Soap + water + agitation + wool = felt.

The felting process. Wool fibers have tiny scales similar to our hair. The combination of water, soap and agitation causes the wool scales to mesh together forming felt. This process has been used throughout history to make everything from shoes to yurts to car parts. 

There are various stages of felting from soft to hard. If I were felting wool with silk to make scarves I would stop at the medium stage because the material I'm making is meant to wear softly against a person's skin. This project requires the material be hard felted. I know it is hard felted when there is no give when I stretch the felt in either direction. Hard-felted material will form a good canvas for my mark making later.

A sneak peek of a detail of a not-yet-hard-felted panel.

A sneak peek of a detail of a not-yet-hard-felted panel.