How to make a Nuno Felted Scarf: A Series of Short Videos
Over the past month I have published a series of short videos on how to make nuno felt. I thought it might be helpful if I published them in one place. I would love to hear what you think about them. Each one was done during a class, so you get to see exactly what we are doing.
There are special techniques for laying down wool on silk when you make nuno felt so that that the wool fibers can work themselves through the woven silk. We are making shawls and in this video. I am showing how to make the border around the perimeter of the shawl using a technique called "shingling". It is called shingling because every thin layer of wool overlaps the previous layer of wool slightly. Shingling is required throughout the process of laying down wool, but here I am only showing it on the border of the shawl. These videos were taken by Ania Gilmore who took the Nuno Felting Class.
I find the soap that I use in felting to be very important, especially since I have my hands in soapy water all day. I use a olive oil soap mixture that I prepare in advance. I make it out of water and chopped up olive oil soap to create a slimy paste. This soap mixture allows the merino wool to slide through the silk fabric and felting makes the lamination work. The olive oil soap mixture makes your hand feel great! It is like going to a spa!
Making nuno felt requires lots of agitation. Agitation makes the wool fibers pass through the silk to laminate the wool and the silk together. Soap and water lubricate the wool fibers so they can pass through the silk weave. To agitate the wool fibers we wrap the wool in bubble wrap and roll it. After rolling the wool we will peal off the netting that is holding the wool and the silk together and roll the scarves again.
Now I will show you how to roll wool felt. Felt making requires lots of agitation to make the felting process work. Rolling the wool is a critical part of the process since it forces the wet wool fibers to migrate and eventually interlock with with each other. In this video, we are making a nuno felt shawl. The agitation created by rolling the wool and silk allows the wool fibers to migrate through the silk. Later we will shock the wool fibers to make them interlock with each other by applying hot water and continuing to agitate the wool and the silk fabric.
Once you have rolled the scarf, you need to remove the netting that has held the wool and the silk in place. Since the netting is woven, the wool migrates through it, making a little difficult to peel away from the design. There is a special technique for doing this, so I wanted to show you in this video.