This is the Pinocchio rug and it retails at between £200 and £2000, depending on what size you prefer. It is gorgeous and I can see why it is so expensive but... it is so expensive!
My other reason for wanting to make my own is so that I can have it just the right colours to go with our slightly more subdued tastes.
Of course I could buy the felt balls, but this could cost between £300 and £500 and I still wouldn't get exactly the colours I want.
These beautiful Nepalese felt beads are on sale on Etsy for £112 for 1000.
After reading around, it would appear that I would need between 4000 and 7000 beads to make a good sized rug (gulp!) So, I'm still on the lookout for the quickest method of making beautiful felt beads.
(... the more I think about, the more I think I might be slightly mad...)
My conclusions so far are that wet felted and needle felted beads take too long. Knitted beads take a lot less time and energy, but it would still take years to make enough beads for a rug.
So onto my next experiment. And the most obvious solution of all... Why didn't I think of it before???
I handspun some merino yarn and then wound it up into lots of balls of equal size. To secure them and to stop them unravelling during the felting process, I just took a tapestry needle and threaded the last 20cm or so through the ball a few times until it felt secure.
I very quickly had lots of little balls that looked like this -
Then I tossed them in a laundry bag and put them through two 40 degree washes (along with a full load of washing. The left ball is just after 1 wash and the right ball is after 2 washes. They were getting smaller and denser, but they still had quite a bit of yarn definition.
Here they are in all their fuzzy loveliness, getting smaller and denser with each process.
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