We were having a discussion on the forum about nuno felting and how to maintain the length of fabric without too much shrinkage in that direction last week. Then I happened to find a piece of mystery fabric cut in a scarf length in my studio. I can’t remember where I got it but I think one of my fiber friends must have given it to me. It has a loose weave and appears to be a man made fabric and feels fairly soft, kind of like jersey.
Here’s a photo of the scarf and a close up. If you look on the mid to lower right hand side of the right hand photo you can see the weave. (click on photos to enlarge)
The fabric has a fun pattern and I decided to use blue green for the wool color. I wanted to use a minimal amount of wool so the scarf stayed light weight and I wanted to avoid shrinkage of the length of the fabric as it was already fairly short. I had some blue green short fiber merino in batt form that I decided to use.
I decided to use blue tape to outline the fabric so I would have a pattern for laying out the wool. I could have turned the fabric over and laid out the wool on to the fabric but didn’t feel like turning it over after layout. (Being lazy again)
So I laid out a very thin layer of wool laying the fibers at a right angle to the length of the scarf. Then I put the fabric back on top of the fiber, wet it down and began rubbing on the fabric side. I usually always recommend doing a sample first to make sure the fiber will migrate through the fabric but since this was such an open weave, I didn’t think it would be an issue. And, luckily, I was correct in that assumption. The fiber migrated very quickly and I ended up just rubbing the scarf with soapy hands, rubbing the scarf with fabric side down on a rubber ridged surface and it held together very quickly. Then I did some fulling holding the scarf in my hands and accordion (sort of) style folding and stretching lengthwise to full.
Here’s the scarf after felting and fulling. As you can see, it shrank more than 50% of it’s width but minimally lengthwise. The scarf is very lightweight and still long enough to wear as a scarf instead of a cowl.
So now I have a new scarf just in time for 6 inches of snow and 1 degree F cold that dropped on us this past weekend.