What a truly awesome from defashiondorset

A new exhibitor is joining us this year at Defashion Dorset, who uses a well known craft to create a material that can be used in a number of applications, making it a useful textile to be aware of.

We're thrilled to introduce you to @madebyjulesindorset , a sustainable maker based in Sherborne! Jules brings together a beautiful fusion of ancient craft and contemporary sustainability in her creations.

Using the age-old technique of wet felting, Jules crafts an enchanting array of handmade items, ranging from adorable baby booties to intricate buttons and stylish bags. Each piece is handcrafted with care and a commitment to eco-conscious practices.

All creations are made with local materials, reducing the carbon footprint while supporting the community around her, which includes alpaca fibres sourced from nearby small-scale producers. By repurposing this otherwise wasted resource, she not only adds unique textures to her creations but also champions sustainability in every inch.

We're absolutely delighted to announce that Jules will be gracing Defashion Dorset on Friday, May 24th, and Saturday, May 25th, 2024. This is your chance to witness firsthand the magic of her creations and connect with a maker who is reshaping the world of fashion with sustainability at its core. There is also an opportunity to learn wet felting techniques at Jules’ workshop on Friday 24th May at 12.30.

Purchase your tickets on our website now and explore the full list of exhibitors.

Join us as we celebrate craftsmanship, creativity, and conscious living at Defashion Dorset. See you there!

About berets...

So I've been trying to make berets and hats for about 2 years now. What's taken you so long you ask? Well now it's more complicated than you think. First there's the sizing, then shrinkage, and then the right fibre not too stiff but not too floppy either.

Size and proportion of the beret to the size of the head it's going to fit. If you get this wrong it won't fit and or look like it's too small.

As with all felted products you must allow at least 20% extra for the fibres to shrink when you felt and full. I always do a test to check this but sometimes fibre has a mind of its own and shrinks more, or less, than expected!

Here I cut the hole too big! (and human error!)

And finally all fibre is not the same! Not only does it shrink differently, see above, but it feels and drapes differently. I like to use British fibre to cut down on air miles. I love working with Shetland fibre which is great for bags and cases, booties etc but no good for a beret as its too stiff and doesn't drape.

This one is Shetland and you can see it's a little blobby! I could use merino wool but that comes with lots of air miles.

So I've chosen to try alpaca. Around here there's lots of small farms and smallholdings who have a few alpaca but it's not economical for them to send such small quantities away to be processed. I've been experimenting with using this unwashed, raw fibre as its sooo soft. I'll post some updates when I've finished...

And here is the final beret. Made from carded, raw alpaca fibre from Sandy Place small holding. It drapes and isn't bulky and comeleted with a crochet band (thanks to my friend Lourdes for the lesson) made from 94% recycled plastic bottles. I'm happy 😊

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