Fine Layers and Shrinkage

I took some photos while I was laying out my first Trilobal Nylon sample last week. They aren’t the best – fine layers of Merino and sparkly fibre aren’t the easiest to photograph – so I don’t have photos of every layer. This is the start of the first layer of Trilobal Nylon:

I didn’t overlap the Trilobal nylon partly because the length of the fibre meant 3 columns fit in the template, and trying to take into account the effect of shrinkage. This is the first layer finished:

This is how it looked with the 2nd layer of nylon on top, you can see I used quite a lot:

This is after two fine layers of Merino were added:

And this is when the four fine layers were added, just before I felted it:

It’d be good if there were some large, waterproof scales to use durinng felting, so the weight of layers could be worked out easily!

This is a piece I made last month. I got some fabric from a charity shop a while ago, it has some embroidery paisleys and little ‘gems’ on it. The way they are spaced out meant that I could either cut/tear quite narrow strips between the paisley or wider strips to include them for trying a sample piece. I hate waste, so I had a think what I would use the sample for, I thought it’d make a nice coin purse, but even after shrinkage would be too wide. Oddly for me, I actually came up with a solution before making the sample instead of 6 weeks later! If I used an odd number of layers, with 3 across the width, and two along the length, then I’d get more shrinkage! It worked too! This is the whole piece:

It is a chiffon type fabric, it feels synthetic, but I might have to do a burn test. This is one end closer up:

The paisleys are really shiny so not easy to photograph, they rose up and became even more 3d with shrinkage:

You can see the texture and migration more here:

Have you had any brainwaves and found solutions for problems lately?

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10 Responses to Fine Layers and Shrinkage

  1. Lyn says:

    Trilobal, like many other fibres, needs to be seen with the naked eye. The camera lens doesn’t do them justice.
    I really like the texture in the paisley piece and I’m sure you’re going to make something pretty with it.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks Lyn 🙂
      yeah, you can’t really show in a photo just how much it sparkles! It gets everywhere though, I am forever finding it on clothes that I washed and put away 6 months earlier!

  2. meterrilee says:

    This is really cool! Can you please explain the shrinkage plan you came up with? I’ve never heard of this, but it makes sense. I always thought you just had to roll the item more in the direction you want to shrink it, which usually works fairly well. This is something new though. Less layers in one direction makes it shrink more or is it the other way around? :-p

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks Terri 🙂
      Yeah, you’re right that felt shrinks in the direction it is rubbed or rolled, and you can control shrinkage like that to some extent. Felt also shrinks most in the direction that most of the wool is laid, so even layout should give even shrinkage. So, I wanted it to shrink more widthways (top to bottom in the photos) so did 3 layers vertically, and only 2 horizontally along the long edge.

  3. Antje Ream says:

    If I understand differential shrinkage – wool shrinks along its length becoming shorter, and thinner wool areas will shrink more than areas with greater quantity of wool all to control shape and give undulation. If this is correct can I assume your fabric shrank more along its length (2 layers) and less across the width (3 layers)?

    I have not yet come across Trilobal, I’m assuming from your work above and a comment elsewhere it requires a ‘wool’ element or else it will not felt. Does it behave like viscose?

    Lovely samples.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Antje 🙂
      Yeah it’s true that you get more shrinkage from less wool, but in this case, all of the fabric had the same amount of wool distributed equally all over it. So if you picked a square inch at any place, and compared it to another square inch, the amount was roughly the same (I didn’t weigh or anything!). But the direction of the wool was unequal over the whole piece–3 layers vs 2 layers–so that’s why it shrunk more across the width. If I had used less wool overall, there would be a lot more shrinkage, but still more widthways if it was 2 and 1. It’d make more sense if I did a comparison and showed templates 🙂

      Yeah, that’s right about trilobal, like all embellishment fibres it won’t felt on its own. It doesn’t really behave like viscose, it attches more ‘loosely’, it’s like there’s air inbetween the fibres, whereas viscose attached more closely: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/08/30/felting-with-viscose-tops/

  4. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Great samples. I know the nylon is hard to control, but you did a nice job of laying it all out. It’s a shame you can’t really capture the glitz. But we know it’s there. Another good call in getting the scarf to shrink the way you wanted it. Love the texture.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      Oh yeah, the nylon can get very staticy, probably why I find it everywhere after it flies off! I like the texture on the brown piece too.

  5. Great examples. It is so hard to capture sparkle with the camera. I like the way the embroidery scrunched up.

  6. ruthlane says:

    Interesting sample Zed and glad you worked it out to get the right size. One of the reasons I don’t particularly like working with the nylon is how it gets everywhere. Kind of like glitter and I have glitterphobia 🙂

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