With various opportunities to sell and donate felted wraps and scarves this year, I had a go at techniques I have not tried before. Having dyed around 60 metres of Margilan silk gauze a while back, I had plenty to work with!
Scribbling with wool over Margilan silk gauze creates a very lightweight nuno felt, which is most suitable for our mild winters and occasional cool evenings in summer. With wool laid on one side of aound 3 metres of silk gauze, each side has a different look. The seemingly random placement seems to fit well with the equally random patterning of the dyed silk.
Silk gauze – hand dyed
Closeup Doodle wrap
Closeup white on white
Doodle wrap silk and merino
Nuno doodle wrap white
Hand dyed silk gauze
Closeup doodle nuno
Green doodle wrap
Lightweight nuno felt
Bright but light
Irregular lines for a honeycomb effect
Using a double layer of silk gauze for the frills and covering one side completely with extra fine merino wool roving produces a more substantial wrap. The green one has a frill each side, which is a bit much for my taste. The red one had the frill on one side only, which enables a different look when worn.
Nuno felt wrap frill one side only
Red wrap worn opposite way
Green silk nuno wrap
Deep frills either side
Deconstructed nuno felt
The white scarf is made along the lines of my doubly deconstructed nuno wrap . The main difference is the silk gauze which I used on both sides giving it an overall sheen.
The asymmetrical blue wrap was made deconstructing a soy fibre and superfine merino prefelt and applying it to cotton gauze. It produces a noticeably heavier fabric than silk gauze. Originally white, it was dyed twice – first in an acid dye for the protein fibres, and then in fibre reactive dye for the cotton component. Using slightly different shades of blue, seems to give in an interesting depth.
Silk both sides of wrap
White deconstructed nuno wrap
Closeup deconstructed nuno on cotton gauze
Asymmetrical wrap – merino and cotton, double dyed
A wrap made in a workshop was finally finished properly!
Silk and merino nuno flet texture
I learn something new about wool fibres, layouts, shrinkage rates and edges with every wrap or scarf. Fortunately almost all sold at the Feltwest popup shop a few weeks ago or I would be buried in nuno felt!
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.