A Spectacled Bat

This was my next felting project – a spectacled bat.  He is a type of “flying fox” which is a group of old world bats.  The old world has cuter bats than the new world.  And they’re also bigger – at least some of them.  I read somewhere before that 1/4 of the world’s mammal species are bats, and now I’ve read it in one of the bat rescue hospital websites, so I assume that it’s true – an amazing!  I was inspired to do a little research on bats after seeing bats in the dusk sky here several days in a row.

The hardest part of this project was designing the wings.  I ended up taking my first effort apart and redesigning the armature.  It would have been nice to use a more luxurious fabric for the wings, such as silk or silk velvet.  But I ended up using “performance fabric” – a fabric that I assume is for sports clothing – for two reasons.  The first was that it stretches along the selvage, across the selvage, and diagonally.  I thought that the “give” would be necessary in posing and re-posing the wings.  The second reason was that I knew I would be stabbing through it with the felting needle since it is attached to the body all along the sides.  I considered a jersey, but rejected it because I thought it might run if I stabbed it wrong.  And I rejected the silk because it didn’t stretch.

The performance fabric has a subtle sheen which I think is appropriate for the skin covering the wings and, all in all, I’m happy with the choice.

One thing I wish I had done was provide a way to hang him – something that would attach to the armature for strength.  If I make another bat, I’ll have to solve that problem.


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