Silk Paper with Leaves on Felt

Silk Paper with Leaves on Felt

The original idea for this post was to create something for the 3rd Quarter Challenge. I also wanted to use up some silk paper I had made ages ago. We had been talking about using silk paper in felting on the forum a while ago and I thought it would be a good surface design.


Here’s the silk paper. I made it with leaves and stretched silk hankies. These were then glued together with fabric medium. The leaves have held up amazingly well since this is 3-4 years old at least.

A friend gave me some merino batt that was cut up into a variety of pieces. I placed them all together to make the wool base.

It was pretty thick which didn’t bode well for the “Beneath the Surface” part of the challenge.

Here’s the silk paper on the wool before felting.

I then added some coarse wool underneath the batt thinking it would migrate through and show on the surface. I don’t remember the breed but it’s coarser locks.

I then carefully felted the piece. Trying to avoid crushing the leaves but getting everything to attach. The merino was surprisingly hard to felt. I’m not sure why that was but it took a while. The coarse wool on the back didn’t migrate through hardly at all. So much for “beneath the surface”.

Here’s the end result. The silk paper felted in nicely and the leaves are entirely intact. They didn’t break or crack at all.

Here’s a closer look and you can see the surface texture here too. Now what to do with it? It’s about notebook cover size but I’m afraid that would be too hard wearing on the leaves. I took it back to my studio room and ended laying it on top of one of the canvases that I am working on for a different project.

It looks pretty good. Hmmm….. I think it would look good if I trimmed off the felt edges and then added some either stitched, tyvek or lutradur leaves. Perhaps a few viney bits too. As you can probably tell, I haven’t quite decide what to do with this yet. And I need to do something else for the third quarter challenge.



21 thoughts on “Silk Paper with Leaves on Felt

    1. Thanks Jifke! Yes, it will probably end up as a wall hanging, as that’s what I usually do. Do you mean a branch to hang it on?

    1. Thanks Leonor! The leaves were still very flexible and the water didn’t seem to effect them at all. I don’t usually do any rolling so I just did some careful rubbing, mainly from the back side, to felt. I didn’t full the piece really hard, just did some more rubbing and gentle throwing.

  1. Lovely piece. Could you tell what fabric medium you used for the glue. Thanks

    1. Thanks Kathleen! I made the silk paper 4-5 years ago and I don’t remember exactly what we used. I have used Jo Sonja’s Textile Medium in the past with good results so it might have been that.

  2. Beautiful Ruth! I love making and using silk paper. It is incredibly a lot stronger than it looks. I like it as is, but look forward to see what you decide to do with it.

  3. They turned out great. As soon as you think you know what felt will do it does something else. I once hade a pot with 3 colour layers . The inside migrated out and the outside migrated in and the middle layer didn’t move at all.

  4. The final piece is beautiful – amazing texture and wonderful colour combo. Your felting must have been deft to keep the leaves intact.
    We’d be very tempted to display it as it is.

    1. Thanks Lyn, I really didn’t do anything different than I normally do besides not wringing it out forcefully. The leaves were amazingly sturdy.

  5. I’m impressed that you managed to felt it without affecting the leaves – though as you say, silk is surprisingly sturdy! I like the silver and gold together, even if the coarser wool didn’t migrate through as you hoped.

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