Monday, March 11, 2013

Collaged Nuno Felt Scarflet

These are pictures of the process used to nuno felt a scarf with multiple pieces of upcycled silk.  The printed silk is an upcycled blouse and lining and it is a crinkled silk, there are also some pieces of a brown bubbled texture silk from my stash. 
   I cut the silk up into sections and laid it all out on my bubble wrap.  Little bits of ribbon and strips of torn silk are used to embellish the surface.  Using hand carders, I  blended multiple shades of green and brown merino wool and used it as a sort of glue to hold all the silk together.  The textured silks are notoriously hard to felt through so you just have to keep rolling and working it until the fibers migrate through the silk.  Using lukewarm soapy water, Not Hot, works best, but in my basement things get cold very quickly.  I usually have to rub by hand quite a bit to provide some wamth to get the fibers to move.
When all the fibers are laid out I wet everything down with warm soapy water, (I use Dawn dish soap) and lay some tulle over the top to hold everything in place.  I rub all over with my hand wrapped in a plastic bag to keep things sliding smoothly.  I remove the tulle and cover the work with a piece of clear plastic, press all the air bubbles out, and roll up in the bubble wrap or pool cover.  I roll about 600 times, open it up and check it. Adjust anything that has moved out of position, re-cover with plastic and roll from the other end.  600  more rolls, check again.  Depending on your silk, wool, temperature, etc. you may have to roll more.  When the fibers have begun to stick together and migrate through the silk you can move on to the next phase.  I usually get some warm soapy water and start working the piece by hand making sure that all of the wool is attaching to the silk properly.  I use the flat of my hand and wet each section with the warm water just before I rub it gently against the bubble surface.  I have to do it this way because the basement is so cold.  When I am sure that everything is attaching properly I start to full the piece.   I put the scarf into a basin with warm water and then gently squeeze about 20 times.  Open up and check it and then repeat.  If everything is ok, I  start throwing the piece, gently at first then gradually increasing the intensity.  Every twenty throws check the piece to make sure it isn't sticking together in the wrong places.  Keep warming the silk in the basin as it cools off.  I throw the wool until it is fulled firmly, strong enough that it won't pull apart with use.  I snipped lots of holes in the wool to give this scarflet a little more surface interest.  Just snip a little hole, then rub with your finger to form the hole and reseal the edges.  Continue to full after the holes are cut to make sure you don't have any freshly cut edges remaining.  Rinse the piece thoroughly and give it a soak in a mild vinegar solution to reverse the alkalinity of the soap solution.  I always soak my pieces in Eucalon when they are finished to soften and make them smell nice.


  1. Love the colors! Well done, Sue. Also, I'm now officially a follower of your blog.