This blog contains some useful tips and hints how to create nuno felt. Nuno felt is a vast area with many opportunities and results depend on many variables. I will be talking here based on my experience and my designs. Please note that there are many other opportunities in nuno felt and I hope this blog will encourage you to experiment with this technique further.
1. Weight of fabric.
It is more challenging to felt heavier silk, such as: various thickness silk ponge (5 and 6), silk habotai ( 8, 10 and 12), silk crepe de satin, silk crepe de chine 12, silk twill 12 and other.
However, these fabrics give beautiful rewarding results creating amazing textures leaving interesting crinkles after felting.
I created this flower with ponge silk. We make these type of felt as part of my Felted flower using various technique workshop.
I used various fabrics here. Black silk is habotai 12. This technique is a part of my Nuno Felted Textured Cushion workshop.
Textures can also be created with lighter fabrics such as chiffon, gauze or cotton gauze. You just need to lay these fabrics with folds before felting.
2. Style and Design.
A. Paint on fabric with wool and other fiber leaving silk exposed in many places, chiffon and silk gauze are the best materials for this technique from my experience.
1. I used chiffon fabric and then created design with wool and various fibre.
2. I love using Margilan Gauze Silk as a base creating then various patterns with wool and other fibre. This scarf was created by Pam Harrington during one of my Nuno Felted Lace Scarf Workshop.
B. Covering fabric with wool completely, fabric can be used as a canvas for your design.
1. Chiffon is a canvas for a design here.
2. Habotai silk 12 on one side and a mix of wool and silk fibre on another side. This technique is also called laminating.
3. Margilan silk was covered with merino wool and then silk and viscose fibre.
C. Create a sandwich of fabrics on both side while wool inside.
1. I used Margilan Gauze Silk here on both sides and merino wool in between.
2. This scarf was created with Margilan Gauze Silk and then eco printed with leaves and dyed using natural dye.
D. Paint with fabric on a wool layout. It is similar to laminating, however you can create various patterns and designs.
1. This piece was created using various techniques and habotai silk was used to create textures.
2. I used cotton gauze to laminate felt here while creating a felted cuff.
3. It similar idea here in comparison to the blue and white cuff as above. The difference is in fabric. I used silk ponge.
Materials to be used for nuno felt.
Merino Wool, 15 (14.5), 19 (18.5), 21 and 23 macrons.
Pure silk, cotton gauze or scrim. I recommend first to use silk chiffon (not crinkle) or gauze, such as Margilan Silk, cotton gauze or scrim. You will need minimum 2m x 50cm. Size of fabric depends on your design, wool layout and how much felting and fulling you do., i.e shrinkage to achieve. You can also experiment with silk pongee 5 leaving heavier fabrics for later when you became more comfortable with the nuno felt process.
Various fibres, such as silk, bamboo, viscose and other fibres to achieve interesting texture.
Other materials: Beads, buttons, knitting yarns, at least 20% wool content, other natural silk fabrics, recycled sari. If you incorporate knitting yarns into your nuno felted design, make sure they are on top of felting wool and not on silk or other fibre. Acrylic and low content wool yarns needs to be blocked with wisps of felting wool, simply by putting few wisps of wool on top of knitting yarns.
Tools: bubble wrap, rolling pole, e.g. swimming noodle, towels, soap. I recommend to use olive soap. However if you do not have olive soap, fairy liquid then can be used. Leave olive soap in hot water before spraying your design with water. Large table raised or kitchen work top. I raise my tables to assist me during a layout and felting avoiding bending my back. Please read my blog, Some tips to help with felting.
If you have any questions regarding this blog, please get in touch. Nuno felt is my favourite technique with lots of opportunities to create interesting designs. I am also a huge advocate of a good quality of felt and if you are interested to read further, then this blog, How to recognise quality felt may be of interest.