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Felt padding icon
Felt padding

​Felt padding is a method of raising up metal threads.  It can consist of one or more layers of felt in a colour that complements the chosen metal: yellow for gold, white or light grey for silver, and brown for copper or bronze.

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Method

To ensure that you have achieved the correct size of felt for your shape, you could place your design on a lightbox, trace it through the felt and then trim it off. Alternatively, you could use a copy of the design to create a template that can then be pinned on to the felt and cut round, or you could use prick and pounce to transfer the design.

Three layers of felt can be built up to create a higher shape.  All layers should be the same shape, but the first layer to be stitched down should be smallest with each subsequent layer being slightly larger.  This is so that the external finish is smooth rather than stepped, which would be the resulting appearance if the largest were stitched down first and the smallest last.

 

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Felt padding method stage 1 photograph
1

Thread a needle with a multipurpose thread in a complementary colour. Use a waste knot or holding stitch to start your thread.

Felt padding method stage 2 photograph
2

Bring your needle up in the fabric and take it down into the edge of your first piece of felt at a slight angle (about 45 degrees to your base fabric), making a small stitch on the top surface of the felt.

Felt padding method stage 3 photograph
3

Stitch around the piece to prevent it from moving whilst you work.  The number of stitches will depend greatly on the size of your felt: as a rough guide, if it is large, leave gaps of about 1.5-2cm; if it is small, reduce the gaps to less than 1cm or even smaller.

Felt padding method stage 4 photograph
4

Go back around your shape, filling in the gaps with more stitches so that they are 2-3mm apart.

Felt padding method stage 5 photograph
5

Once the whole shape is held down, either add the next layer of felt in the same way on top of your first piece of felt, or finish off the thread using two tiny stab stitches on or next to each other, in an area to be covered or slightly under the felt.

Felt padding method stage 6 photograph
6

Add a third layer of felt, following the same method, if required.

Felt padding

Structure of stitch

Common uses

Identifying Felt padding

Usually not seen, felt padding sits underneath metal thread to create a raised effect. Under the metal thread you will identify this padding as layers of felt attached onto the fabric using simple repeated straight stitch.

References

  • Various Authors, The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery (2018) , p.226