I have been making felt over the last couple of days. I had in mind to make a scarf as a present for our good friend in London who looks after us so well when we stay with her the evening before the Battersea Vintage Fashion Fair. I have a passion for Nuno Felt because of its fluidity. This first scarf is a commercially bought silk scarf with all the edges ready hand rolled!!!!!!!! It is really not the right silk for Nuno Felt but I had a go and after many hours was not too pleased with the result so I resorted to using my Embellisher Machine to punch the fibres through. The barbed needles made a pleasant pattern on the silk as well as doing their job of felting the woool into the silk thereby creating lots of lovely gathers and bubbles in the silk.
-This is a closeup of the texture. I decided to leave this one white as it shows off the orange cobweb felt. The next two photographs are of the scarf that is the result of my felting on to some very open weave silk gauze. I bought a roll of this silk several years ago at Honiton Textile Market when I was working there. It was years and years old and I would give my eye teeth to be able to get some more. It is wonderful stuff for felting. I dont know what it was for originally but every 45 cms across the width there is a break in the weaving like a row of perforations. This was a bit easier to felt but when it was finished I didn't like the effect of the cream colour gauze on the reverse so decided to dye it. I was a bit worried as I had no time for things to go wrong but as usual jumped in with both feet and mixed up some terracotta Procion Mx and added a bit of slate blue to knock the brightness. I then began to search for some white vinegar to soak the scarf in as silk has to have an acid environment to take a fibre reactive dye, but couldn't find any or not enough to do the job in hand!!! Then I thought 'Oh Nuts' or something to that effect and took out the only vinegar I had - Red Wine Vinegar purchased on a trip to France a while ago. As the scarf was orange and I was going to use a rusty brown dye I didn't think the colour of the vinegar would matter!! After leaving the scarf to soak a while in the Red Wine Vinegar I squeezed out the surplus and put the scarf into the dye and squished it about until my hands were a really lovely colour then transferred it to a Microwave Steaming Bag and 'nuked' it for 2 minutes and Hey Presto it was done. I really like it. I'm not sure I want to give it away!!!!!!!! but I will.
Tomorrow sees Linda and I travelling to London for the Battersea Vintage Fashion Fair. The first one of the year. Let's hope it's a good one.