For a photo tour click HERE
has arrived and is ready to meet all your feltmaking needs.
***If you are a feltmaker within commuting distance of
time can be scheduled to layout projects in the mill's studio
and then those projects can go directly to the machine to be felted
and fulled in less time than it took to lay out the project.
Machine time will be charged at $40.00 per hour, no charge for studio time.
If you need staff assistance in the studio, staff time will be charged at $25.00 per hour
Minimum charge for machine usage $40.00
(one hour will complete most projects)
***If you are a fiber producer with surplus fiber
or fiber that is too short to market to spinners or to get custom spun into yarn,
the mill staff is here to assist you in developing custom felt yardage from your fibers.
Pricing structure for the
Base fees include, custom layout, felting and fulling to customer specs.
This fee is $20.00 per finished yard of fabric 28-32 inches wide.
Three thickness are currently available:
Thin Laminated Felt
List on your order form weight desired.
Fiber processing will still be charged at the mill's going rates.
For most fibers this is $7.00 per pound based
on incoming straight from the animal weight.
There will be an additional charge of $35.00 per hour
for the layout of custom surface designs.
***If you are interested in working with custom felt yardage
but do not have access to your own fibers, we can create felt yardage
to your specs or you may purchase from the mill's current supply.
The mill's supply is constantly changing so call or visit to see what is available.
Most yardage is 28 to 32 inches wide.
Cost per yard will be based on the cost of making
the fabric, the cost of the fiber used.
Fabrics in inventory will vary
in price from $40.00 per yard for prefelts
up to $100.00 a yard for very thick felts.
Some suggested uses for felted yardage:
Wool quilt batts that are preshrunk
Felt base fabric for needle felting
Yardage for clothing, toys, and fashion accessories
Shoes and boot insoles
Rugs, stadium blankets, saddle pads and blankets
Baby animal and dog coats
Home decor items like pillows, placemats, potholders, and chairpads.
***If you are interested in purchasing the
"Ultimate Felting Machine"
for your mill or studio
contact either Don Evens at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Suzanne Pufpaff at email@example.com
for additional information.
The Story behind the development of the Ultimate Felting Machine
Suzanne Pufpaff has been at it again. She has come up with a new style, felting machine that makes yardage in pieces with a finished width of about 30 inches and up to 6 yards in length. Here is the story behind the development of this new machine.
Its like birthing a child. First you conceive an idea. The idea was to make a machine, which could make felt yardage without having to unload and reload the machine many times and to do it quickly and efficiently. Not asking much, yea, right!
After the idea comes the collecting of information from all kinds of areas.
First- what is currently available:
Flat, vibrating table, felting machines which will make 3 foot by 4 foot sheets of soft felt, very limited.
Rolling felting machines in sizes ranging from 18 inch all the way up to 60 inch working widths. These will make quite a bit of fabric but require multiple reloads in order to get the felt to work down properly. More time is expended loading and unloading the machine than actually making the felt. It is also challenging to get a very hard (fulled) felt off of most of the currently available rolling machines. Also, since each project needs to be loaded and unloaded multiple times while it is wet and heavy, it limits the size of felts most individuals are capable of making.
Hand felting by either rolling or some other very labor-intensive method. The scope possible with hand felting is only limited by the person doing the felting and how much abuse their body can handle, but the amount of abuse the body can handle reduces as the age of the felter increases.
Needle felting either by machine, single needles or multiple needle tools. It is not possible to get a durable felt by just needle felting and again this is a very labor-intensive method with lots of potential for injury. Also, any needle felted product needs to be fulled with a wet felting method before it can be called done, so we are then back to options 1-3.
Second what is available at an industrial level:
In the hat making industry, there is a felting table used where the hat blanks are fed into one end of the machine, go through a series of oscillating rollers and then dump out of the far end of the machine
In the rug making industry, a similar type of machine is used but it is set up on a continuous loop where the needle felted rugs are loaded onto the machine with their ends connected and then left on the machine until they are hard.
Third what was available historically:
Variations on the same things as found in current industry were found in historical sources
None of these ideas was exactly what I was looking for. But all of them contributed to coming up with the final idea.
After a basic idea has been formulated, then there is the issue of funding.
I was fortunate enough to be able to apply for and receive a SARE grant (Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Education). SARE grants are one of the few grants available to for profit organizations, and this particular one was for Farmers and Ranchers to create value added options to their operations. The felting/fulling machine qualified.
Now I have an idea and I have funding. Designing and building the actual machine comes next. This is like the gestation period of a pregnancy. I am not a engineer, I am a fiber artist who uses machines. So I needed to find someone to actually build the machine. The first engineer I contacted was not willing to work with me in a way I needed so I had to find an alternate. The second engineer understood felting but didnt understand the needs of a production machine, though this was not apparent at the beginning of the building process. This lack of understanding of the needs of a production setting along with weather delays, parts delays and other issues keep me on pins and needles most of the winter. (It felt like a very long pregnancy.) The first prototype was supposed to be delivered in December of 2006. It finally arrived the middle of January but did not work. (Premature birth) Modifications did not get installed until the middle of March and after the modifications were added it became apparent that the first prototype was not going to work in anything close to the production needed. (This preemie didnt make it)
This precipitated the building of the second prototype. Now Im working on a very close deadline and need the machine to be up and running before scheduled demonstrations and shows begin. The engineer worked non-stop for three solid weeks and came up with the second machine. I went to Colorado to work on and test this machine and came away feeling that this one would work. It was delivered to the mill on Saturday, April 21st after a very long non-stop trip from Colorado. Saturday was like being in labor all day long. The machine actually arrives at 5:30 PM after being expected around 11 AM. This machine does work to the production standards needed for a small carding mill and fiber arts operation. It gave its first demonstration as scheduled on April 28th to the Michigan Lama Assoc., Sixteen interested individuals saw the machine in operation. It is still a prototype and there are still bugs to be worked out of the design, but felt is being produced at phenomenal rates with very consistent quality.
Unlike any of the other currently available machines, the Ultimate requires one load of dry fiber inside netting to begin the felting process. The fiber is actually wet down after it is loaded onto the machine. It takes between 4 and 6 gallons of water to completely wet down the project. The machine then runs with minimal supervision until the fibers have created felt. The felted fabric is then removed from its net casing while it is being unloaded from the machine. After this has been completed, the fabric is then reloaded onto the machine to be fulled (shrunk) until it is as strong and hard as desired for the particular application the felt is going to be used. The finished felt fabric is then removed from the machine, rinsed, spun out in a washer and hung up to dry. This entire process can be done in less than 2 hours from loose fiber to finished fabric for yardage pieces of five yards or more. There is still a fair amount of labor involved in the creating of the felt, but the quanity and quality of the finished product is much more consistent than is possible on a small scale from any other source.
All are welcome to come and see the machine in operation. Please call first.
Pufpaffs Fiber Processing, 5038 E M79 Hwy,
Nashville, MI 49073