Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nuno Wet Felting Project - Step1: Making the Pre-Felt

The first day with the brilliant artisan Judy Jensen from Rochester, Vermont making a nuno wet felted silk scarf, we made pre-felts and put together the design.

Although wet felting is an ancient technique, we used highly modern equipment, such as bubble wrap, pool wrap, nylon curtain fabric, and the indispensable duct tape.

Our first step was to make a prefelt square from which we could cut designs to be felted onto the silk.  Here you see the wool roving that I laid out on some bubblewrap.

I was a bit sloppy at first, just laying colors down willy-nilly. Now I realize that if I take time to design the item in advance, then I can lay down the right colors and shapes on the prefelt.

Here is my prefelt laid out with toile over it to keep it in place. I am about to sprinkle it with felting solution and wet it down.

Now it needs to be rolled up into a "packet" to be felted.

Then roll roll roll for about 100 times, open the packet and re-pack it in the opposite direction and roll another 100 times or so until the roving becomes a single slab of felt that holds together - but not too tightly.

The resulting pre-felt is full of yummy mixed-up colors, loosely held together and ready to be used in the scarf design.

 Once my pre-felt was made I began laying down my design.  I will show you that process in the next post.

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