Monday, September 14, 2009

first nuno felting, first pro-reactive silk dye and a few new critters

This was a weekend of first for me .

Jane from Glorious Hats on Etsy) came down from Bemidji and stayed the weekend . Our friend Eileen joined us for a bit of chatter and some dinner but had to leave before we broke out the dyes . I had previously ordered some dyes from Etsy and some Silk chiffon from Thai silks but was waiting for just the right time to play . Unfortunately, the right time was the night before e were to all go take a nuno felt class at The Fiber Studio in MPLS . It was a bit of rushing to get the silks done in time for class but we did manage to dye them up .

The dying itself was several steps of mixing and experimenting with the colors and I really had no idea what I was doing . I had bought a book but it mostly focused on painting fabrics . Our work space was also limited so we couldn't get the whole 72' scarf on our work table, leading to some dripping . All in all, it did give me an idea of the basics and I will feel more confident next time I break out the dyes .

The following day, we all met at The Fiber Studio for the Nuno felting class . I'll provide a link to Jane's blog when she finishes blogging so you can see the scarf she was working on and her perspective on the experience....

I would say that we both thought the class was very relaxed and well taught and we both plan on playing with more nuno in the future . I think Eileen would concur and hope she will also share a picture of her scarf on her blog (hint, hint Eileen) . We both used a tencil/merino blend for our nuno and were pleased with the results . It added a lot of shine and texture to the scarfs .

The actual process was not as messy as had originally feared but it does take several hours of rolling before we reached a felted texture we liked . I will definitely be working more with wet felting now that I have a better idea of what to do and when I my fingers need a break from the needle poking they endure to make my bags and sculptures .
I added about 4" of just the tincel/merino to the ends of the chiffon to see what it looked like and it turned out surprisingly light but durable so I hope to make some scarves and bags out of just this material, sans chiffon .

I'm still working on learning to make smaller needle felt critters . This shy little rodent is Gilbert and I will be making him his own wet felt rug to stand on....I think I will include either a rug or scarf of wet felt with each of my little critters . I think the contrast of natural animal fibers and brighter wet felting will be a nice contrast
I worked on Theador for about 12 hours yesterday because I wanted to experiment with adding a patch of imitation fur (it's on his back) with the needle felt to see how it works . This will take a bit more practice to develop a method of blending but I think it will work . He still needs a bit of work on his eye lids and a main trim .

The tiny pup was a gift for my BF's birthday because he likes the miniatures....there was a bit of blood lose and swearing involved in his construction...(I poke to hard) but I think he turned out better then my first few I tried .


  1. I love your scarf, the silk dyes worked really well. I love your new critters too!

  2. Thanks Sara, I will definitely be doing more of the wet felting in the near future...not nearly as scary as I had thought and so much faster then the needle felting .

  3. Hi thanks for following my blog I thought I would have a look who Krex was :-D It is difficult to decide when a piece is done all we can do is think of what handling it will have to take in its lifetime and felt accordingly. I have not had much success with felting knitted items but have experimented with wet felting with positive results.
    I love the little dog you have made for your fella he has a nice face.
    I look forward to seeing your future creations :-) Juliet



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