Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Last month, our small group, the Fiber Junkies, spent a day Nuno felting.

 Here we are....three members made scarves, Kate (2nd row) and myself (front row) worked on a larger scale.  My intention was to make a piece to cut into smaller sections which I'd embellish....  (Like what else is new?)

After examining the section I brought home, I knew it required more felting to marry the fibers better, and to achieve better control of the composition.
 So, I wet my 'fabric' with hot water,  covered it with a sheer fabric, and began to work it with soap and a small scrunchy.
 It may not be apparent in these photos but the only piece of sheer fabric I had covered only half of the section.....which didn't have much of an impact for this first manipulation process, I just had shift it.  Normally, my next step to sufficiently bond the new fibers to the existing wool would be to layer it with bubble wrap and roll onto a swimming noodle.  It would then be rolled back and forth on a hard surface until all the fibers bonded.  

Well, I DID follow that process but got really tired of this step.  Gosh, it's so much more much fun when one is doing it while chatting with friends!
 So, I took the more drastic step and gathered the whole piece into a nice 'hunk' and started slapping it onto my work surface.  (Humm...that did get a tad messy as soap and water flew everywhere.  

 However, this aggressive treatment really shortened the felting time.  One MUST be careful with this approach as areas that you may not want to bond begin to felt together. (As show on the back side of my piece here.)
After some tugging, I was able to pull those pleats apart...and quite honestly, I love the look of the backside too.  Our felting foundations were provided by Judy Simmons; gorgeous hand-dyed silk (scarf like) material.

Here's my completed piece....which is now more than half the size of what I started with.  I wish I would have measured the original scarf material, then after the 1st felting, to the final result.  The shrinkage is understandable and quite stunning.

My next step will be to cut it into sections....refelt the edges so each one has a nice finish to it and finally.....embellish it.  

Years ago I taught at the famous Siever's School of Fiber Art on Washington Island, WI.  I got such a kick out of the weaver's.  They'd arrive on the island....go out and sheer sheep, clean (carding I think it's called), spin, dye, then prepare their looms and finally begin to weave. If I don't have this process in the correct order....I'm's out of my realm.  Anyway, I thought they were certifiable!  Now, I'm not too sure.....grinning...


Robbie said...

too much work for me!! Happy for you that you enjoyed this process...even working on it alone! Now to see what you do with the piece(s) it hard to cut up? Have you even thought of doing larger pieces??

Mary Stori said...

Robbie asked if it was hard to cut up? NO....not physically, but mentally, I paused with rotary cutter in hand. And yes to the question about larger pieces....this was supposed to be just that but I didn't 'feel it' after I was done!