Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A nuno felting experiment

Possibly you all know of my relationship with fleece; tis quite good with the stuffing variety but a little strained with the tops and the whole felting gig. BUT I am determined to work with my flagging will and continue on my felting journey.

A friend had a baby last week (a sweet little pink girl) I had an idea to make a baby wrap. It is very hot and humid in Brisbane so muslin is perfect...I'll tell you my idea so you know where I was heading (so you will know where I went wrong). I wanted a light wrap with swirls - just a few, not too much fleece or it would be too hot. I wanted neutral on neutral and then planned to dye the finished felted wrap to a very pale rose pink. I imagined that the muslin would be one colour and the fleece either a lighter or darker shade....

It started well enough. I lay down the unbleached muslin and fiddled with fine strips of fleece and just a touch of pink silk.

and then I began to felt. I had my doubts from the beginning; the section I read in my little felting book says:

"Nuno felt takes more rolling than normal flat felt as there are less wool fibres to tangle and matt together"

Hmmm I am not a fan of rolling. Tho I rolled, and rolled and rolled (I also did the hot cold thing and threw it quite a bit ~ most satisfying). And this is what I made:

It is really hard to see but it was quite pretty at this stage ~ light and airy, understated. I stuffed it up with a dye pot!

The label on the pot said 'raspberry' I figured if I used a minimal amount, scant even, I would get a soft pink. I weighed the fabric (88grams!) and calculated the amount of dye required then quartered it, and then go rid of a bit more. I have to say at this stage I was dubious, it looked quite purple. I checked the label again and it definately said raspberry. I mixed it up and it was quite definitely purple BUT you know when you have your hair dyed and you freak out cause you want brown and you are quite sure the hairdresser has just smothered your head in yellow dye and it comes out brown anyway? Well I had one of those moments, I trusted the label said RASPBERRY and raspberries are red!

I plunged the fabric in with a sinking feeling
While agitating and waiting I read more of the label. It was fibre reactive dye specific to celluose fibres ~ plant fibres, like cotton .... hmm I got that sinking feeling again....wool is a protein fibre ~ animal. Ah well what is done is a little undoable.

Purple is ok I guess.


m. bloom said...

I've been wanting to try this method of felting since seeing the article on it in Living Crafts. I cannot remember which issue... but they felted winding vines into some gauzy silk (and there was another project pictured with tree branches felted into pale blue silk... so beautiful!)

I think your project came out very nicely... I love the hearts!


Bianca said...

that little girl is going to have pink up to her eyeballs in no time! I am sure the purple will be a welcome visual diversion. :) I am yet to try nuno felting myself, the rolling gets old pretty quick! you've inspired me though, i am going to give it a go.

thanks for thinking of me when you sent me that link. such a pitty it was in Adelaide, it looked really great. I saw Sarah Buckley talk a couple of weeks ago at a seminar held by the maternity coalition. She was fantastic. :)


Bending Birches said...

this is a great idea!!!!
I miss my wrapping days..

Melissa Plank said...

It turned out beautifully!

cfgyexy6464 said...

I like it. I'd take lavender over pink any day! :)

Via Verde Farm said...

I think it looks great! I like dark purple. Thanks for posting all the photos. It was nice to see your progression.

Anonymous said...

I love the purple! It really is very pretty!