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firstname.lastname@example.org Nuno Felt Flutterby Wrap Tutorial
Nuno felting is relatively new to the world of felt making. The technique was developed in 1994 by textile artist Polly Stirling and her assistant, Sachiko Kotaka. They learned that by manipulating a small amount of wool fiber through a base fabric, they created a felted fabric with characteristics quite different from traditional felt. Nuno felt is lightweight with a lovely drape and flexibility. It is a wonderful textile for apparel, home décor and jewelry. Truly, the possibilities are endless. If you are a left brain (process oriented) human, you need to let yourself go a bit as felt making is not an exact science. The directions are intended to provide technical assistance but you are encouraged to create “outside of the box.” It might be necessary to make some independent choices along the way. You will have extra materials in your kit that can be used to alter the basic design. Have fun and do not feel too constrained….Relax and have a great time! Additional assistance can be found with our online tutorial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3yzSZdGgEw. The lesson is broken down into 6 easy to follow videos, each with an admittedly low production quality, but lots of good information! You might find it helpful to watch the first video and then do the project up to that point, watch the second video and do the project up to that point, etc. The visuals will be a helpful addition to the written instructions.
Silk Fabrics: ½ width of 2.5 yard piece of silk (primary color) Silk Fabrics: ¼ with of 2.5 yard piece of silk (secondary color) Wool top: Approximately 50 – 60 grams of something beautiful Throwster’s Waste: 5 grams for embellishment Tussah Silk: 5 grams for extra shine Large towel Bubble Wrap Pool Noodle Olive Oil Soap solution Toile Netting Ties/elastic bands
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Step 1: Make the nuno ribbon strips The Flutterby Wrap is a layered piece. The primary layer is the actual base of the garment. The secondary layers are strips of nuno felted “ribbons” that are placed on top of the primary layer and then felted into the primary layer. You will make the ribbon strips first, as it will be an easy introduction into the craft. a.Before you get started, you have a decision to make. The ribbons can either have unfinished seams or finished seams. The unfinished seam choice is easy, because you need only cut and tear three ribbons from the smaller piece of silk in your felting kit. It will also result in a more “flowing” look to the ribbons. The Purple Passion wrap has unfinished seams. The disadvantage is that the edges will have a tendency to unravel, leaving little threads that must constantly be pulled off.
The pink silk seam is unfinished
The green silk seam is finished with a pink wool edge.
If you choose to leave the edges unfinished, you can go directly to Step 2. b. Put the bubble wrap on top the towel with the bubbles facing up. Fill your squeeze bottle with cool water and add a few drops of soap to the bottle. [Note: although felting is usually done with warm water, Nuno felting is better done with cool water. It will slow down the felting process, providing the fiber the time necessary to migrate through the silk before it felts together. The extra time will also give you a bit more control as you learn. c. You have two pieces of silk fabric in your kit. You will felt the smaller (“secondary”) piece first, and then cut it into three separate pieces for the ribbons. Place the small piece of silk on top of the bubble wrap. d. Pick up your wool. It is too thick to work with as you find it. Gently separate it into two pieces. FIGURE 2. Separate it a few more times until you have a piece of wool that is approximately an inch wide. This is not an exact science, so just go with your gut instinct and don’t waste time worrying about it. e. Pick up the wool top and lay the end of it down on the top left edge of the silk. Put your left hand on the wool to secure it and gently pull off tufts of fiber with your other hand. If it is difficult to pull, then move your hands further apart. The wool should separate gently and easily…no major effort should be expended! This is called “Shingling.” Continue to shingle, placing the wool so that each shingle gently overlaps the previous shingle by about a half inch. There should not be any “bald spots.” FIGURE 3. Your objective is to use the wool to create a nice fiber seam along the top edge. The shingle should be about an inch wide. FIGURE 4 f. Shingle another row about 3 inches below the first row (an “Exterior row”). Add a third row of shingling about three inches below the second row. The 2nd and 3rd rows (“Interior rows”) should be between 1 ½ and 2 inches wide. Finally, shingle the entire bottom edge, as well as the side edges. These are also exterior rows and should be an inch wide. You can see that you are forming three separate panels that will be cut out later. FIGURE 5 g. Double check to see that there are no bald spots and that at least half of the the fiber along the exterior edges is situated directly on top of the silk. You want it to felt INTO the silk, not away from the silk. Once you are
