Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nuno Felting

Nuno felting is a technique developed in 1994 by the textile artists Polly Stirling and Sachiko Kotaka. By manipulating a small amount of wool fiber through a base fabric, they learned they could create a felted fabric with characteristics quite different from traditional felt. Nuno felt is thin, lightweight and drapeable. A similar process to wet wool felting, Nuno felting brings 2 different materials together to create a whole new textured fabric.
While I was in Tucson for the Crystallized workshops, one class that I attended was Nuno felting. Follow along with my how-to photos to make some of your own!

Step 1: start out with a base fabric (silk organza) a bit larger than the desired shape and size (the final product will shrink). Lay out a towel to keep your surface area dry and bubble wrap with bubbles face-up.


Step 2: place a thin layer of merino wool roving over the base fabric using a shingling method (overlapping each section slightly) Experiment with designs.


Step 3: place a piece of tulle over the entire piece.


Step 4: Sprinkle the piece with a water and olive oil soap mixture. We used empty plastic bottles with sprinkle holes in the cap for the water mixture. Use your hands to pat the mixture into the piece.


note: the piece should not be drenched with water, just slightly showered.


Monica came around with an exterminator spray container and misted each of our pieces. She uses this when she is making many pieces at once.


Step 5: with a styrofoam pool noodle cut down to size, loosely roll the piece up—the bubble wrap, base fabric, roving and tulle.


Step 6: secure the roll around the noodle—we tied it up with panty hose.


Step 7: roll on a flat surface, starting with both hands to elbows and back, about 100 times.


Step 8: unroll and lift up the tulle to check the piece. The roving should have started to connect to the base fabric.

Step 9: roll everything back up tightly this time and roll 100 times again.

Step 10: Repeat steps 8 & 9.


Step 11: after about 300 rolls, the piece should be almost completely connected to the silk organza. The final "felting" step is to lay the entire piece out, and with a more concentrated oil olive soap/ water mixture, sprinkle on and rub soap and fibers against the bubble wrap. The back side on the base fabric should begin to ripple when the roving is completely attached.


Step 12: when complete, it should resemble this texture. Delicately rinse the piece under running water and soak in a vinegar/water solution for 15 minutes.

Step 13: hang dry.


Monica and Pat, the wonderful Nuno felt instructors, wearing their handmade scarves!

38 comments:

  1. Thank you for a very informative and easy tutorial.

    I have just discovered this wonderful art of Nuno felting and would like to do my first piece.

    What happens if you'd put one layer of roving first, then the fabric, then another layer? Like a sandwich?

    And which kind of roving felts best?

    Magdalena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For nunofelting best to use merino wool, and yes. you can cover both sides of the silk w fiber. Just consider how to treat the edges if the front /back are not the same color.

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  33. I would love to take a workshop and learn how to Nuno felt. Do you have an event schedule for the end of the year? Thank you

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  34. I really want to make this, but am very confused as to how exactly to lay out the materials. What do you lay down first , second and third, please explain

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    i was wondering if you can use other fabrics besides silk organza. i find the silk and felt mix to look imbalanced and would rather use something more sturdy.

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