Featuring one-of-a-kind wearable works of art created by a unique process called Nuno felting. This technique, done by hand, bonds pure silk fabric with luxurious fibers to create brand new fabrics which are drapable, lightweight and sheer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Transforming Process of Felting

A woman came to felt with me recently. I don't know her story, but I'd guess that life has been hard. But now, she is on a path to rebuilding her life into something better. So, she comes to felt with me and have a little "girl time," a little fun and distraction from the enormous obstacles that still must overcome. She arrives at the workshop, nervous, tense, not believing she can create something beautiful. Her face is grim as she selects her base scarf color and wool to "paint" it with. It does not look like she is having fun. I know the feeling, that is how I was in the beginning.

She obediently does as instructed. Lay the silk scarf out on a length of bubble wrap, lay the wool out, wet it down, lay a sheet of plastic over the work, roll everything up around a pool noodle. Roll the "jelly roll" 100 times, unwrap, check your work, roll it back up, starting at the opposite end. Wow, she sees how the fibers and colors are starting to melt into one another!

She repeats the rolling and unrolling procedure 4-6 times, for a total of 400-600 rolls. When she sees the fibers coming through to the back side of the fabric, it is time to throw the scarf in the sink until she starts to feel it firm up in your hands. Yes, she can feel it changing!

Next she rubs the scarf and felts it some more by hand, then rinses it out, gives it a vinegar bath, rinses again, blots it dry in a towel. We wrap it around her neck and take her before the mirror. Voila... the finished piece... a smiling face and a sparkle in her eye from a job well done. She made something beautiful.

She walks out the door looking radiant, her scarf wrapped gracefully around her neck.

(Note this story could be about any number of women who came to felt with me recently.)

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