And I probably need a new hobby like I need a hole in my head!
Last Sunday I took an all day workshop and learned nuno felting. By the end of the day, I was exhausted, but so very happy with my new skill. Our workshop chairman for the Haute Couture Club of Chicago had arranged a class with Natasha of Esther's Place. We had the opportunity to take a 2 1/2 yard length of silk, apply the nuno felting technique, and turn it into yardage that we could then use to make a garment. My original intention was to use my piece to make a skirt. I've changed my mind. Once I got my piece home, I rinsed it as I had been told, and then left it to dry overnight on my dress form. When I came down the next morning, I decided that I loved the piece just as it is and so it will remain a shawl.
As I worked on my piece, I decided to leave peeks of the silk throughout the felting.
Developing the fabric was quite interesting. I had chosen a piece of sage green silk as my base. The silk was hand dyed by Natasha. Once I had the silk in my hands, I saw that there were also red and blue bits of color in the silk. For my first layer of wool, I did alternating strips of red and blue, which you see below on the left side.
I then used the green as my second layer. I was a little unsure of how it would all work out.
The final application was our embellishment. Like I said, I initially thought I would use the yardage to make a skirt, so I left a ruffle edge of the silk and I wanted a border along the edge. I wanted the border to have an impressionistic feel to it, so I used bits of red yarn, green bamboo yarn, a glitter yarn, tiny little felted balls, and some ribbon to create my border. Finally a very fine layer of the wool is placed over the embellished layer and then the felting begins. Cups and cups of warm, soapy water are poured over the wool. Once the piece is wet, we then began the rolling and felting process.
As I also said, I was exhausted by the end of the day, but I was excited about how my piece turned out and all that I had learned. The colors melded together beautifully. I can't wait to make my next nuno felted project!
This is the very talented Natasha.
Below is a skirt that she made with the nuno felting process.
Natasha and her mother Donna are the team behind Esther's Place. They raise their own sheep, sheer the wool, and then provide their customers with the best products that they can offer.
They also offer a wide range of classes, weaving, knitting, felting, dyeing, and even canning classes.
Esther's Place is just a 1 1/2 hour drive west of Chicago. If you are in the Chicagoland area, by all means, take a look at their class page and plan a day out in the country. You'll be happy that you did :)