Instructables
Picture of Felt Ball Rug
felt ball rug.JPG
feltrug.JPG
I first saw this type of rug in a design magazine, it was called Hay Pinocchio Rug. It was gorgeous the felt balls were made from brightly coloured wool that made them look like gum balls.  I had to have it, but the price tag was ~$1000 Cdn.  I've made a few felt balls before so I figured I can make this type of rug myself. Although the process of making this rug was fairly easy, it took a lot of time; first felting the balls then sewing them together.  When I check the date of the first process pictures I took, I had started in May 2011, so it took me almost a year to put this together.

I decided against using the bright colours that the Pinocchio Rug had because frankly it wouldn't really match the decor in my apartment.  I used mostly shades of brown and white.

Step 1: Stuff you will need

The rug that I made is 55cm  in diameter the felt balls are on average 2cm in diameter. For a rug this size I needed roughly 1lb of wool.  At first I started out buying wool roving on Ebay.  It wasn't too expensive but when you include shipping the costs did add up.  Then I found a local store  that sold wool from which I bought a pound of fleece for $10.  Fleece is a bit harder to felt than roving because you will need to comb it out first.  I also used some fur from my cat and my friend's golden retriever, Toby.  Pet fur felts just as nicely as wool (and cat fur is even softer) as I've shown in one of my previous instructables. Left over scraps of yarn can also be felted, but they must be natural fibers (wool, cotton, bamboo, alpaca etc).

  • Wool, etc
  • Dish soap and water
  • Plastic containers
  • Paper towels
  • Nylon thread and needle
  • Patience and time
 
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feltballrugs10 months ago
Hi,

This is from Nepal. Your rug picture is very good. The color combination is very nice. We have a collection of very beautiful and elegant felt ball rugs in various color combination. We also make custom rugs.  Please visit our store here : www.feltballrugs.com for more details.

TracyBunny1 year ago
You can make coasters this way, too. Just make smaller balls. I like to use unwaxed dental floss because it never breaks: just string the balls on the floss, then sew or felt the balls together once you have a long enough string of them.
ChrysN (author)  TracyBunny1 year ago
Great idea, thanks for the tip.
You're welcome. Your rug is stunning, and I'm amazed at your patience! Your friends and relatives must be very lucky people indeed.
grannyjones2 years ago
I wonder if this would work with raw, unwashed wool.
We're planning a trip through sheep country.
Some farmer could probably welcome a better price for the raw material.
Yes, this will work, but the lanolin in the wool will be nasty because it will attract dirt and dust like crazy! The raw wool will also stink of sheep, so you should soak the wool in soap like Dawn and super-hot water first to draw the lanolin and dirt out. If the wool is clean but still has a sheep smell, you can use Febreeze or something similar to mask the odour.
Maybe a little spray of Ozium?
That's new to me, but whatever works! Thank you for the tip, and I'll look this one up. I use the new unscented Febreeze that either takes the odour away or masks it completely. It leaves it smelling like nothing, which is my goal.
security161 year ago
You could also have a knitted backing and felt the balls to the backing for extra strength
security161 year ago
Yes you can felt raw fleece! just have to make sure it's clean first.
q.piper2 years ago
I love your rug - the natural colors are beautiful!

One caveat, though: not all "natural" fibers will felt. Animal fibers felt when the scales on each hair shaft lock with the scales of its neighbors. But plant-based yarns like cotton and bamboo do not have scales and will not felt.
Also, yarn labelled "superwash" is animal fiber treated to remove the scales so the garment can be machine-washed. By definition, these wools are not supposed to felt.
Just a heads-up :)
ChrysN (author)  q.piper2 years ago
Thanks, that is good to know!
susanrm2 years ago
LOVE the photo with the kitty! I may have to try this. It's lovely, and I have a lot of roving.
sunshiine2 years ago
Wow! Wow! Wow! I love this. I can't decide which one I like the best, they are so pretty. Bet you cat had a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing.
Sunshiine
bajablue2 years ago
This pretty rug looks warm and cozy on the toes!
ChrysN (author)  bajablue2 years ago
Yes it's really soft and cushiony.
Tribbles!!!!!!!!!!!!
ChrysN (author)  sofiadragon19792 years ago
I only wish they multiplied like Tribbles, it would have made this rug a lot easier to make!
LOL, just remember if you feed one they will breed forever.