Saturday, February 9, 2013

*** Nuno Felted Scarf ***

Nuno felting is the blending of wool and light weight fabric such as silk chiffon or gauze into one fabric using a variation of the wet felting process. The result is a beautiful, soft, light fabric that can be used to make a variety of things including scarves and clothing. The process takes a little longer than regular wet-felting depending on the type of fabric you use for your project. I wanted to find some natural silk chiffon fabric but, unfortunately, I could only find synthetic "silky chiffon" at the local fabric store. From my research on nuno felting, I knew the process of incorporating the wool roving into synthetic fabric would take longer than if using natural fiber fabric and even though the nuno process did take longer than regular wet-felting, the result was well worth it...

Nuno-felted scarf

The process involved five layers; a bottom layer of bubble wrap, a layer of plastic wrap, a layer of very thin pieces of wool roving, a piece of silky chiffon, another layer of very thin pieces of wool roving, and a piece of tulle to cover the top. As I did not hem the edges of the silky chiffon fabric, I used the wool roving to finish the edges.

Top layer of wool roving pieces with a layer of silky chiffon and another layer of wool roving beneath

In order to not disturb or move the very thin pieces of wool roving, I used a ladle to gently pour the lukewarm soapy water over the tulle to begin the felting process, periodically lifting up the tulle to adjust the wool pieces. Once all of the wool and fabric was saturated with the soapy water, I used a pool noodle and rolled up everything to begin the rolling process. I rolled the project several times, alternating the direction each time. About halfway though, I checked to see if the wool was felting into the fabric. It was, so I removed the tulle and continued the rolling process several more times.

Halfway through the felting process

When the felting was complete, I began the fulling process, which is done by thoroughly wetting the project and throwing it into the sink, over and over, and then alternately rinsing it with hot and cold water. The process of throwing the project onto a hard surface shocks the wool fibers, which draws them closer together. In nuno felting, when the wool starts to shrink it causes the fabric to gather in places, resulting in a wonderfully textured light fabric. The more you want your project to shrink  or have more texture, the more you throw it. It was like magic watching my project take form. When it was the size and texture I liked, I thoroughly rinsed it again and then soaked it in a water/vinegar solution to make sure all the soap was out. Making sure all the soap is out protects the wool fibers from becoming brittle and shortening the life of the fabric.

After rinsing the scarf thoroughly one more time to get all the vinegar out, I reshaped it and set it out to dry. I was very excited to see the final project after it dried.

I think the scarf turned out very pretty...not only do I love the colors, but it is soft and light. I'm really looking forward to making more nuno felting projects.
Nuno-felted scarf using silky chiffon fabric

Thank you for checking out my blog. I'd love to hear your comments, tips or suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. Looks wonderful. Did you cover all of the fabric with wool (white) or just here and there with the blue? I am brand new at this and taking any and all assistance ;-)
    Thanks from Canada