Nuno felting

A large contingent arrived at  Neuadd Goffa , including visitors from Gwynedd Guild and a local lady ready for the workshop on nuno felting.

The name comes from the Japanese word “nuno” meaning cloth. This  felting technique bonds loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze, creating a lightweight felt. The fibres can completely cover the background fabric, or they may be used as a decorative design that allows the backing fabric to show. Nuno felting often incorporates several layers of loose fibres combined to build up colour, texture, and/or design elements in the finished fabric.

It can be made in many weights to accommodate many different uses. You would make a very light weight nuno fabric by laying one layer of loose fiber onto an open weave fabric base, which would be suitable for a summer dress. A much heavier nuno fabric results from laying 3-4 layers of loose fibers onto an open weave base making fabric suitable for a winter coat. Fibre can be felted onto just one side of the fabric or both sides, giving a different effect each time.

Jean, who was leading the workshop, brought several examples of her work for us to look at

Large towels were laid out with a sheet of bubblewrap on top of which was laid the base fabric. Fibre was teased out and spread in fine, even layers going in opposite directions. Onto this fibre base was placed the design you had in mind- or just went for it in a zen way, with fingers crossed! All was sprayed with cool, soapy water. Over this was laid another sheet of bubblewrap.

However, some people did their own thing as they had a specific design in mind

We used plastic bags on our hands to rub over the bubblewrap to help the fibre to start penetrating into the fabric. Then the whole ‘sandwich’ was wrapped around reed matting or pipe insulation and rolled back and forth- for what seemed forever!

Deciding when it was ‘ready’ needed referral to Jean in many cases.  You’ll know it’s time to stop rolling when the fibres are making their way through the fabric. You can check this by feeling for them, pinching the fibre to see if it’s attached to the fabric or sometimes you can see they’ve come through.

Now, the piece can be rinsed in quite hot water which will help the final felting process and also remove the soap

The results were very interesting and different, depending on the fabric and fibre that was used

 

Thanks to Jean for another great session and for providing extra resources.

 

 

 

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