The Two Princesses – Drapery, stage 2

Not Quite According To Plan

Not Quite According To Plan

The idea of using the netting is that it does not become caught up in the embellished fabric, and that it prevents bits of embellishment from becoming caught up on the needlehead and generally misbehaving.

As you can see, that sometimes doesn’t work quite as well as one might wish! Fragments can, and do, work themselves through the holes torn in the netting by the embellisher’s needles, and then jump with alacrity onto the needles, where they whizz up and down before the bemused eyes of the person operating the machine, causing no little apprehension as they do it!

Carefully Unpeeling

Carefully Unpeeling

There’s something else that doesn’t quite go to plan, as well. The netting does indeed become somewhat enmeshed with the felt.

As you can see, my little additions are by no means felted into the backing piece, but I’m already having to be very careful to peel off the netting, and if I had done much more with the embellisher, I might never have got the netting off at all!

I think it would be fair to say that I don’t really have anything like a real understanding of the effect of the embellisher on particular materials or combinations of materials. I’ve several more projects in mind so I’m sure my understanding will grow, but even by my standards, this is a venture into the unknown.

Embellishment Needlefelted

Embellishment Needlefelted

You can see that some of the pieces moved, and some never attached themselves at all. The pattern is distinctly higgledy-piggledy, and the elements aren’t equally firmly attached.

That said, I’ve managed to create something that has the warm red and the flashes of blue and gold, and although it isn’t the same pattern as the one in the fresco, it is certainly reminiscent of it.

I’m going to try another method entirely for a second section of drapery, and see whether that creates the effect I want.


  1. I once saw a demonstration of an embellisher at a show. If I remember correctly the fabric the felt was being stabbed into was flannel and the fibers of the felt lodged themselves easily into the weave. I was wondering if it is more difficult pounding felt into felt?
    Have you got a felting needle so you can first work the pieces by hand and then do the heavy work by machine once the pieces have got attached to the base?
    The colour combination is striking.

  2. Dima says:

    Why not try felting needle? That might work better for you.

  3. Carolyn Foley says:

    Oh the joys of experimentation!

  4. Lady Fi says:

    I love that warm, red felt.

  5. Lin says:

    I like it Rachel. Are you going to keep working in to it? xx

  6. Although I too have an embellisher, I can’t offer any advice on this project, as I haven’t tried doing so precise!!

  7. Terrie says:

    No harm to do with needle felting but if you do wet felting it may “glue” well. Some people would like to put embellishments over the surface then turn it over and rub the down side or first put the little embellishments in the first instance then cover the wool layer and do rubbing on the top that wouldn’t move them away.

  8. Jillayne says:

    I’ve seen those machines at work and they scare the heck out of me – I think it’s quite possible for things to go awry in a very big hurry. That said, I love what you’ve done, higgedy-piggeldy or not.