Today, I’d like to show you some examples of samples I made before I decided to felt a bigger piece, what materials I chose for them and what went right/wrong.
I’d like to start with the samples where the wool covered the whole fabric surface, just because I find it an easier way to start than just applying stripes, dots or any kind of other motives on the fabric, since the smaller the area that the wool covers, the more difficult it is to make it attach properly to the woven surface.
Sample 1 – This is probably the easiest of them all to get good results. I used an extra-fine green merino and a white cheese cloth for this. Since this type of cloth has a very open weave, the fine merino fibers have no problem attaching to it. I find it produces a very interesting surface, that could look great on a piece of clothing like a jacket, for example.
Sample 2 – Here you have an extra-fine grey merino combined with an open weave white gauze. Also very easy to work with.
Sample 3 – In this case, I used a white pre-felt and a gauze which has a weave that’s a bit tighter than the last example. The combination produces a beautiful surface, that looks warm and cozy. This too I find could be a great combination for a jacket.
Sample 4 – For this one I’ve chosen an extra-fine lemon-yellow merino batt, combined with a pongee silk. While it’s a bit more difficult to felt, because the pongee silk has a more closed weave, the results are much more luxurious than the first examples.
Sample 5 – Now compare the examples I’ve showed you before with this one. Here I used an extra-fine merino, but I felted it with a synthetic fabric. Can you see how it didn’t attach as well?
Sample 6 – This is the second example of an extra-fine merino combined with a synthetic fiber. This turned out even worse. Even though the holes in the fabric could have contributed to help the wool to penetrate it, it has barely attached, especially on the margins.
Now I’ll show you the samples where I just applied small amounts of wool fiber, creating designs on the woven surface.
Sample 7 – This was made with the gauze with the glossy surface I told you about. In this case, I used a thicker merino as well. The poor choice of materials led to a poor result. Though you can’t really recognize it from the photos, the wool hasn’t attached as well as expected. Maybe you can see that from the back of the sample. The nice thing about this sample is the way it forms ruffles. It could really work out perfectly for a scarf, for example.
Sample 8 – This was a piece I was happy about. I chose a loose woven black cotton material, and applied an extra-fine white merino wool top to it. I love the contrasting effect, but above all, the wool fibers really grabbed on to the weave. Check out the back of the fabric. This combination too produces very nice ruffles.
Sample 9 – This is the same pongee I showed you on sample 4. You get great results with this one as well. Again, I used an extra-fine merino. See how well it attaches to the silk? The end result has far less ruffles than the gauze. This is a great combination for light scarves.
Sample 10 – And here’s another chance to see what happens when you work with artificial fibers. This is a polyester fabric. As you can see, the wool practically didn’t attach to it. Check out the back of the sample. You can barely see any wool fibers on the other side.
Now, I didn’t intend to be comprehensive in these examples, of course. There are far too many possibilities in felting and material combinations. All I wanted to show you here is how important the choice of materials is, and how much you can learn from making lots of samples before you start nuno felting. And I also wanted to give you a couple of ideas of possible combinations and possible results.
I hope this has been helpful, and that it’ll inspire you in your nuno felting experiments.
Feel free to add your suggestions on the comments below.
Talk to you soon!
P.S.: Do you love felting and want to learn more? Fill in your name and email address above and I’ll keep you posted.