Elina Saari :: Artist and Teacher

Updated: Nov 4, 2021


Finnish fibre artist Elina Saari will be instructing two workshops: Felt Fantasy Explosion and Adjustable Hats at the upcoming Canadian Felt Symposium in Fall 2018.


Elina has worked with felt for twenty-five years and still loves it. She has given lectures, fashion shows, workshops and participated in design fairs around the world. “It’s incredible how felt unites people globally”, she says. “I’m very grateful for having met so many felt enthusiasts along the way and look forward my trip to Canada!”


She credits felt making with unleashing her creativity in a manner that no other media had ever done before. Her method of working, she says is “Trial and error.” And she believes this just might be her forte has a teacher.” I must have made all the possible mistakes during my felt journey, the everlasting battle of wills with wool, but now I can help my students to avoid making the same errors.”


Over the years, her tutoring methods have been described as colourful, entertaining and uncompromising. The passion she feels for felting by hand is clear in all her undertakings.

In her own work, Elina uses wool in every way imaginable: hand felted, fulled, sewn, crocheted, knitted, tied, industrially made felt etc. Her techniques vary according to products and best final results. She always dyes her material herself.


In 1999 she created Felt Faction with Aki Leppänen. Together they often worked throughout the night and day with dye pots boiling out on the back yard and using the sauna to dry their felt hats. Elini says, ” there is wool and felt stored everywhere in their home.” In the early days of the company she focused on unique hats and wall textiles, nowadays she felts almost anything. She felts in her sauna. She says the long lonely nights felting in the heat keeps her humble and helps to incubate ideas.


These days Elina’s hats, accessories, wall textiles, bags, jewellery  journey to exhibitions, trade fairs or retail outlets all around the world. It’s important to Elina’s that her creations are both functional and individual as well as funky and amusing.


Today Felt Faction not only offers Elina’s beautiful one of a kind creations but top of the line materials which are as unique as Elina’s own products. She develops and tests most of the materials herself so that she can truly say that they very extremely functional.

Elina will be teaching two workshops at the symposium for felt :: feutre canada.


Felt Fantasy Explosion 

This is a 3 day intensive exploratory workshop focusing on the creation of 3-dimensional hats making using Elina’s unique methods. The goal is to make 3 hats. In order to do this Elina says participants must be prepared work hard and have a good sense of humour. Things will kick off with learning how to make hats with horns, antlers, and super-funky flaps that participants will later learn to manipulate to change the look of the design.


Participants will also play with Elina’s special needle felts and create hats that would otherwise be impossible to make. The second hat will be more demanding than the first. For their third hat, participants will follow their own sketch utilizing the techniques learned.


Elina says, “This course will require some felt making experience, devotion and a good sense of humour! You’ll be exhausted but very happy!”


Elina´s special needle felts ”Jääkarhu” and ”Ohukainen” will be available for sale in both uniquely dyed and plain colors.

October 1, 2, & 3, 2018

Adjustable Hats 

Join Elina on a 2-day workshop to create unique, playful hats that are adjustable in size. During this course participants can create 1 or 2 adjustable hats depending on their desires, creativity and energy level. There’s no need to be an experienced feltmaker to participate in this workshop. The most important thing to take with you is a good “I can do it” attitude and an open mind.


Participants will be using Elina`s special needlefelts designed to boost creativity. Hat making has never been so full of possibilities.

October 4 & 5, 2018

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