Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Cotton Gauze

Do you ever use lightweight cottons in your felting work? I’ve been quite busy lately working on my project of ‘other’ fibres and fabrics used in felting. I’ve been making a lot of felt pieces using lightweight cotton fabrics like muslin and cheesecloth. Another fabric I’ve used is Cotton Gauze, this is also known as ‘Scrim’, and I’ve used a couple of different types. This is some of the dyed pieces I have.

The gauze is really good for creating texture and effects. I’ve been making some large bold pieces to use for bookcovers.

I’ve also made some smaller pieces with resists, using the gauze for texture. This piece was for making into a pouch.

and this became a textured sculptural vessel

I’m starting to have a huge pile of colourful, texturey felt pieces all waiting to be made into something once the weather gets too hot for felting. This is a close up of a large piece I made for making a purse and matching mirror case out of.

The lightweight cottons also work really well for using in scarves and wraps instead of the usual silk. Do you use scrim or cotton fabrics in felting, or fibre art? How do you find it to work with? Have you ever dyed your own? (My hands are currently a strange shade after using red, blue and brown dyes this week!) I’d love to hear about your experiences with it and see photos if you have links :)

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Free Tutorials and Silk Paper Update

I've added a new page to the blog so it's easier to find the links to my free tutorials. The new page is just under the blog banner. The tutorials are mostly photosets on flickr, but there are also some PDFs. All the tutorials were written by me and photographed by me and took a long time to do, please respect all the effort that went into them, they are for personal use only and not for reproducing or selling, thanks :)

I did get around to trying out the silk paper sheets that I made not so long ago. I first tried using the tufty bits from around the edges of the sheets to see how the paper felted. The piece I made looked a bit pale, so when I layed the wool out for the new piece, I used darker blues and purples for the background.

I was really pleased with the way it felted, though for some reason it shrank unevenly. The first piece I'd made had also shrunk unevenly, but I just assumed it was the way I lay the paper, so there were more fibres running in one direction. But both pieces had two equal layers of merino and I didn't pay particular attention to the silk paper fibres and which way they ran, and since most were two layers it shouldn't have mattered.

You can see from this angle that the silk paper felted in really nicely