Tag Archives: felting

my new “around the world” archive page


I have just added a new page – have a look!

all the relevant posts that have been published are listed in date order

clustrmap july

An Archive of Posts from Around the World

I have readers all over the world – how do I know? – because WordPress has a very good stats system and I can see where you all come from!  It always amazes me how you find me!

In addition, when its working, the ClustrMap widget gives me even more information – for example in the period from 31 March – 20 July there were 968 US visitors and only 659 visitors from the UK!

Other visitors came from almost every country around the world – including, in no particular order-  Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Kuwait, Thailand, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Russia, China, Japan and every country in Europe.

If you want to check this, the widget is at the very end of the “blog roll” on the right hand side of this page.  Just click on it!

You can also get for your own blog – just follow the instructions given on their site.

I occasionally post articles I find about crafting subjects from countries around the world and thought it might be useful to create a special archive page to collect them together for you.

NB;  I SELL AROUND THE WORLD TOO!  You can find me on these sites – julz craft supplies on etsy –julzcraftsupplies on ebay and julzweaving on ebay.  You are also welcome to BUY DIRECT – PLEASE CONTACT ME through this blog by clicking on the red links in this paragraph!

Handmade Felt Transforms Lives in Nepal


logo  This article was published on 14 May on the Cloth Roads blog 

I thought you might like to read it as its very topical

This is a story of transformation that began before the earth shook Nepal twice in a few weeks, when women artisans were transforming scraps of saris, silk, and wool through a hand, wet-felting process into fashionable, felted art-to-wear scarves for the U.S.-based company, The Red Sari. It’s a story of what women can co-create when a vision is shared, changing lives of isolation and financial insecurity to ones of enhanced self-worth, status, and independence.

Taking a Leap 
Sometimes it’s best not knowing something. This is how Julie West felt when leaving a career in healthcare to pursue graduate school at the University of Arkansas, Clinton School of Public Service. It was while working on an international public service project in Nepal, when she became inspired by the country and its artisans.

Julie remembers, “I returned to Nepal after graduation for a four-month stay, working side-by-side with the women artisans in the Kathmandu Valley. It was through a collaborative process of testing, failing, and testing again that we designed our signature product, the felted vintage sari scarf. After that, we continued to collaborate on many other products.  In the fall of 2009, I launched The Red Sari.” Prior to working with Julie, this artisan group of fifty women did outsource work for many people so they’re thrilled to be working with only her, being paid a fair trade, living wage.






Returning to Nepal at least annually, Julie works directly with the women on product development. When she’s not there, she’ll send photos or sketches and the women will riff off of them or come up with designs on their own. Making felted scarves is a time-consuming process of bonding fabric with fiber, one which requires hand scrubbing, rubbing, and rinsing layers of materials with hot, soapy water until disparate elements transform into one colorfully rich scarf.  The use of repurposed old saris is really important for the environment as well as using natural material. And while some products veer away from the old saris, the artisanry and uniqueness of the products make a fashionable statement.

Why Red

In the Nepalese culture, the color red is both auspicious as well as a symbol of transformation. It’s a color in constant view of daily life. From the painting of household portals to applying a tika (a red dot) to a married woman’s forehead, red conveys protection, purity, dignity, and honor. For women, the wearing of red begins at marriage, an outward symbol conveying their cherished status, and ceases upon the death of a husband, no longer cherished but abandoned to the restrictive life of widowhood.

A married Nepali woman wearing red sari, vermillion hair stripe, and tika dot (red nails too.)

A married Nepali woman wearing red sari, vermillion hair stripe, and tika dot.

Widows are many, having lost husbands during the ten-year civil war which ended in 2006. And now, with lucrative industries beckoning able-bodied men elsewhere, both widowed and married women are carrying on the work of family and community. Constitutional changes are beginning to address long-needed provisions for widows.

Shortly before the first earthquake, Julie was working on a humanitarian project of establishing a short-term living and training center for women in transition. The center would offer basic education in reading and math, to teaching skills such as machine sewing and hand embroidery. The training would prepare them for living on their own. This project is now on hold due to the earthquakes.

Triaging From a Distance

The felting group couldn’t be reached for three days after the first earthquake. Julie’s on-the-ground coordinator, Bishnu, skypes with her regularly and she finally heard from him, learning that her group was fine, although some of their village housing wasn’t.

Julie said, “We had just gotten the factory back into full production and felt like we were doing really well until the second earthquake hit. The factory was hit this time–the pillars cracked and the aftershocks will continue. The factory is shuttered until engineers can assess the safety.  This work is the only livelihood for over 50 women and families.  The rebuilding and recovery phase is long. Everyone is looking for space, and the monsoon season is coming soon.” But Bishnu assures her that temporary space is being set up and things will move forward. Julie says a common saying is, “Don’t quit us. We’ll figure this out.” Her response is, “Why would I quit? This is a partnership and we’ll work together to figure it out.”

What You Can Do 

Can you help rebuild The Red Sari factory and help fund the costs of lost wages for the women and their families and the price tag associated with relocation? The link to The Red Sari’s crowdfunding campaign is www.gofundme.com/theredsari. No donation is too small. It all adds up.

Thanks to Julie West for providing information and images for this blog. But most of all, for her efforts to not quit. Pass it on. 

