WoolStock & the Legacy of Brigid in wool today

11 March 2023, 11:00am – 2:45pm

Just a heads up that there is a wool event taking place in Newbridge tomorrow, in case you can make it.

Feltmakers Ireland will be there talking about our wool project and the upcoming book. Juliane Gorman will be demonstrating hat making.

Celebration of Sheep, Shepherds and wool learnings from the age of Brigid to now.

Meet exciting wool experts
Exhibition of wool and International Natural art creations from Newfoundland to Newbridge with work by Susaun Furneaux

Information hubs & live Panel of experts sharing their wool journey

11am- 2.45pm Exhibition and meet the makers
12pm -1pm Discover spinning with Séamus Kirwan
1pm – 2.30pm Wool innovation Panel

Fergal Byrne local sheep farmer shares Organic wool innovation his role in a fleece to fashion range
Liam Donoghue will introduce the role of wool in energy saving and RetroFitting
Rachel Tuffy presents the latest wool, 3d innovations and new fashion and industrial applications of wool
Ériu Lionel Mackey and Zoë Daly share their Farm to Yarn story

Fun hat making with Juliane Gorman

Try out crochet with our fun crafters

International and regional wool craft with Susan Stephens-Barimo

News updates from Felt Makers in Ireland

Wool garments crafters together with repair station with our Ukrainian friends as we weave a Circular Economy community

All welcome to explore wool and its role in the world


Newbridge Town Hall Main Street Newbridge Co. Kildare W12 C652


Sunday Sessions 06/11/22 & 04/12/22 & Upcoming Exhibitions

Sunday Session  November 6th 2022 in the CIE Social Club Inchicore!

On Sunday 6th November Feltmakers Ireland Committee and 25 members took part in a `hands-on` practical Feltmaking session. There was great excitement, as a Nationwide film team was coming to film our efforts and interview some key members of our Feltmakers Ireland community. 

The session was led by Tamzen Lundy, a former Committee member. She had designed a really charming Christmas project for us, a felted Nordic style Santa Claus in 3D. You can use the Santa Claus as a tree decoration, as a bottle topper, or as a stand alone ornament.

Feltmaking is a craft that allows you to easily produce items in 3D without any sewing at all. The committee had prepared a kit bag for each participant, containing all we required for this session.

Tamzen then took us all very clearly through the process, which involved laying merino wool in 3 alternate layers on a triangular shaped resist. 

For Santa’s face, Tamzen showed us 2 ways of making and attaching a felt nose,(a felt bead, cut in two) by fluffing it up with a wire (or pet) brush, then had an ingenious method of using a small piece of prefelt (sometimes called Needlepunch) to create the face, and then cutting a teeny hole in the prefelt to reveal the nose. Later we would use needle felting to add eyes and beard. 

The main learning points I took from Tamzen`s were: 

  • To use no soap in your wetting down process, (and generally very little soap overall) a bit controversial for me as soap tends to be my `comfort blanket`. 
  • No rolling, (not a roller in sight! ), use bubblewrap as a rubbing tool , and generally keep on rubbing, and massaging with your bare hands, or bubblewrap, on the surface of your piece until any sign of `cellulite` is gone! (Of course that meant that a big discussion on what cellulite was, ensued!) 

At the end of the very happy and enjoyable session, it was really interesting how all the Santas looked very individual,  taking on their own personalities! 

While we participants were concentrating on our project, RTE`S Nationwide crew were filming a wonderful and  varied display of members’ work at the end of the room. They interviewed Deirdre Crofts from our Committee, who spoke of the different pieces on display and explained the different felting skills.

Founding member of Feltmakers Ireland, Elizabeth Bonnar was interviewed about our  Guild’s history in Ireland. Also interviewed was Astrid Tomrop-Hofman another important person who helped bring felt making to Ireland.

Our current research project on Irish breeds of sheep and their fleeces, was explained to Nationwide interviewer Zainab, by the leader of the research group, our Treasurer, Annika Berglund. The group hopes to publish a book in the near future with their findings.

Fiona Leech and Deirdre Croft told of our monthly Sunday Sessions,  and of our Annual Art Felt Exhibition. 

Zainab, interviewer, had her first go at Feltmaking!

