Opposites Do Attract: Nuno Felt Meets Shibori

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.

Nuno Felt

Today in Northern California, the weather was perfect for experimenting with the Nuno Felting technique. Nuno Felt represents the co-mingling of wool fibers with the woven structure of silk. Synthetic fabrics also offer good support for this technique.  Why not experiment with cheesecloth?  Silk provides an intriguing background for this process because of its translucent appearance.  Last year while cruising the marketplace at Stitches West, I spied pre-dyed silk scarves perfect for Nuno Felting.  It was time to dust off the silk scarves and have some fun!

I filled a bucket with warm water, grabbed a bar of olive oil soap, and a roll of bubble wrap.  The silk scarf was placed on a length of bubble wrap, wool roving was gently placed on top of the scarf, and I proceeded to saturate the scarf and wool roving with a solution of warm water and olive oil soap.  I patiently agitated the surface with a piece of net between the surface of the scarf and my hands.

The manipulation of the surface created dimensionality to the scarf due to the felting of the wool roving.  The  silk scarf was transformed into a delicate piece of sculpture.


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