I’m not in town for Unique LA’s spring show this weekend, but wanted to turn you onto Delica, wool-felted accessories and home décor items made with 100% merino wool. I fell for Yuni Lim’s designs at December’s Unique LA event and bought one little thing, which immediately turned into my circling back for three more holiday gifts. Her background in architecture gives her pieces an added twist. You can catch her at today’s event to understand my addiction or online at Etsy or Supermarket. She was nice enough to answer my questions – and to provide a gift for one lucky reader.
How was Delica born? Delica was born during the 2009 recession, when the hundreds of resumes to architecture offices came back unanswered. I always liked to make things with my hands, such as jewelry, cards, etc. I had just come back from working in Seoul, and during my last few weeks in Seoul, I took a wet felting class at a local felt café. Felting was more exciting than I imagined, and so I brought back all my supplies and bags of wool in my carry-on trunk. Back at home in California, while looking for jobs and applying to school, I started making small felted pieces for myself. Then I remembered a site called Etsy that my friend told me about few years ago, and started to list piece by piece on Etsy. One sale led to another, and I branched out to trying more ideas I had, expanded color options, and it’s been a fun and a great learning experience.
What is your process for felting wool? I like to work with very soft merino wool. It’s fun and easy to work with, and the finished felted work comes out smooth and soft (which feels great against the skin). I use the wet-felting technique to create all my felted pieces. It involves using hot water and soap (I use organic olive oil soap – easier on my hands and also good for the wool), and agitating the criss-crossed wool fibers with the right amount of pressure to start felting the fibers. When the fibers are tightly felted and become a solid piece of felted wool, then I rinse each piece and dry them out in the sun. During the final stage, I trim all excessive fuzzy wool strands and slightly iron each piece for the perfect touch.
What’s next for Delica? April show! Currently I’m working on more accessory and jewelry items, and also hoping to introduce a hand-dyed organic wool line. I will start experimenting with the hand-dye process of the organic wool this week! This is the first time I will be doing dye-work, and I hope I can get the colors I want. Check back the Delica Etsy shop for new organic wool jewelry in the next few weeks.
Anything else you want the readers to know? Feltmaking is a very old process and is still practiced in Central Asia (felt rugs, tents, clothing). I like the idea of taking this old process and translating it into a modern, minimalist design. I think felting is also a great way to spend time with children and learn about colors, texture, and hand crafts.
SUNDAY GIVEAWAY: Delica is giving away a lavender filled pebble set in olive to a lucky reader! Just post a comment by midnight pst on monday and I’ll choose a winner randomly to announce on Tuesday. Thanks to Yuni for the gift and Q&A! You can follow her news on facebook or Delica’s blog.