For me, a member for many years, and formerly on committee, it was lovely to see old felting friends, like Helene Dooley, who has been working with the IFA , (the International Feltmakers Association, with which we are affiliated .) 

Session  leader, Tamzen, was interviewed, as she has turned her feltimaking into a successful business, and has an Etsy shop, Tamzenlundydesigns.

A very big thank you to Breda Fay, our Guild Chairperson, who was the person RTE contacted, and who made the film crew so welcome. Thanks to Lorna Cady, Committee member, who secured our venue, and to all our Committee members  who baked tasty goodies, and  made tea and coffee for us all, and made us all so welcome.

Clodagh Mac Donagh.


  • Our Feltmakers Ireland Annual Exhibition will open on Dec3rd in the Ashtown visitor Centre, in the Phoenix Park and will run for the whole of December
  • From 12th November until 23rd of December, Tamzen Lundy has an exhibition of her work at the Newbridge Arts Theatre Centre, Riverbank, Co. Kildare.


venue: CIE sports hall, Inchicore

time : 10.15-12.30

Leader: Carmen Draghici,  coming specially from Constanza in southern Romania for the weekend. Her work can be viewed online at FELT JOY and on Facebook & You Tube. She has an ETSY shop and she will bring some of her work to show us.

She will demonstrate some of her unique skills, making a small Christmas Cushion (as time is so limited )

It will be practical session. Some kits may be available to purchase (€4) for those who have materials (old towel, soap, bubble wrap etc) needed to felt with Carmen.

Materials needed:  (exactly as last session)

Old towel, bubble wrap, resist, soap, and water bottle, needed.

70 grams red roving, embellishments (including, if you have any, old lace or finest crochet) 

All members are welcome. 

Tea coffee and Xmas goodies for all!

(Non-members also welcome €10)

Feltmakers Ireland AGM 15/05/2022

Hi all,

Just a reminder that it’s AGM time of year again and this year we’ll be together after two years of zoom.
It’ll be instead of the Sunday Session on the 15th MAY.

We’ve a new venue too , thanks to Lorna Cady, which we hope may become our other new home.

It is the CIE Sports and Social Clubhouse in Inchicore.
1 Library Square, also known as West Terrace but more importantly the postcode is D08 PA07.
I’ll forward the link on google maps closer to the date.

Dublin Bus from town : 40 and 79

Below is the outline of the running order for the meeting to start promptly at 10.30am with the usual reports and addresses from the committee members. Two guest speakers will share a little about themselves and their practices followed by coffee and refreshments, chat and a “Lucky Dip”.
We will aim to move swiftly through official business to have more time for the social bit. Because let’s face it, we’re really good at that bit and we’ve really missed it.

We are asking everyone , who might like to, to bring a small secret parcel of felting materials ( fibre, fabrics, embellishments etc..) max €5- €10ish to be a surprise lucky dip! Anybody who brings a bag gets to receive a lucky dip bag, but there is no obligation to participate.

We’d also like to suggest that everyone bring cake, buns or whatever as is normally done for the AGM. There’ll be plenty of tea and coffee.

You must be a member to attend, but you can renew your membership at the door if you have not joined already.

Finally, if there is anything that you’d would like added to the agenda it must be sent to the Secretary by 5th May. That’s 10 days before the meeting as is written in the constitution.

See you there!

Feltmakers Ireland Wool research project

As you know, Feltmakers Ireland started a wool research project in Spring last year, with funding from the Crafts Council. It was meant to wrapped up by now with a launch and the publication of a book.

The project got delayed by the loss of our studio and various lockdowns last year, but we see this as an opportunity to widen the scope of the project. We only got started looking for wool mid to end of the summer last year, and although we were very successful in sourcing many breeds, some farmers told us we should be asking around shearing time.

For these reasons we have rolled over the project, and are actively looking for more wool breeds to test.

We are also in the position to accept new testers to the project. If you want to participate you will need to be able to devote a couple of hours a week for about a month, maybe two to do flat wet felting, 3D wet felting and/or needle felting. This is a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with different wool types from sheep bred in Ireland. We will supply wool and a test sheet to be filled out. Enquiries to be sent to hello@feltmakersireland.com.

