After thinking about layering fabric earlier today I decided to get off my backside and give it a go on a very small scale. The pieces are about 4 x 5 inchs, so very small. Thinking I might try and embroider some bits and pieces onto them for detail.
I actually like both the inside and the outside of the pieces, you get effects from both sides if you know what I mean. Almost like a valley and mountain. Not sure yet which I prefer.
Some valley pics:
Here you can get an idea of how small it actually is:
And some mountain pics:
There must be literally hundreds of applications, it's like an over-the-top form of applique and reverse applique. It took a long time (about 45 mins) to get it right so I can imagine that any larger project would be incredibly intense. You could use more layers but I think you would reach a point at which the piece was too thick to lie flat. The mountain reminds me of some of the felt flower pieces you see about, and I like the softer more organic effect.
James actually suggested combining the two ideas, using one piece and designating it the top, then cutting through it for the valleys and adding on top for the mountains. You could in theory create a landscape in 3D with this effect. Just not sure what on earth you would do with something like that once it was complete, there aren't many useful applications for a truely 3D non-washable fabric piece! If only I was at art school...