Friday, 29 May 2009

First Nuno felt

I bought myself a 5 metre length of muslin from ebay, it seemed a cheaper way to experiment than with silk, though I am guessing that the overall effect is not so good, but then I can also have a go at dyeing some lengths. This piece started out about 150cm by 30cm (approximately). I was going to take a photo of it all laid out but forgot, then when I tried to unroll the damp package it threatened to fall apart so I didn't risk it. So I laid an outline in undyed roving, mainly to give it some shape and then added a stripe down the centre with shades of blue and green. I am thinking I put too much on, as the tutorial on Working with felt said to scatter a very fine layer (sorry, you can only access the instructions if you are a member I think). So, basically the instructions are:
  1. add fine layer of roving to your background fabric
  2. damp it down with a spray bottle, warm soapy water (not hot)
  3. smooth over with bubble wrap to ensure it is just damp all over
  4. roll it up with bubble wrap
  5. roll 200 times, turn and roll 200 times the other way (I probably did more than this, took about half an hour ... very dull, have some music on or something.)
  6. check to see if bits of roving have migrated through the fabric (using a dark colour helped here cos you could see it quite obviously), if not then roll some more
  7. part way through I decided to fold over the fluffy bits all around the edge, I had been thinking of just leaving them raggy but was glad I did as it forms a nice neat edging.
  8. when you think the roving is pretty well attached (give it a little tug, it should not all come away from the fabric) put the whole thing in a sink of hot water and swish gently.
  9. squeeze out and rub with some soap
  10. whack off the floor (or table or whatever) 10 times
  11. rinse in hot again, squeeze again, soap again and whack again
  12. it will shrink down pretty fast doing this so stretch it out each time to see how it is coming along, and continue until you have the desired effect or until you get bored
  13. rinse in cold water and hang to dry

Now I really like the 'top' side with the coloured design on it but i think that the idea is to show off the other side that gets this interesting puckered effect, caused by the wool fibres migrating through the fabric and shrinking around it. I certainly can see what the interest is because there is an endless variety of effects you could achieve depending on what fabric you used and how you arrange the roving.

Also made a small felt cover for the camera. It was supposed to be for Dunk's new camera but came out a bit too wide so will use it for the old one which is slightly more chunky. (I really like the colours on this but fear it may be a little too psychedelic for him:-)


  1. i don't understant excatly...did you lay and felt it by hand or did you use the washing machine?
    much effort makes interesting shapes don't you think...

  2. It is all done by hand, but there is no direct rubbing of the wool fibres involved, it is all rolling, and once the wool fibres have bonded with the fabric you basically shock them to shrink them around the fabric fibres. hope this helps.
    much love Martine


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