Many times, one idea leads to another idea, which opens up a plethora of possibilities. That’s what happened when I, knitorious, decided to combine the technique of nuno felting and the art of shibori. The manipulation of wool fibers with a woven structure along with resistance co-mingles two opposite actions.
On the surface of a pre-dyed silk scarf, wool roving of two different colors were delicately placed, one layer horizontal and the other vertical. When the fulling process progressed to the point where the silk scarf began to pucker, wooden beads with a cocoon of yellow/orange-colored roving were each encased with a silicone band.
The action of resistance along with the manipulation of the wool fibers and the woven structure of silk metamorphose the silk scarf into an intriguing sculpture.
Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, tucking, compressing it or capping. The manipulating of the cloth, resists the dye, which decorates the surface with pattern.
The same can be achieved during the fulling process in felting. Adding (wooden beads, buttons, nuts, etc., secured with silicone bands (similar to rubber bands) to the surface of knitting resists felting. Various sizes of wooden beads were used for the first blue/purple swatch. Plastic buttons were used for the second blue/purple swatch.
I decided to try adding resists while wet felting roving. The third swatch (pink/lavender) was manipulated with pre-felts and once the fibers began to full, I added wooden beads secured with silicone bands. I continued the process until the swatch felted to my desired likeness. After the swatch (pink/lavender) was completely dry, I cut the silicone bands and removed the wooden beads.
What do pencil roving and a recycled wool sweater have in common? They both can be felted. Why not try felting both together?
Lately, I’ve been gazing at my selection of Bulky 2 Strand Pencil Roving from Imperial Yarn alongside a pile of recycled sweaters neatly stacked in my craft space. I decided to season the pencil roving with cut-up felted sweater pieces. The stack of fiber resembled the appearance of cooked spaghetti. The felted pencil roving and sweater bits were transformed into a swatch of curiosity.
The felted sweater has been upcycled into a swatch of many possibilities. By the way, check out the wonderful selection of yarn, patterns and pencil roving at www.ImperialYarn.com.
Recently, while flipping through the pages of my many books on the subject of felting, I read instead of using silk for nuno felting, try cheesecloth. With a desire to experiment, I hiked to my local Sur La Table for a package of cheesecloth. The cheesecloth was hidden amongst the pots and pans and cost under five dollars. I decided to practice on a swatch instead of a whole project. Much to my surprise, a beautiful piece of fabric was created. A translucent and transparent surface was created due to the open weave structure of the cheesecloth and the behavior of the wool. The ability to allow light through the felting presented a beautiful sight.
The delicate quality achieved by the co-mingling of cheesecloth and wool roving reminds me of a cloudy day. I will definitely continue with this technique and felt a scarf. Perhaps I’ll try dyeing the cheesecloth when using a dyed wool roving.