Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Kapok Fibre

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I'd bought a new fibre to try out, Kapok fibre. Like cotton, it grows around the seed of the plant, but is much lighter and softer. As much as I like fibre tops, I do like the shorter staple fibres, especially with coarser wools for the way they interact with the wool and produce more 'natural' looking effects. They often seem to mimic things you find in nature such as cobwebs, fungus or mould, which look solid but are really soft or fluffy when you look closer. This first panel is natural white 23 Micron Merino. I took a 'piece' of the kapok fibres and teased it apart, sames as you would silk noil, and laid it across the wool. It's hard to see the Kapok at all.

I know a lot of people don't like curly or coarser wools for felting, especially if they mainly make felt paintings or want a brightly coloured, smooth, firm felt. But I'm the type of person who loves textures and shades and tones as much as colour, and love rocks and tree barks just as much as flowers or minerals.  So, if you're like me, you might like these next couple of pieces which I made using Shetland and Finnish wools. For this first one, I used grey Shetland tops and added fluffed up, teased apart Kapok fibre:

I like the effect the thinner parts of fibre produces:

One of the areas where the fibre was denser:

I made the Finnish piece double sided. I first put some teased apart Kapok fibre on my template, then added the brown Finnish tops. I added a layer of black Finnish tops, then blended some Kapok fibre with black Finnish noil and added that. I added some Kapok fibre on its own in a few spaces and blended a small amount of Kapok With black Finnish top and added that too. This is the brown side:

Close up 1:

One of the denser areas:

This is the black Finnish side:

A close up of a dense fibre part:

This is a close up of the Fibre blended with the wool:

Do you have a favourite coarse of curly wool? What do you use it for? Do you have a favourite embellishment fibre? You're welcome to link me to any pics or come and post about it on the Felting and Fiber forum.

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