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!
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.
Felt Adorned – A felt jewellery workshop with Martien van Zuilen
I spent a very pleasant and creative weekend discovering the possibilities of creating felt jewellery and mini sculptural shapes. Martien van Zuilen’s ‘Sculpture and Jewellery on a Precious Scale’ workshop is full of ideas and techniques to make jewellery or components to add to other felting projects. Continue reading “Felt Jewellery and small scale sculpture”