I learned how to needle felt a year ago and LOVED it! At the time, the curriculum was sort of "locked in" for the year so I set it aside thinking there may be a time when the art form could be worked into the mix. Enter Harry Potter Unit!
So when I decided upon a Harry Potter unit I was determined to work an owl project into the unit line up. That's when I learned about the "Fuller", one of the WORST jobs of the Middle Ages. The Fuller was a person who processed wool which was one of the most important items of trade in Europe during that time. When wool was woven into cloth the fibers were loose and greasy. The Fuller processed the loose and greasy wool by marching up and down over it for 7-8 hours in a vat of, wait for it.... PEE!!! GROSS! SO Perfect for middle School!
The best part is that the marching in pee process locked the fibers together into a tighter weave and lessened the grease. It was a FELTING PROCESS! So there ya go. An AWESOME historical lesson that makes a lasting impression. Once I showed them the Fuller Video, my students got so grossed out that they totally remembered what the job was, what it entailed and how it connected to history.
Please let me introduce to you a modern day version of the felting process: Needle Felted Owls.