Carpet felt padding
Carpet felt padding is used to create a high, sculptural padded effect for metalwork. Thick carpet felt is built into layers, sculpted into shape and then covered with a layer of craft felt. This provides a firm basis for various metal threads.
Before stitching the carpet felt you should chamfer the edge. Do this by holding your scissor blades so that they lie flat to the side of the felt at an angle of approximately 45° and effectively cut off the top corner of felt.
The largest piece of carpet felt is stitched down first using a machine thread which has been doubled and waxed with beeswax. Begin by working herringbone stitch or long cross stitches over the piece to secure it in place (carpet felt is easily broken down by stitching directly into it).
If working with a substantial or an unusual shaped piece of felt, you should now gently work long and short stitches along the edge of the felt.
Any additional layers to create a higher shape should be stitched from largest to smallest (this is the opposite order from layering craft felt). Chamfer the edge of each layer to create a smooth step, again, work long and short stitch around the edges. You may also need to work a herringbone stitch across the surface to compress these additional layers.
Having stitched all the layers of carpet felt, apply a single layer of craft felt over the top using the same method used to attach felt padding. This layer of felt will help trap in all the fibrous matter from the carpet felt and provide a smooth surface.
Identifying Carpet felt padding
Not usually seen, this padding is covered by metal thread. If the height of the padding is higher than a few millimetres and/or a sculptural shape, this normally suggests that carpet felt has been used. Underneath this it can be identified as having been stitched down using herringbone or cross stitched and perhaps also long and short stitched into place.
Helen McCook, RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Goldwork (2012)
Examples of Carpet felt padding
RSN coat of arms
Carpet felt padding has been used for the bodies of the lion and the unicorn.