M is for Merino Wool


MThanks to the A-Z challenge, I would never have known what a merino sheep looked like if I hadn’t needed to write about something beginning with M!

Merino wool is the most popular wool fibre used by spinners, as it is consistently good quality.  The sheep are bred from an original Portuguese strain, and are mostly farmed in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

This is short video made for the WoolMark Company following a “single piece of fleece in pursuit of its family. From the shearing sheds of the Australian outback, to the ancient weaving mills of Yorkshire, discover how modern technologies and age-old techniques combine to transform fleece into fashion.”



pure white merino wool fibres for spinning - otherwise known as 'tops' or 'roving'

pure white merino wool fibres for spinning – otherwise known as ‘tops’ or ‘roving’

Of course, I sell merino wool fibres for spinning, you can find my listing both HERE on etsy and HERE on ebay – both listings are current at the time of writing, but may not be current if you are reading this a few weeks from now, altho’ they will be relisted.

creamy white merino pre-felt

creamy white merino pre-felt

I also sell some beautiful white and black pure merino pre-felt, which can be used for felting projects, both for pictures and 3-D items like hats.


Merino wool is becoming very fashionable for sports clothing, as it holds the moisture without being uncomfortable, and at the same time provides insulation for cold weather.  I have nothing to do with the Woolpower company, but I was impressed that they gave a full page over to talking about Merino Wool, so if you want to learn more, this is their link – and for more technical information on merino wool this is the wikipedia link.


Gallery post: some of the stuff I sell


dec cal pic


Today’s assignment on the  blogging101 course was to try out a different kind of post, and I have been intending  to put together a page that shows the type of stuff I stock, for spinners, weavers, felters, knitter, quilters and other crafters – so, why not use the exercise for this purpose!  This is the first Gallery I have ever put together and its rather random in nature, I could have put them together in categories, but, I haven’t – not this time.  I also intended to link the listings on etsy and ebay to each picture – but not this time. If you want to browse the listings, click on the personal links underneath my photo on the right hand side. If you want to buy direct see this page, if you want more information on anything contact me here!

If you want to buy anything, please do, smile, I  sell worldwide.  To see the captions and find out what the fibres are,  just hover over them.  I think it turns into a slide show if you click on any of the images.

SORRY – I haven’t been keeping this blog up, but I’m back selling again!


I have been having a break, and have not been well – but I’m now up and running again, altho not yet at full steam.

For those of you on my mailing list I will be sending out a NEWZ FROM JULZ email in the next week. (If you’re not on the mailing list, just send me a message at julz@julzweaving.plus.com, and I’ll add you to it.)

In the meantime, if anyone would like to join the Show & Tell, and feature your work or ask other readers for information on techniques etc, I will be very happy to put something up for you on this blog – just get in touch, (julz@julzweaving.plus.com) and hopefully I’ll be hearing from you soon.

Currently I have limited listings on:

ebay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/julzweaving/m.html?item=121458128910&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/julzcraftsupplies?ref=hdr_shop_menu

all the best




I love silk, and you might have noticed that I have got a stock of silks, either as fibres or yarns, and have just added some silk lap to the mix (trying it on ebay first – see links to my pages under the photo)

WHITE SILK LAP  Silk lap is strange stuff, its part fabric and can be used as wadding if you are making something from silk material that will benefit from the use of something quite so expensive – I have a small roll of white silk laps that I am selling as wadding  – but can also be used for felting & spinning.  It will be hand cut from the roll in aprrox 12″ squares.  You can use my landscape dyes to dye it too!

I also have some beautiful pieces that have been dyed in absolutely luscious colours, which I am selling as 5″ squares – no square will be exactly the same, and can be used to make pictures with, added to a felting project, or will make amazing silk yarn if you want to tease out the fibres for spinning. (apologies for the picture layout, I can’t seem to get them where I intend them to be!)




New stock includes some degummed white silk throwsters waste, which can still be used for paper making, will the addition of a glue, and will also add lovely effects to felting pieces.  The silk noils have always been popular and I am running out of the tussah silk noil, so it is presently only on etsy, but I plenty of the cream mulberry silk boil.

white sari silk  yellow sari silkAs for silk yarns, I have some new white recycled sari silk hanks, and still have some of the yellow hanks  – I sold out of the green and multicoloured hanks a while ago and am not sure whether to buy any more in – please let me know if you’d like some!  I also have a few cones of various different silks – see etsy for those.

silk-hankiesI recently restocked with the white silk “hankies”, which have been hugely popular, altho’ sometimes customers have not read the full information and think they are buying handkerchiefs – smile – these are literally hemmed squares of unrolled silk cocoons – how they hem them I don’t know – and altho’ I sell them in lots of 15, they are very difficult to count – but even more difficult to weigh – so I usually end up adding more in to make sure you have at least 15 in your bundle.

The SHOW & TELL feature – see last two postings – will run until the end of June, although I am always happy to showcase customers work, and I’d love more of  you to add pictures of your work, or related projects, or even work in progress!  So if you have been feeling shy, please don’t be, and if you keep meaning to take some pictures – please do and send them in – smile!

We are finally having some nice weather, as I predicted, so hope you all make the most of it – who knows how long it will last?

All the best

julz signature