Stage 4 – Raised and structured surface texture – Felting

I was keen to try some wet-felting to produce a textured piece of woollen fabric.  I have never done this before so read up.  i ordered some books in readiness for inspiration and instructions:  ‘Nuno felt ‘ by Liz Clay; ‘Complete feltmaking’ by Gillian Harris and too impatient to wait for delivery of these, I also downloaded ‘Nuno felting tips and tricks’ by Nancy E Schwab and ‘Handmade style:Felt’ by India Flint onto my iPad.

I loved what I saw in these books and was looking forward to trying out some felting techniques.  The first think I attempted was inspired by a tutorial I saw on youtube.  I have since tried to find it but unsuccessfully.  I bought a second hand pure wool extra large man’s grey jumper and put it into a ht wash so it ended up felted and quite a few sizes smaller.  I then cut off the cuffs, collar and bottom and cut right up the front middle to create a cardigan.  I used the cuffs to make a collar and sewed herringbone stitch to secure collar and neaten the bottom edge.  The aim was not to make a piece of clothing but to explore needle felting but rather than cut up the jumper to create smaller samples, I decided it would be more fun to make a cardigan!

I had great fun with my first attempts at needle felting, despite breaking quite a few needles at first!  I soon learnedto put a rather hefty piece of sponge underneath the wool.  I was rather chuffed with the result:

With renewed confidence after needle-felting, I decided to have a go at wet-felting to create a new piece of fabric and then embellish.  I made my first layer of felt which came out  quite thick.  I then needle felted some flower shapes on to the backing felt.  These were quite raised and so didn’t felt too well but I added some stitch and a piece of thick yarn which I couched on to the felt.  Although the design isn’t particularly pleasing it was fun trying something new and I am sure it is a technique I shall return to in the future:

Lastly here are my first two attempts at nuno felting which I thought was a wonderful technique – relatively easy with fantastic results.  I also liked the texture created on the reverse of the samples where the chiffon was crumpled with wisps of wool coming through!

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