While writing an article for FELT magazine about how silk carrier rods can be incorporated into felt making, I was inspired to try a few more things. In my previous post I showed how layers, wispy bits and the full carrier rod could be used in a variety of ways.
Thin layers of carrier rod become even more versatile when combined with wool to make pre-felt. They are laid adjacent to one another on a base of wool fibre and felted to form a firm pre-felt. Once the layers of carrier rod are well and truly integrated, it is best to let it dry. The surface is slightly rigid which allows cutting of complex shapes and more control over design elements as a result. Click on photos to see more detail.
Layers of carrier rod
Made into prefelt
Cut to shape
Put on a template
The cut pre-felt shapes or pieces can then be felted into a project in the normal way. Why dry, these additions provide more texture and rigidity than using standard pre-felt. With gauze – cotton or silk – placed under the pre-felt shapes on top of a wool base, the added elements become more defined, creating a halo at the edges.
Precise cutting of prefelt
Prefelt shapes on gauze
Layout with silk and cotton gauze
While I was at it, I put tea lights in my little vessels. There are some distinct possibilities here for lampshades or tea light holders. Light / natural wool works best. Adding the carrier rod pre-felt has great potential for adding texture and creating defined areas.
Silk carrier rods defy the adage that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Turning something that is not particularly attractive in its raw state, to an appealing and interesting embellishment is rather satisfying.
The article appears in FELT issue #18 – Dec 2017 published by Artwear Publications, with 3 pages of photos and details about how to use Silk Carrier Rods. See more on Facebook Follow Felt magazine on facebook for more info about the great articles and projects for feltmakers.
It was the highlight of the week to see my project in print in the June 2017 issue of ‘Felt’. While the title is a bit of a mouthful, it is an accurate description. A little different to more traditional nuno felt projects, this one also includes wool ‘cheese’ (pre-yarn) and sari silk ribbons.
To keep the wrap as light as possible I use Uzbek silk gauze and 18.5 micron merino wool. I did have fun with this one, as I like working with a combination of unusual materials in textiles. I think my felt making is heading that way too!
Initially, I wasn’t sure how this project would turn out, but was curious to see what textures would result from using the contrasting materials. Stripes or checks? As it turns out, chopping up and rearranging the sari ribbon pre-felt creates both effects.
Although all the elements were off-white / ivory, there are interesting colour and pattern variations, depending in what light it is viewed. While ironing the end result gives the wrap a subtle sheen, I also like the exaggerated ‘pebbly’ nuno effect that is created after fulling.
The gallery below gives an indication of the process – click to enlarge photos.
Merino wool 18.5 micron
Laying out the initial prefelt
Sari silk skein
Variations in sari silk ribbons
Sari silk prefelt drying
Cut up sari nuno pre-felt
Sheer silk gauze
2nd phase, before felting
Angled layout of strips
2nd phase of nuno felting
Felting the deconstructed strips on gauze
Fulling in progress
Wrap before ironing
Pebble effect after fulling
With light behind
Distressed silk fibres
Scalloped edge effect
My favourite model!
Deconstructed nuno wrap in Felt Magazine
As a result of this experiment, I was asked to submit an article for ‘Felt’ by the editor Martien van Zuilen. 4 pages of comprehensive instructions for making this deconstructed nuno wrap appears in ‘Felt’ – issue #17. It is pretty special to appear in such a high quality magazine alongside some great felting names which include local and international makers. The magazine contains felt-related articles as well as a variety of projects and lots of visual inspiration.