Thursday, April 11, 2013


This past week has been super I'm just now getting around to posting the results of our April Fiber Junkies gathering....our task was a day of Nuno felting.

Nuno felting is a Japanese fabric felting technique. It's a method where loose fibers (roving), such as wool, silk, even alpaca, are incorporated into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze.  This is accomplished through moisture, a little soap, & lots of friction, until the fibers become one.  It creates a lightweight, drapable felted fabric. 

We pooled our roving stashes to provide a wide range of colors.  First bubble wrap, the size you want your finished piece to be, is place on a table.  It is covered by the base our case Judy Simmons, dyed a sheer silk for us.

Next.....I covered the entire piece with thin strands of wool roving....some purposeful, other times not.  Crisscrossing the fiber is a good idea since it helps to hold them together better during the felting process.

 Next we covered our 'layout' with pieces of nylon curtain material that Val purchased at a resale shop.  This hold the fibers in place for the following steps.
The 'curtain' has now been thoroughly wet with warm to hot want the fibers beneath quite wet to help them stay in place.  Once that is done, a small bar of soap is fitted into a nylon footie, which makes holding onto the slippery soap easier.  Now the hard work vigorously rubs the soap across the wet surface....this is where friction, water, and a little soap starts the felting process.  The goal is to work the fibers together and this takes upper body strength for sure and it takes time!  

 However, once the fibers hold together quite well....the nylon surface fabric is removed and the piece is rolled (along with the bubble wrap) onto a swimming noodle.  Other items can be used for this next step such as bamboo place mats or window blinds....the idea here is to continue putting pressure/friction onto the fibers until they slowing become one.

Here's my piece which is quite large.  I intend to cut it apart and use it as a background for bead embellishing.  

Three of the Fiber Junkies members made scarves and Kate (2nd row right) made a larger piece to frame.

I blogged about this technique way back in 2009....check it out here for additional photos and descriptions of this process.

Check in tomorrow to see how I turned my nuno felted piece into wall art.

This will also be shared on Nina's Off The Wall Friday be sure to check out her site for wonderful inspirations!!


The Idaho Beauty said...

I watched a demo recently of this being done by a machine developed by some guy locally. He wants quite a bit for it but if you did a lot of this kind of felting, I could see it might be worth it. The machine does the rolling after you prepped and wrapped in bubble wrap and have gone for coffee. ;-) Part of me wanted to say, that's cheating. Another part remembered hearing about what a workout rolling is for your arms!

Robbie said...

You do have artsy fun with your friends!! Pretty cool! And what you end up doing with them is always a feast for the eyes!!

Anonymous said...

wow, that looks like loads of fun and the finished piece is lovely, great colours:)

Linda M said...

That looks like fun and the results are wonderful.

Lisa Chin said...

That is amazing! Does the fiber felt into the silk as well? Or is there another purpose for it to be there? I love your finished piece!

The Inside Stori said...

**In answer to Lisa's question.....

The wool roving 'felts' to the silk gauze.....but the nylon curtain used on top is only there to hold the loose fibers in place at the beginning of the felting project. Once they are fairly secure, it's removed and further felting continues until everything is firmly incorporated.

Sylvia said...

Looks like a fun group project!

Nina Marie said...

I was reading about this on another of your group's blog and I thought - OMG that looks fun! Just too cool!

janice pd said...

I've always been fascinated with this. There are some beautiful examples on Etsy...and yours isn't bad either ;>

ipatchandquilt said...

How interesting!