Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nuno Felting: Part 1

I'll be leading our next SpirARTuality group in Nuno Felting. Since none of us had ever done it before, I had to practice.
We bought our wonderful kits from Suzanne Morgan, here. She's got very complete written directions for nuno felting here, (and a link to my friend Deborah's blog which give me the idea originally). So here's my simplified photo version of How To Nuno Felt.

Here are the supplies you'll need:
-a hard, flat surface that can get wet (I used a big broiling pan)
-a towel to soak up excess water
-bubble wrap or a bamboo mat
-net or tulle
-old pantyhose or rubberbands (something to secure your rolled bundle)
-rolling pin, PVC pipe, dowel rod, or something similar
-The contents of a Nuno Felting Starter Kit, or: a prefelt base (or you may build yourself with alternating layers of wool), loose weave silk or other natural fibers, roving, yarn or thread if desired.

Step 1: Set up your Sandwich like this:
bubble wrap or bamboo mat
tulle or net
prefelt (or 4-6 pieces of alternating roving which will become the backing when felted)
your fabric design*
tulle or net

*For your fabric design, you may layer up fabric. However, make sure that there is roving between any layers of fabric. Also make sure there is roving on the top of the whole project so that the wool will bind through the layers of non-wool and felt everything.

Step 2: Once you've completed your fabric design and put the tulle/net on top, wet it down with some water with a couple of drops of soap (don't over-soap it--it will become a bubbly mess!)

Step 4: Rub in small circles for 10-15 minutes until the design is tacked down.
You can do this either with a wadded up ball of plastic, or you can use rubber gloves or a plastic sack on your hand.
Start out rubbing gently in small circles. As you go, you can press more firmly and make bigger circles.
Give extra care to the edges of fabric to make sure they get tacked down.
Every couple of minutes, pull both layers of tulle away from your fabric piece to make sure they are not getting felted into the piece. At that point, you can also re-position anything that has slipped.
Keep rubbing until everything in your piece is tacked down and doesn't move around.

When everything is tacked, it's time to roll up your sandwich and start the second part...

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