Saturday, May 08, 2010

Nuno Felt

I spent today in a nuno felting workshop taught by Lisa Minter. She was smitten by the bug a number of years ago, flew to a workshop in the south, I want to say Tennessee?, taught by a Scandinavian woman.
Before lunch we felted three 10 x 10 inch squares of different weights of silk. She is explaining with her sample how thin we must make our bits of wool and how the direction we lay our wisps will affect how the felt shrinks: sideways will make it more narrow, lengthwise will reduce the length. I love the felted bits of her hair ornament.
There are 14 of us and at this point we're trying to get familiar with the technique. After three samples, it begins to feel not so alien. We measure our finished sizes so we can know the shrinkage rate with each type of silk. Lisa brought and modeled several garments that she has made - jaw droppingly awesome. Knowing the rate of shrinkage is mandatory for a project like that.
After lunch we moved on to our silk hanky sample and then our scarves. This is Jen's and you can see that how you lay the wool on the back will affect how the silk is drawn in. The silk doesn't felt - the wool does. The wool is drawn into the silk through the process and creates the puckering. You must felt with cold soapy water or the meshing won't occur.
This is the right side of the sample. Jen was pleased enough that she continued this layout for her scarf. I wish I would have taken detailed photos of each project because each one was different. The combination of colors and texture are spectacular here.
This is the size of a scarf at birth - 12 x 60 inches. Lisa dyed these Habotai scarves and rovings in advance so you can see that part of the result comes from the dye pot. I didn't experiment with layout on my first scarf. I'm of the opinion that first you have to cook the recipe before you know how to alter it.

This is my scarf after all the steps we took to get the wool to adhere to the silk and then to abuse the wool into shrinkage.

I don't know if you can see the difference here, but Lisa came by my table and said that we needed to pull out the ruffles. We tugged all the edges until the silk was freed with the wool, which creates this lacy effect and kind of gives it a finished look.

I didn't get a very good representation of my finished scarf but I'm too tired to get up and take another one. The scarf weighs next to nothing and is going to be a pleasure to wear. I can't say that about all my scarves. I'm taken by the possibilities of nuno felt and want to try more of it.


Michelle said...

Very cool. One of the other bloggers I follow - Becky Utecht? - does nuno felting; it is so elegant.

Mim said...

OH beautiful!! Can't wait to see it.

marion said...

Nice scarf and beautiful colour. THank you for your comment on my jewelryblog about the pink scarf. I'll organise something like that here in The Netherlands too.
Do you have a website adres with some more info for me? Thank you.

ps; I can't wait to see more nuno scarfs :-)

vlb5757 said...

I love all the new things that you have learned. I am going to try my hand at dying as soon as I find a used crockpot. I want to try that kind of dying first to see it goes. The scarf is really very beautiful. You did a great job.

Leigh said...

I get behind on my blog reading and look at all the great things going on over here! We just had a program on Nuno felt at our April guild meeting. Such wonderful things can be done with it. I love the way your scarf turned out.

beadlizard said...


Minya said...

Ohhh that would make some really nifty belly dance doo-dads. I'm just sayin...