What a lovely day. A day of conversation and cuppas enjoying woolly crafting. All from the comfort of my kitchen.
When friend AFl suggested coming over I balked slightly at the craft she suggested. But as soon as I started gathering everything we would need I felt the old excitement I got from running workshops and joining in Wool ‘n’ Stuff sessions.
What were we going to do? There’s a (BIG) clue on my kitchen table.
‘Felting’ you say? Felting yes but with a twist. This is Nuno felting (felting onto cloth) and if you want to have a go at this low cost craft – or just want to see what we got up to – read on.
Here’s what we used:
- surface to work on that you don’t mind getting a bit wet (kitchen table = perfect);
- bubble wrap;
- cling-film (needs to be quite robust variety);
- muslin (remember there will be about a 50% shrinkage so allow for this);
- fibres (we used dyed merino tops);
- plastic bag each;
- cool soapy water (I put a mix of washing-up liquid and cool water in an old plastic spray bottle);
- clothes washing flakes or liquid; and
At this point I should have been able to show you what we did first but fueled with coffee (and a cheeky donut..or two…) I forgot to take any photos!!!! So words will have to suffice. Normal photographic service will soon follow.
Our first steps:
Bubble wrap was laid out bubble side down;
We wet the fabric and spread it out on the bubble wrap;
Remembering that less fibre leads to more shrinkage we pulled our wool tops into small, even and thin pieces;
Then we lay the fibres in all directions (one direction means shrinkage will only be one way);
We gently sprayed COOL soapy water on the fibres and cloth; and
Covered our fibre patterned muslin with cling film (AFl had brought an old industrial sized roll which was perfect cos it wasn’t too thin nor very sticky).
Now we gently pressed all the water down through the wool,
until it started to go flat at which point we rubbed gently – still through the cling-film – with our scrunched up plastic bags. A bit like rubbing down a wet horse I thought …. or is that just me?!
Off came the cling-film and rolling commenced … oops just noticed the cling-film is not off … remember to remove yours.
We rolled three hundred times (yes 300!) one way and then having re-rolled the felt in the opposite direction three hundred (YES 300!) more times.
Unbeknowst to us hours passed as we chattered and rolled … and rolled …. and rolled … Time flew.
Once we could see fibres making their way through the muslin we flipped the bubble wrap over and rubbed the nuno (yes it actually looked like nuno felting, amazing) along the whole length.
We put the nuno into hot soapy water. As hot as our hands could cope with. Ooooooch. Then came the best bit.
‘Is that it?’ I hear you cry. OK it doesn’t look very exciting but this is my nuno felt after I had thrown it full force S-P-L-A-T onto the table. This only needed to be done about a dozen times but as I hurled my felting I found it was a great means of working off my angst … “and this is for …. bang! and this is for …. BANG!” Twelve throws was not enough. When you get to this stage you’ll know what I mean.
Not only was it therapeutic but it was also magical. Shrinkage! Houston we have shrinkage!
Finally all our nuno needed was a rinse to get rid of the soap and a last rinse with a splash of vinegar and more water.
We were very pleased with ourselves. We had actually created nuno felted pieces and had just enough time for a celebratory soup as they dried.
Excellent way to spend a day. Getting together with a friend and having a bash (quite literally) at a kitchen table craft. Thank you AFl for reminding me.
Until we meet next. Moke x