Pufpaff's Fiber Processing
Nashville, MI

      Running the felting/fulling machine - a photo tour

Photo 1
The fiber is prepared by washing, dyeing, carding and blending it into batts.
These batts come off the carding machine by being wound onto a drum that creates multiple layers.  After the batts have rested for at least 24hours, the layers are pulled apart in preparation for being put into position.

Photo 2

The separated layers from the batt are place next to each other on a mosquito netting covered work surface.


Photo 3

A second layer of fiber is placed perpendicular to the first layer to strengthen the felt fabric.

Photo 4

With both layers in place, the layout is checked for inconsistencies and any adjustments needed are made by adding or shifting fiber


Photo 5

When the entire layout has been inspected and corrected, the mosquito netting is wrapped around the fiber to assure that everything stays in place

Photo 6

The netting covers the fiber bottom, top and sides.

Photo 7

To transport the fiber to the machine, the net-encased fiber is rolled around a PVC pipe. No moisture has been added to the fiber at this time.

Photo 8

The machine will handle up to 30 feet of net encased fiber. The working width of the machine is 36 inches.

Photo 9

The dry, net-encased fiber is then loaded into a cotton casing belt on the bed of the felting machine.

Photo 10

As the net-encased fiber is loaded, the cotton casing is adjusted to make sure it completely covers the project.

Photo 11

When the project is completely inside the casing, the PVC pipe is removed.

Photo 12

Final adjustments are done to the net-encased fiber and the cotton casing.

Photo 13

The rollers are lowered onto the bed of the machine.

Photo 14

After the rollers are lowered, the machine is started slowly and as the casing travels through the machine, soap and water are added to the fiber.

Photo 15

The speed of the machine is then increased, the oscillating plate is engaged and the casing continuously travels around the machine until the fibers are firmly holding together.

Photo 16

After the fibers are firmly holding together, the upper rollers are lifted from the bed of the machine, the cotton casing is opened and the felt fabric is removed from the netting

Photo 17

The yardage is wound around a PVC pipe to simplify removal and reloading

Photo 18

The netting is completely removed from the yardage. 

Photo 19

The felt fabric is turned so that it can be reloaded onto the machine bottom-side-up and end-for-end.  This encourages the fibers to move more freely in the fulling stage of the process.

Photo 20

The felt fabric is reloaded into the cotton casing belt making any adjustments needed in the fabric itself and in the casing to assure the quality of the finished fabric.

Photo 21

The rollers are then lowered back down onto the bed of the machine. The machine is again brought up to speed and the oscillating plate is engaged.  The fabric loaded inside the cotton casing continuously cycles around the machine until the felt is harden to the desired consistency.

Photo 22

The machine is stopped, the rollers are lifted and the fabric is removed from the cotton casing.

Photo 23

The fabric is placed in a washing machine to be rinsed and to extract the water.

Photo 24

The now rinsed, damp felt is removed from the washer.

Photo 25

The yardage is stretched and hung from custom drying racks in a climate controlled drying room.

Photo 26

Drying is complete in just a few hours.

After drying, the yardage can be cut and sewn into garments, fashion accessories home decor items and much more.