Thursday, 2 July 2015

Natural Wools and Fibres

I've been re-organising my supplies lately, and one of the things I did was put my dyed silk products into one box, and my natural undyed silk supplies in another. While I was doing this I had an idea to make a silky cocoon type pod. I had a look on google images and liked the look of ones which were more fibrey, 'scruffy' looking. So I started by really piling the silk on to my resist. I added a couple of bunched up silk hankies, a silk hankie I'd drafted into roving, silk throwster's waste, schappe silk from wollknoll, different types of silk noil, some coccon strippings. I can't find my undyed silk carrier rods, but I did find a little bag of 'fluff' I'd carded from silk carrier rod scraps a few years ago, so I put that on too. I did a layer of 18.5 Mic  Merino on top of the silk, then on one side I lay lengths of white pencil roving. I used 23 Mic Merino for the second layer, and then 2 layers of English 56s. I do like the way it turned out, but I didn't expect it to be so 'neat'!


I thought with all the silk I'd piled on it'd be a lot more fibrey, but it does have nice texture and structure and there's a lot of different shades.


This is a closer look at some texture:


And this is some of the throwster's waste:


I wondered if some of the texture and features would show up more with a light inside, so I used a bit of sewing thread to attach it to a ceiling light to see:


You can definitely see more, and here you can see the ridges from the pencil roving better, I think it looks quite creepy with the light inside:


Another piece I've made recently is this wall hanging. I laid it out about a week or so before I got time to felt it, and I think it ended up being 'upside down'. I wrote down the wools and fibres I used as I laid it out, but think I forgot a few as I kept adding locks here and there! Also, I added a few locks to the bottom just before I felted it, but I'm certain that was originally the top:


I added some pieces of handspun yarn I'd made mostly from bits left over from carding, I spun them quite thickly, and didn't do anything with them after wards, just wound them onto card. This one is on the row of white Chubut, a 'new' to me wool I got from wollknoll, which felts so nicely and looks really nice too.


These are some cotton fibres: cotton top, cotton fibre and cotton nepps on carded Portuguese Merino, with some soy staple and carded Gotland.


If you are interested in trying more fibres in wet felting work, I recently wrote an e-book guide to using them. It features 20 commonly available natural fibres. Have a look at the info page :)

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