These are the breeds we have been testing so far:

BFL ram X Scott Mt ewes
Bleu du Maine
Clun Forest
Hampshire Downes
Kerry Hill
Scotch Blackface
Valais Blacknose

And new breeds coming soon (we hope):

Roscommon Lamb, Soay, Portland, Vendeen, badgerfaced texel, Ile de France

Dutch Spotted Lamb
Castlemilk Moorit (only 2 flocks in Ireland)
Charolais Ram X Llyn ewe = lambswool shorn early

If you know of any source for wool from other breeds reared in ireland, please get in touch.

Happy felting,

GANS Opportunity to collaborate with a fashion designer – deadline extended to 12/03/2022

This exciting opportunity is still available for the next week. Carmen Garcia has kindly offered to share her experience in just such a collaboration to give us an idea on how it may work. Her report can be found below.

This scheme will run from the end of March to August.

It has come to our notice that the form to apply for this collaboration has to be filled out by our GANS representative, so if you want to apply, please send an email to Annika Berglund, one of our two reps, and she will facilitate the application. Her email is annika@annikaberglund.com.

This is Carmen’s report and a photo of the beautiful result of their cooperation:

In 2019 I took part in a cooperation project between The Council of Irish Fashion Designers and The Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. 

The idea of these cooperation projects is to randomly pair a designer and a craft maker to produce a design working together. I was paired with the talented designer Charlotte Lucas.

We designed a wedding dress with hat inspired by Balenciaga. We mixed the fluidity of Charlotte’s style with the rigidity of the felt.

We found our common ground, what we shared in our approach to design, and we both moved towards the other. It was a very interesting experience. 

We felt stretched in our approach to the design, and found the limitations in the process were stimulating for the creative process and both were very happy with the result. 

I totally recommend the experience to any Feltmaker that might be considering it. 

Feltmakers Ireland @ Irish Showcase 2022

The guild of Feltmakers Ireland was invited to take part in SHOWCASE IRELAND 2022 to demonstrate the craft of feltmaking.

Showcase Ireland, Ireland’s Creative Expo ® is one of the country’s largest international trade shows. Over 4,000 buyers visit the event from across the world,

This year we were asked to participate with only a week’s notice, which was pretty tight but we managed to rise to the challenge of showing what felting is about over the 4 days of this event.

It was a great opportunity to tell people about the guild of Feltmakers Ireland and we hope that we have opened the door to future opportunities for those in our guild who sell their work in larger quantities to participate in this event in the future.

There were many interested people who stopped and enquired about our guild, about the felt making process  and the felt pieces that were on display. Each day our stand changed what pieces were shown depending on what maker was demonstrating.

Our contact in DCCI was very happy that we managed to pull this off with so very little preparation. Given the positive feedback our stand generated she was hopeful  that we can do this again in future years, hopefully with more advance notice.

Feltmakers Ireland would welcome the opportunity to do this again. With more notice we would be able to  have  time to advertise beforehand on social media  and on our blog.

We would also open the space, and the manning of the stand, to all our members, hoping that as many as possible of our members who sell their work could take part and be able to share their creations with the retail sector.

We think this could be a great showcase of the talents of our members and the possibilities of making quality products using felt.

GANS newsletter with opportunity to collaborate with fashion designers.

GANS (Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies) latest newsletter:

Of special note is the following. The dead line is very close, but all you need is to express an interest. Further details will follow.

CIFD / GANS Collaboration Project 2022 – 3rd March for expression of interest – Expression of interest are being sought from DCCI GANS to take part in the Council of Irish Fashion Designers and Guilds Associations Network & Societies (GANS) collaboration project. This is an opportunity for all GANS that are interested in exploring the potential of working with fashion designers to create interesting collaborations. Form to be completed by 3rd March https://www.cognitoforms.com/DesignCraftsCouncilOfIreland1/ExpressionOfInterestCIFDGANSCollaborationProject launch will takes place by zoom on Friday March 4th 12.15 pm to 12.45pm


‘Contemporary Dancer’ – Felt workshop attended by Doris Reinisch, winner of Feltmakers Ireland’s bursary 2021 – report by Doris Reinisch

First of all, I would like to thank the Feltmakers Ireland for the generous Prize of 200 Euros that I have won in a prize draw after renewing my membership for 2021.
The prize money was contributing towards a felting workshop of my choice throughout the year 2021.

