You might remember I had some unusual pieces of fabric in the nuno samples I showed a couple of weeks ago. In the small piece, I had a strip from a scarf which pretty much looks like lengths of fine shiny threads held together loosely. This is what the scarf it came from looks like:
Another unusual scarf I sampled was also loosely woven, it had different sections:
The part I used on the previous nuno piece had lots of loose fibres trapped between the layers which I didn’t know until I cut it:
They looked like soy top, but fell out so didn’t get felted with the sample. I don’t think I showed a close up of that piece, here it is:
This is the full piece of the recent nuno sample I made:
This is a closer look at the left end. The top and third piece are both sections of the pink scarf, cut from the different ends:
This is a close up of the other pink piece:
This is the middle section. The bottom piece is a strip of Sari silk, which I think Galina sent me. I’ve had mixed results with sari silk scraps I’ve had before so thought I’d try it out:
It was difficult getting a photo of the right end of the sample, the colours were so bright. I had to ignore the beige crepey strip at the bottom, it didn’t attach very well anyway:
I managed to squeeze a couple of other strips on at the end, another piece of sari silk and, I think a sample of a piece sent by Lyn (sorry if I’ve got them wrong!) I also put a little piece of a scarf I’ve tried before at the bottom:
Have you tried nuno felting with any unusual bits of fabric?
A few weeks ago, I mentioned I hadn’t had time to felt my demo piece when we did landscapes at the well-being centre. As well as the general layout, I was showing ways of using some different fibres, like cotton, nylon, plastic and even mohair for effects in the sky, and how to tease apart and fluff up texturey wools or dyed nylon for adding depth and texture. I didn’t really give much thought to how it would look, just showed them all and then piled them on. All I can say is, the locks look nice 🙂 The patch of wool and nylon to the right looks like some green bodied, red headed creature looking over its own shoulder!
I took some fabric strips with me to the wet felting classes the week after for some experimenting. This is the piece I made:
I thought I’d make a bigger sample trying out more of the fabrics. Before I go back to the other well being centre, I want to get a better idea of which fabrics attach securely and will hold up to being handled a lot, which might need some stitching to secure and which will be better for more decorative pieces. This is the whole piece:
And here are some angled photos to show better how they attached and their texture (or not in some cases), left side:
Right hand side:
I still have a few more strips I want to try, hopefully I’ll get a chance later this week.
I bought some gorgeous scarves yesterday for nuno felting. The first two are different coloured versions of a blue peacock one I bought and sampled not so long ago:
The others are from a stall which sells 3 scarves for £5. It does make me feel a bit uneasy because it probably means they were made in some sweat shop in Bangladesh or China, but then a lot of the people who’ve turned their noses up at my extremely reasonable prices think I only deserve sweat shop wages anyway.
I recently finished knitting some pieces I want to make into arm warmers. They’re just rectangles made with pencil roving waste and very similar to a piece I made a while ago when I first tried the roving out:
The reason I haven’t joined the seams together yet is because I don’t know how to. I did ask on a group on Facebook, but I couldn’t really follow the suggestions. So, if you know of a tutorial or video which shows how to join knit stitch seams together so clearly that a cack handed 5 year old could follow it and do it neatly, I’d be really grateful! (no offence intended to left handers!) This is a ‘cuff’ I made by attempting to join seams together. I knitted 5 strands of plotulopi together to make a sample, then used the left over to join it up. This is the front:
And this is the dog’s dinner I made of joining it together:
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:
Just 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:
The 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:
As 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:
And a close up of some hemp:
The 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.
This is a close up of some of the Soy with some Milk near the bottom
I’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:
I love this texture:
I also love the tangley texture more open weave fabrics create:
Apologies for the late post, my Dad turned up unexpectedly demanding a cup of tea and entertaining for a couple of hours 🙂
Since we’ve been talking a lot about color this year, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway of two silk scarves and three Jacquard Green Label dyes.
I’ve used these dyes on both silk and wool. They are premixed liquids so there is no messy preparation. They are great for playing with different effects like watercolor, salt and alcohol effects, tie dyeing, silk painting and more. Included in the giveaway is the permanent dyeset fixative so it’s not necessary to to steam either. Although steaming usually gives richer colors. There are three primary colors (yellow, scarlet and cyan) in 2 oz. (60 ml) bottles (they last much longer than you’d expect) and you can mix to your heart’s content. The fixative is 8 oz. (250 ml). You can learn more about these products at http://www.jacquardproducts.com/silk-colors.html
One scarf is Habotai 8 mm hand rolled 11″ x 60″; the other is chiffon 8 mm the same length. The habotai is shiny and the chiffon is matte.
Here are a couple of scarves I have used the dyes on. This is the habotai I used a watercolor and salt effects on. The salt effect is not very obvious, this was my first attempt.
The other is what I call my 4th of July scarf. I used the watercolor effect, then nuno felted it after it was rinsed and dry. This was plain chiffon and not hemmed. If you look closely, you can see where the red and blue mixed to make purple. It was a lot less subtle than I expected.
In order to enter the drawing, please leave a comment below. The winner will be announced next week on December 11 after a random computer generated pick.
Lately, I’ve tried to step out of my comfort zone with color and fiber and try some new things.
While this first example doesn’t look like it’s outside of my usual color palette, I did use some silk for nuno on this clutch and some coarser fibers like Corriedale that I made for my daughter in law. The nuno is not as noticeable as I’d like, but I think it still adds a nice texture to it.
