It has been much to long since I have written a blog post BUT here I am and here is the wonderful felting workshop that we put on with Eli from Felt the Fluff! (you can check out more of Eli's fabulous creations on her Etsy site)
We started out the day by getting to pick out our materials! We were learning the technique of Nuno Felting, which Wikipedia defines as: a technique that bonds loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such silk gauze, creating a lightweight felt. Eli had a fantastic bin that was brimming with colours and textures that we got to choose from. We had several gauze options: a silk gauze, a cotton gauze, or no gauze at all. Technically the non-gauze option is just regular wet felting, but as it creates a different fabric in the end some of us did choose that option. I, of course went for the silk! I love silk, I love it in yarn, I love it fibre, and I love it just by itself! If I could afford to have my entire wardrobe done in silk I would.
Once we had all picked our base materials (which believe me took quite some time!) we got down to business.
|silk and wool togther forever!|
Not only did we work with silk gauze but we also got to work with silk hankies (also known as silk mawata) and silk sliver (which is basically just silk put into a roving format). The silk itself doesn't felt so you have to encase it in wool. The wool grabs onto itself on either side of the silk and secures it into the fabric. Not only does it add colour but it adds a neat crinkly texture to the piece.
|Creating the perfect design.|
Once you have your first layers of fibre laid out the real fun begins, it is time to add the water, the soap, and the agitation! Though there are just as many ways to felt as there are to cast on we put a layer of bubble wrap (bubbles up!), then our fibre, then another layer of bubble wrap (bubbles down!), and then we took a felting tool (designed by Eli herself) and gently rubbed all along the length of the scarf. We also spritzed the whole thing with water and a bit of soap which is key to making the whole process a success.
|giving her scarf some extra agitation on a boot mat!|
|Sometimes you need more then one person to get a|
handle on the darn thing!
Felting can be hard work but the pay off is so worth it! I think the biggest thing I learned in the class is that no matter how carefully you lay out your initial design it isn't going to stay that way! You definitely have to get comfortable letting go of your control and let the wool do what it is going to do. You can never really predict how the fibres are going to felt and latch on to each other.
The finished product is absolutely beautiful don't you think?
We will be hosting a second felting workshop with Eli on October 18, 2015. This time Eli will be teaching us how to do felted hats, bags, or slippers! For more information check out our website here.