Monday, March 7, 2011

More Explorations in Wet Felting

I jumped into (dry) needle felting with having just seen a little demo along with ordering a tutorial on Etsy. I was pretty happy with my successes and my ability to sort of work it out on my own.

Wet felting on the other hand, didn't work out so well when I jumped into it after just reading a little how-to in a book. I didn't realize how much you have to pound the felt and toss it onto the counter to get it to felt and my pieces ended up more weak and uneven.

So I decided it was time to get some real help and I signed up for 2 wet felt making classes at Weaving Works in Seattle. This store is really serious about fiber arts. If you knit, crochet, dye fabric, weave, or felt, this is the place for you!

Both classes I took were taught by Faith Hogenhafer. She is a felt artist that raises her own sheep and even dyes her own wool! Very creative and inspiring. We started the class with making samples. The one on the left is felted onto cheese cloth. I love the design and texture of the cheese cloth. The other two are just wool.
Yesterday's class was all about Nuno Felting. This is a type of wet felting where you felt the wool to a piece of silk chiffon. It gives the piece strength while allowing it to remain very delicate and flexible; perfect for making a scarf. You take raw wool and lay it out to the size of your silk, cover it with silk and then do another layer of raw wool on top. Then you wet it and roll it up sandwiched in bubble wrap or shelf liner and netting and roll and roll and roll and then unroll and take the scarf out and start throwing in on the counter to finish the felting process. Not the best description, but just know it is messy and your hands get sore. This Nuno scarf has four colors of wool roving felted to silk chiffon and is about a yard long. This technique only works on silk, not synthetic materials.

The silk comes white, but you can dye it and that will completely change the look of what you are doing. I thought I was taking a felting class, but now I want to learn how to dye as well!

Here's a goofy angle but it shows that the scarf is perfect for a little wrap around the neck. Now I want to make a big one! This little one took a little over an hour and half to make. A bigger one could easily take a few hours.

Here's Faith talking about her work.

And this is the hat I made in the 3-D felting class a month ago. I think the 3-D class obviously gave me more info for making sculpture but I like the delicacy of the Nuno felting. This hat isn't too wearable. It is too thick and too big. But I can always cut it up and use the felt for something else.
Now I am starting to think that I should go get a Master's in Fiber Arts to go with my degree in Sculpture. So many things to learn and so little time!


  1. This was a great your hat too!

  2. Nice work! It is totally addictive isn't it?
    (btw, you actually can Nuno on synthetics. Definitely doesn't have to be silk just anything with the open weave. Although maybe its not called the sane thing anymore? Haha.. Didn't think about it that way until now.))

  3. Thanks! I found out it is called "laminating" if you aren't using silk, but I just say nuno felting and don't care as much about the semantics!