Revisiting pods, I decided to really jump out of my comfort zone and use bold primaries on a black background. (It is a bit like some of Pollack style pictures I did for last year’s challenge.)
Another project I’ve worked on was hand dyed silk I made a while back. I decided I didn’t want a long scarf so I cut the piece in half. I used very little wool wisps on one side. The joke was on me when I was finished felting. It could be a scarf for a doll! It had been a while since I did nuno and evidently forgot about the big shrinkage rate for silk gauze. I do like it though. I think I could wear it as a collar if not a scarf.
Most recently, I decided to play with some neutrals and coarser wools. Cathy (Luvswool) was nice enough to give me some of the Domestic 56 wool she had dyed in Arkansas with plants. I really liked the colors. I made a batt with cream and brown Corriedale and another with some of the hand dyed Domestic 56 for added color. I used a resist open at the top and bottom. The cream and brown became my inner layer.
I really liked the subtle colors against the neutrals. The coarser fibers also added to the texture for a natural open look.
Having progressed through these projects, I have a whole new outlook on textures and colors that I hope to incorporate into my future art.
What have you done outside your comfort zone lately?
I blended some fine 18.5 micron Merino recently to make a scarf for my Dad for Christmas. I used what was left of a blue/purple/green blend I’d made for another scarf, and ran it through the drum carder with more green. This is one of the batts:
I had to go into town on Wednesday, so I wanted to try out a scarf I’d bought from a shop there when I last went, so I could see if it was worth getting more, since they were only £1 each. The batts I made for my Dad’s scarf were the perfect colour so I ‘borrowed’ some of them to try a piece out:
It’s probably just over a third of the size of a full scarf, or a full sized small collar:
It made a really nice texture, which is a shame because the shop had shut down recently 🙁
And, of course, a supermacro:
Those of you who go on the forum will have seen this piece, it’s a sample I made using some georgette fabric I got from Abakhan last time:
I knew from other similar fabrics I’ve used that it would only attach loosely, the weave isn’t particularly open, and one part of the bottom edge didn’t attach at all. Even though I was fairly certain it would felt like it did, I like to just try a sample on top without wisps etc at first to get a good idea of how it felts, sometimes fabrics like this attach well around the edge if they are quite frayed.
I haven’t decided what I’ll use it for yet, but I did make it big enough to make a coin/zipper purse out of, I thought that might look nice.
Every year on of the local guilds hosts a day of fun short workshops, lunch and fun.
There are vendors for adding to your stash
In the morning I took a hookers necklace class. This is done by stitching the little wool strips and beads onto a stretchy string. the necklace are scratchy but would be fine on winter over clothing. I think I may do one with some felt off cuts for a softer necklace. Mine is second from the left.
In the afternoon I taught a nuno felt bracelet. I had 10 people in the class and they seemed to really enjoy themselves. They will have to put buttons on them themselves. One lady left hers a little longer and is planning to use cufflinks to hold it closed.
I will show you the pictures I have of some of the other workshops next time.
A while back Ruth got some free samples of some cheese cloth or cotton gauze from Cheese Cloth Fabric.com. She dyed some and sent me some samples. I also had a more open weave cheese cloth that I will use so you can see the difference. I thought if I am going to use my time I should make something that will be salable in the end so decided to make bracelets or cuffs so I could easily compare the cottons.
The pink on the left is the sample sent to Ruth and the purple on the right is the gauze I got at a place called Lens Mill http://www.lensmill.com/ in Guelph Ontario. You can see the purple is a much more open weave.
Ruth sent to colour samples. Here is before and after adding the wool.
I did one sample of the purple flat and one scrunched up. You can see my template marks behind the right one.
I like the way both these tuned out. they are very different than the tighter weave cotton.
I did a scrunched up pink one for comparison. I think I like the scrunched up ones the best. I may add some beads in to folds. They will be for sale later in the summer once I get some buttons and button holes done.
I started my first quarter challenge back at the beginning of February. I made a piece of nuno felt using black wool prefelt and white silk to make a canvas.
Finally the other day I decided to try out my idea on how to paint the canvas. I thickened some die with arrowroot powder. I was aiming for a paint like texture. I had never thickened dye before and I didn’t want to spend any money ordering something special. I looked up thickeners and arrowroot was the one recommended for acidic things. It is a very fine powder.
I added a little to each small batch of acid dye and heated it a little. The first one I heated too much and it was like vulcanised rubber in the bottom of the cup. lesson learned less powder and less heat.
I started with yellow.It wasn’t dribbling how I wanted so I thinned it down. I didn’t like that either it spread out too much. For the next 3 colours I poured it from the cups and moved them across the canvas quickly. That worked really well. Then I heated it in the microwave.
While I was doing this I realised I had not put any vinegar in the dye. I heated up some water and put it in a basin and when the canvas come out of the microwave I put it into the acidified water and heated it in the microwave a bit and let it cool. having to put it in the water bath blurred the lines a bit but the arrowroot made it stay put for the most part. as you can see the thickened yellow is what moved in to the water the most.
When I rinsed it and it felt really slimy. I thought I rinsed it well but it was harsh and stiff feeling when dry so I gave it a good wash with some shampoo. This is the finished piece. I think its very Pollock like.
I haven’t ironed it yet but I think I will and use the heat and steam to square it up.