satisfied with the placement of the fiber, cover the entire piece with the toile netting. The purpose of the netting is to capture the fiber and hold it in place so that it does not randomly move about while you are felting. FIGURE 6 h. Sprinkle soapy water liberally over the netting. You want to wet down the entire piece. FIGURE 7 i. Use the palm of your hands to flatten down the fiber. Start in the middle and work your way out. FIGURE 8 j. Once the entire piece has been wet and flattened, it is time to make the “jelly roll” and begin to roll. Put your pool noodle at one edge of the netting and roll up the bundle, including the bubble wrap and toile. FIGURE 9 k. Tie the bundle with the pantyhose. FIGURE 10 l. Roll the bundle gently back and forth 100 times with light pressure. FIGURES 11, 12, 13 m. Time to take a peek! Unwrap the roll and gently pull the toile netting off of the silk. The wool might tend to stick to the toile…no worries…just pull it off. FIGURE 14 n. Take a minute to smooth out any creases that may have developed and fix any stray fibers that have gotten out of place. FIGURE 15, 16 o. Once you are satisfied with the positioning of the fibers, cover the silk with the netting, roll the bundle, and secure with ties. Roll another 100 times, using a bit more pressure. p. Felt shrinks in the direction that it is rolled. Unroll the package and re-roll from the other side. Do another 100 rolls, exerting a lot of pressure this time. q. Now it is time for the pinch test! Unroll the package and pinch some of the fiber. It should be starting to “grab” the silk fabric. If you are able to pull up the wool with the fiber, you are ready to begin Fulling! FIGURE 17 r. “Fulling” refers to the process by which you agitate the felt to shrink it. The agitation forces the fibers to become more entangled, compressing them and forcing out the air between them. This will cause the fabric to shrink and become stronger. Start the fulling process by rubbing the material against the bubble wrap. Figure 18 s. I generally start out with light pressure and then increase the pressure once I see that the fiber is migrating through the silk. You can tell that the migration is successful when you look at the underside of the fabric and see a bubbling/puckering where the wool has come through. Figure 19 t. Finish the Fulling by lifting you fabric over your head and forcefully throwing it against the table. Get out all of your aggression! Felting is better than therapy! Feel free to put your fabric in a zip lock baggie and throw that if you want to avoid any water backsplash. u. Cut along the middle of the interior rows of felted to create your ribbons. Do not cut too straight a line as the exterior edges are more organic. Figure 20. Now seal the cut edges by rubbing them along the bubble wrap. Step 2: Make the Nuno Wrap a. b. c. Lay the primary piece of silk on top of the bubble wrap. Now position the ribbon strips on top of the silk. Figure 21 Add a line of fiber in the middle of each ribbon and take it all the way along the length of the ribbon. This will serve as the “glue” that will attach the secondary silk to the primary silk. Figure 22 Shingle the edges of the primary silk at described in Step 1 (e, f, g). You might want to make the exterior edges wider (3 inches or so) than before since there will be shrinkage in both the width and length of the material. You can make up for the shrinkage by making the edges wider with the wool fiber. Add more wool to the primary silk for additional impact and shrinkage. This is the time to add some silk decoration as well. Silk WILL NOT felt into the silk fabric, so you must place any silk fiber on top of wool fiber. The wool fibers will entangle the silk and fuse it to the fabric. Consider adding some pretty threads, yarns, or other fiber goodies from your personal stash to get additional texture. I included some kid goat curly locks in mine. Figure 23 Repeat the Steps 1g through 1t as described above. You might need to roll an extra 200 times since the wool must migrate through two separate layers of silk fabric. You have control over how “floppy” your ribbons are. All of the rolling might tend to firmly attach the ribbon edges to the primary silk, but if you prefer a more ruffled layered look to your finish piece, simply use your hands to gently separate the layers a bit before the final rolls and again before the fulling process. Figure 24.
g. Rinse all of the soapy water out of your pretty new garment and put it into a plastic tub of hot water. Add a tablespoon or two of vinegar to the water. You might notice a small amount of dye discharge in the water. No worries…the vinegar rinse will get rid of any soap remnants and insure color fastness. Figure 25 h. FINISHED! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Figure 26
Photos for Nuno Felt Flutterby Wrap
Step 1: Create Nuno Ribbons
Figure 1 The Supplies
Figure 2 Separate the wool
Figure 3 Shingling
Figure 4 Laying wool on top edge
Figure 5 Create the ribbons
Figure 6 Cover with toile net
Figure 7 Sprinkle with water
Figure 8 Flatten down fiber
Figure 9 Roll the Jelly Roll
Figure 10 Secure with ties
Figure 11 Start to roll the package
Figure 12 Keep rolling
Figure 13 Keep rolling
Figure 14 Check after 100 rolls
Figure 15 Smooth out wrinkles
Figure 16 Tuck under stray threads
Figure 17 Pinch test success
Figure 18 Figure 19 Rub against bubble wrap Puckering on green
Figure 20 Cut out ribbons
Step 2: Create Nuno Wrap
Figure 20 Figure 21 Position the ribbons Yellow wool on green silk ribbon
Figure 22 Shingle the edges
Figure 23 Add more wool, silk fibers for additional impact
Figure 24 Separate ribbons to get a more ruffled look
Figure 25 Add vinegar to hot water
AREN’T YOU PROUD? …now go on and teach someone what you learned!
Crafting is uncomplicated joy…pass it on!
Have comments or questions regarding the kit? Please contact Pat: TheCraftyRetailer@Gmail.com