Tuesday, February 8, 2011

nuno felting smocks with cotton and silk...or...Did a clown throw-up?

 Ok, I know this is probably a color over load for some people, but I haven't really learned the art of "minimalism" . No Zen here....just clowns ; ) and fiber and more experiments with felting . The above picture is a dense silk fabric with metallic edging and merino and lots of silk felted into it .

There's a story...(there's always a story.) For years I would haunt thrift stores and buy every piece of silk clothing I could find....I loved silk though I seldom wear anything but cotton . So, I had bags of silk clothing that I was planning on sewing into a .....something someday...except I hate to sew....ooops. So, when I learned about nuno felting, I was psyched...... a way to finally use my silk . Except that it is all so tightly woven that I couldn't get wool to migrate through it...(which is why I now only use chiffon or mesh silks .) I know other felters seem able to felt with denser silk but I never could get it to felt securely . After a year and a half of tripping over my silk bags, I have finally found a way to nuno felt with it.....spoiler alert....(.it takes a bit of time and silk abuse).

 Above is not an example of that...(I just can't seem to figure out how to rearrange my pictures and loaded them in the wrong order .) What it is is a piece of cotton "mesh" that I cut in half for the above table topper or scarf???? and below "smock" .
 The concept is one that's been ratteling in my brain pan for a while and I finally found the right fabric to try it . How ??? easy peasy . I started with a large platter and laid out a ring of merino and silk and tencel around it . I made it platter size rather then plate size, to allow for shrinking . What I forgot to consider was that the shrinking occurs away from the empty center and towards the fiber/ fabric making the hole larger, not smaller . Again, some basic physics principle that I would have known if I had bothered to take physics in High school instead of just staring at cute guys . 

 End result is a smock that will show a lot of cleavage (or should be worn over another shirt ?) . I still have to sew the sides together and figure out the whole "physics of arm holes"...wish me luck .
 This smock I used a plate to felt around....we live, we learn . It was once a very small silk dress/tunic that was slit up the sides and came with matching harem pants . I cut off the top part and needle felted the new cut top edge with a layer of merino . I did this with both sides of the tunic and then laid them near the edge of the plate and added more roving beneath and above the needle felted fabric edge and joined them with connecting roving around the plate .

If you learn like me...visually, then none of that probably made sense and you will have to wait until I can get pictures of the process which I will do if I remember to bring my camera tomorrow .
 Below two pictures are just close ups of the cotton mesh fabric . click on picture to see more detail . The cotton mesh worked great and I will definitely be looking for more of this to work with in the near future . I think once I work out the sizing, it will make great summer tops with just a bit of wool accenting on the bodice of silk or cotton mesh base . Eventually, I will try and do this with a resist instead of flat so that I don't have to sew the sides but can just felt them together . Stay tuned .


  1. Thanks for stopping in on my violet Hoarder blog and introducing me to yours! I've got to say you are one courageous felter! What boundless creativity! I'm LOVING those stuffed animals.

  2. gosh you have been busy!

    (love the clown vomit comment!) i really like your mix of colours on this.

    this looks like it was a huge project. sometimes it can be frustrating if things don't go quite to plan but i find that's the time i learn the most.

    plus, i can't really work it out on paper or in my head so it leads to lots of wet and messy felting experiments to see what will happen :)x

  3. Thanks VH...your blog always inspires me .

    NM...experimenting is actually what I like the most about felting...seems like I will never run out of things to try and the flops....though a bit expensive are still a better way for me to learn then books or classes<---(which would require me leaving the house and socializing, yikes).Plus felt is the easiest thing to "repurpose".

  4. that's one of the things i love about feltmaking too - for me, there's no such thing as a mistake!

    ok, so the finished piece might not have worked out how i expected but now i have something i can repurpose (love that word) in a totally unexpected way :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails