This isn’t as exotic as sampling Swedish wools, but it was a lesson in the benefits of sampling.
A while ago I had showed you a pile of scarves, blouses and remnants I had purchased to try nuno felting.
While they all passed the “blow” test or looked or felt like they would felt well, there were a couple of big surprises.
When I make samples, I usually use prefelt and small samples of each of the fabrics on the same piece. This way they are all felted the same way in the same amount of time in the same way.
Here is a picture of a couple of them before felting. The upper left was an open cotton weave, the upper right was a scarf of unknown origin. The lower left was a remnant that was sparkly with some embroidery and the lower right was part of a silk blouse.
This isn’t a very clear picture below, but the second from the left was the one scarf I purchased I thought was perfect for nuno and was looking forward to using it on something special. To the left of that on top was a scarf that felt like it had some lycra in it below was a piece of lace and sequin on some type of mesh. The third from the left was an organza with sparkle.
Boy was I mistaken. After all the others were felted I continued to work on the flower and sparkly pieces, but they wouldn’t felt. I was really glad I didn’t invest in a big project to use the flower scarf. I even tried it on another piece of felt. You probably recognize the purple on the left that I used for my jewelry roll. The scarf on the right also felted nicely. I even used some wisps of wool on top of the flowers, but they clumped together and there were only a couple of threads on the flower piece that caught.
Here’s a closeup of the right one.
The other samples turned out nicely. The blue green and red were silk and the gold a polyester organza.
The one on the right below was a burnout fabric which surprised me it felted so well. On the left a silver gray polyester organza.
The blue on the left was a piece of lycra which didn’t do well either, but I wasn’t surprised at that. Above that was a piece of acrylic yarn that felted nicely.
The blouse felted very nicely and I’m sure I’ll use that for a special project in the future.
I was also surprised at the sequin and mesh. I thought that also had a lycra base. I loved how the mystery blue scarf turned out. It has a shine and felt like a polyester with something else. It has a very nice texture.
My favorite was the brightly colored scarf. Now, I wish I had yards of it instead only part of a scarf.
I don’t always do samples, but if I want to use something for an important project I’ve learned its best to take the time to do it.
Now I know what to expect when I use these fabrics and which ones not to use for felting. Although a couple of them might work with coarser wools. But that’s for another time.