Wednesday, February 27, 2013

First attempt at Nuno felting

Earlier this month I had bought a bag of silk scraps and wanted to try Nuno felting (combining wool roving with silk fabric).

I kind of "winged it" and so the results are not spectacular.  First, I decided to cut silk circles. I did not think the wool roving would be able to penetrate two layers of silk.  I wanted the background to be wrinkled, so I pinned the fabric with wrinkles, outlined around my circles and then cut the background fabric.  (I took the pins out before putting the wool roving down).

I did not find a background fabric in the bag of scraps that would work, so I used Colorhue dyes to dye a piece of white silk orange.  I dried it with a hairdryer, rinsed it with water and a little soap multiple times, and dried it with the hairdryer again. Colorhue dyes are supposed to "instant set" but I must not have gotten all the extra dye out. As you can see, my mainly white circles in the top photo become orange after wet felting (see photo wayyy below).

I put wool roving around the circles,a fairly heavy application. I did a light application of roving over the background as I am looking for that bubbly fabric I have seen with nuno felting.

 The piece is on bubble wrap. I put a piece of tulle mesh over the piece, and I used some soapy water to wet the fibers. I rubbed gently with my fingers, then used my plastic roller to help with the felting

I wrapped it around a pool noodle and rolled and rolled and rolled.  Seriously, and rolled and rolled and rolled. Multiple directions, many times.

The wool around the circles seems felted but it is not penetrating through the silk. I think the silk is too thick a weave to allow the wool to get through. Also, I did not put any wool roving on the backside and that may have helped.

To try to save this piece, I gently rinsed some of the soap out. I am going to let it dry, then I am going to attack it with my felting machine. If I can get the wool fibers to embed in the silk, I may re-wet it and try to full it and get the wrinkly bubbly fabric I am hoping for.

I will try this again, but next time will use silk organza and wool roving on both sides. And maybe watch some more YouTube videos (I watched one when I knew it was not working right and would have at least done roving on both sides had I watched it before jumping in). If anyone has advice, please let me know.

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