair… branding helps it become more “normal”). I first started working with hair while learning to spin wool. Curiosity got the best of me and I wondered if I could spin hair. Ben in the picture above is wearing the result of my first and only “WHAIR” (wool hair) project. The lighter bands on the hat are hair and the dark is wool. I thought it turned out great but my wife will not let me bring this into our home. It currently sits on a coconut monkey at my work(hmm… I just realized how weird that sounds).
I have since been given several donations of hair. One such donator, lets call him co-worker Joe, has been pleading with me to make him something. I finally have given in to Joe and decided to make him a Hailt laptop bag.
Here are the steps I used in my attempt at making hailt:
The first step involved rubbing the hair over a rough surface (I have a skateboard deck that has sand paper on it). I added soapy water and this seemed to help. Think of the soapy hair stuff you find often in the drain of your bathtub. I found that it might have been better to start with the hair evenly distributed since I never got the hailt even. This was much more work than the end result merited. And I realized that I was actually making a flat dread lock.
The second step was to add a little bit of white glue diluted with water and then let the mass dry. In searching I saw someone actually used an iron to get the hair surface even, I wished I had since my surface was not exactly the way I thought it would be. I also realized that my hailt was not large enough to make a laptop case so I decided to purchase some felt to make up for what I was missing.
My initial plan was to make it half hailt and half felt until I spoke with my daughter Gwen. She told me that it looked like the hide of a road killed dog (jesh everyone is a critic). With her help we decided to use the hailt as an accent on the flap that covered the opening.
I had to hand sew the hailt onto the felt as well as hand sew the laptop pouch. I am not a great sewer especially by hand but we (or I) had an unfortunate accident with the sewing machine. My wife was helping me get the sewing machine ready and I noticed that the bobbin winder stopped working. I being a loving husband decided that I should fix that for her. I don’t want to go into to many details so I will just say that my attempt at fixing it ended up with left over screws (don’t know where they were suppose to go) and a sewing machine that was completely broken. (I am lucky my wife is patient) I hope I can find a good deal on a sewing machine for my wife this black Friday.
Here is the finished product with my laptop in the pouch to help you visualize what I am trying to make. (My laptop is smaller than Joe’s laptop but it gives one a good idea of how the pouch will work for him)
Here is the pouch with the flap closed. I wished that all of you could touch the hailt. I am not sure it is a pleasant experience but it offers a very unique texture. BOY… Not sure what I think about my hailt laptop pouch. There is a side of me that truly loves it while another, probably the “saner” side, finds it completely disturbing. What ever be the case… I can’t wait to leave this on co-worker Joe’s desk Monday.