Swedish Wool and Nuno

Swedish Wool and Nuno

A couple of months ago we had a really interesting guest post from Zara about felting with Swedish wool breeds. She kindly sent me some batts to try for myself, and they were all breeds I hadn’t tried before. The first one was Rya, which ‘have a short, fine undercoat and a long, lustrous, wavy to straight and rather coarse outer coat’. I embellished my samples with black Bamboo tops and White Viscose tops, I liked this photo of it on an angle as it shows the contrast between the matte bamboo and shiny viscose:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust like Zara’s sample, my felted Rya made a nice thick, firm and hairy piece of felt. This close up of an area of bamboo tops shows it in more detail:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second piece I made was using Svea X Finull, emnellished with some flax and hemp. This made a nice firm piece of felt, a lot softer and less hairy than the Rya:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see from the photo above, the flax and hemp don’t stand out very much. This is a close up of some flax:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd a close up of some hemp:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe last piece I made was the Jämtland, embellished with soy tops and Milk protein. The Jämtland made a nice firm felt, but much softer than the Svea X Finull.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up of some of the Soy with some Milk near the bottom

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m not used to using batts and found the finer the breed, the less ‘accurate’ I was with laying them out, getting thinner, lacier edges.
I bought a couple of scarves recently for nuno felting and took a few pieces to the well being centre last week to try out. The blue pieces are from a polyester scarf and the green flowery one in the centre is linen. I was surprised when I saw the label because it looks a lot like many viscose scarves I have, which look similar to silk chiffon, but shinier. I thought they looked nice together:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love this texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also love the tangley texture more open weave fabrics create:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApologies for the late post, my Dad turned up unexpectedly demanding a cup of tea and entertaining for a couple of hours 🙂

22 thoughts on “Swedish Wool and Nuno

  1. Great job on the experiments with different types of Swedish wool! I like to see the results and get an idea of how unusual (to us) breeds might be to felt. I once used Finull as an embellishment, just a small bit that was gifted to me. I thought it was really soft, so I can just imagine how wonderful the Jamtland would be.

    1. Thanks, Cathy 🙂
      I wish I had the skills to make more use of the knowledge from trying different breeds and fibres, I can see how something like Rya would be perfect for landscape texture in a felted picture.

  2. It’s great you were able to experiment with the Swedish batts. It’s amazing how different the wools can be. It’s always fun to experiment. I can only imagine your sample pile is reaching the ceiling by now. :-). I know mine keeps growing.

    1. I did have a look at a big pile of my samples recently, and they’re not in any ‘order’ so very interesting going from one to the next and seeing and feeling differences! 🙂

  3. Fascinating. Are you saying you bought linen scarf, polyester scarf and then added the wool and this is how they came out. I thought that polyester would not felt well, but these are really good.

    1. Thanks 🙂
      Yeah, I laid the wool out first and put the fabric strips on top. It’s more to do with the openness of the weave than the fibre content. The biggest ‘difficulty’ I’ve had with some synthetic fabrics is when they roll rather than fray when torn, this makes them less likely to attach along the torn edge. But it’s not hard to try and straighten them and put wisps over, and the rolling/not fraying could be a bonus if the fabric is used for something like a nuno scarf.

  4. I’m so glad that you tried the batts, and so interesting to see your results. I was surprized that you can still see the viscose fibres on the rya. I would have thought that they would have disappeared into the coarse wool. I have been planning to do something with Jämtland and embellishment fibres too, so thanks for showing how that may turn out. How did you find Jämtland to felt compared to merino? Jämtland is a cross-breed with merino, and I have heard several people say that they find it difficult to felt, but that is probably compared to our coarser and easily felted Swedish breeds.

    And I love that last close-up of the nuno-felted linnen fabric. Gorgeous!

    1. Thanks, Zara 🙂
      I think it’s mostly the shininess of the viscose and the fact it’s white which makes it look like it sunk in less than the bamboo. I honestly can’t remember how they all felted now, it probably did seem to take longer than the Rya, being shinier, finer and slicker.
      That linen scarf really did work well!

  5. Lovely samples Zed – I especially like the texture in the last one!

    Perhaps think about stitching your samples together to make a bed cover? Would be lovely and warm!

    1. Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      Heh, I’m sure it’d make a very warm bed cover, I’d have to mae a few soft samples for around the edges though, I wouldn’t want to wake up with a bit of Herdwick rubbing my face!

  6. Great samples Zed, I am starting to imagine your house to look like an episode of hoarders, but instead of 6 foot high stacks of newspapers and magazines lining every room, you have stacks of felt samples! You truly are the queen of samples!

    I’m with Lyn, the colours and texture of the last one have stolen my heart.

    1. Thanks for that image, Terri! 🙂
      I almost didn’t use that scarf it was so nice, but I’ve done the same with a few lately, and I won’t wear them, so I grabbed the scissors and cut it quickly before I could argue with myself!

  7. Love the detail shots, Zed! I wish I had the notion to do samples and write down how they came out, it’s great for future reference.

    What will you do with the lovely nuno felt? The shape doesn’t seem right for a scarf, but I don’t know much about nuno, so I might be surprised 🙂

    1. Thanks Leonor 🙂
      I haven’t got a plan for the nuno sample yet. I usually make them big enough to make a coin purse out of, but just thought I’d take a few pieces with me to the well being centre, so they’ll probably go into ‘the box’ for future use.

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