At the beginning of October 2021, I participated in a six week long virtual online 3D felting workshop called ‘Contemporary Dancer’ by Molly Williams.
The weekly course material was accessible via an online platform ‘ruzuku.com’.
Each weekly module was accessible with video instructions and the group of participants also had a Zoom meeting with Molly. We were able to discuss our projects, tips and tricks, and how to overcome difficulties throughout the different stages of completing the contemporary dancer sculpture.
The course was directed towards advanced skilled felters and the instructions were very clear and easy to follow.
It began with looking at the human form and drawing of the body in different shapes and movements. As we progressed towards selecting the movement and shape of the contemporary dancer, we were working with a sketch book to generate ideas.

After deciding on the dancer position, we created the skeleton (50cm tall) of the body form with a strong wire. When the skeleton was ready, we added a tissue layer by covering the wire with a light wooly material strips as a felting starting point. We applied layers of felt wool to build up tissue and muscle of the body form.
This technique was an interesting experience for me, as we were applying the wool in a similar way as to working with clay. As soon as we were happy with the shape we created the skin by preparing a colourful and textured strong pre-felt. The skin was applied to the body where my sewing skills came in very useful.

The next step was to wet-felt the whole dancer more intensely until the skin was felted on to the felted layer below. It was important to achieve a more solid final shape. After a few days, the felt sculpture was dry enough and the head was decorated with my prepared felted piece.
Finally, my contemporary dancer sculpture was ready to be attached to my wooden platform for display.

I had a lot of fun creating the sculpture, even if there were a good few challenges to master.
The workshop in general was well set up and the host was very helpful and supportive.
It was a great opportunity for learning and exchanging my felting experience with other experienced felters from abroad during the workshop in the zoom meetings and through online chatting on the course platform.
Participating in this workshop opened up a new perspective on using the felt technique for 3D sculpting, and it was new experience for me to participate at a felt workshop online.
Not just the outcome of my final sculpture, but also the journey involved was very enjoyable.
I thought I’d share a little insight about my participation at the contemporary dancer workshop with you.
If you have any questions I am here for you and you can contact me by email: dorisreinisch@yahoo.com.
Many thanks to you all.
Best regards,

Feltmakers Ireland would like to thank Doris for her lovely report and gratulate her for a brilliant result from the course.

We will raffle another bursary in the next month or two, so make sure to renew your membership in time to be in with a chance!

GANS meeting 8/12/2021

In brief:

GANS (Guilds, Associations, Networks and societies) welcomed four new members to the board. Annika and Deirdre new reps from Feltmakers Ireland.

Brian Mc Gee said they are organising, Showcase for the RDS 27th Feb 2022 for 4 days.

Sarah Daly gave a presentation on” Creative Spark”, Dundalk, Co. Louth. A facility for artists of all skills facilitating 40 businesses.  If anyone is interested in a two or three month residency, they have facilities for print, ceramics and glass fusing.

Frances Crowe from Roscommon was explaining about the International Fibre Festival going ahead 28th April – May 2022.

Maeve Murphy was talking about an international project linked with Turkey. euproject@turkiyetasarimvakfi.org  Open call for designers of all disciplines 24/01/2022 deadline.

The National Museum was looking for artists of all disciplines to show an interest in an interactive 

Display for children 3-12 years of craft in the museum.  hbeaumont@mymuseum.ie or adunne@mymuseum.ie

Suzy O’Keefe congratulated everyone on the Made Local campaign.

Colour Our World – Feltmakers Ireland Exhibition

One week done but there are still 3 weeks to get to the Phoenix Park to to see our wonderful work in the flesh. All the exhibits look amazing against the rough stone walls of the Visitor’s Centre’s gallery space. Deirdre Crofts and her team did a fantastic job, meticulously spacing and hanging each piece, creating a top class exhibition. She’s probably still dreaming about measurements!

Here is the slideshow put together by Ramona Farrelly of everyone’s pieces. You might just fancy another wee look on a Monday morning.