I am the self-titled Queen of Justification. I can always find a perfectly convincing reason why I need the dress/CD/trip etc. and if someone hadn’t already snagged www.justification.com, I could have had an entirely different career! Of course this talent for justification becomes a scary skill when it comes to felting. Anyone who felts will understand that even a normal, well-balanced, non-justifier can transform into a raving hoarder of all things fiber….roving, silks, yarns, fabrics, even beads. Like shiny objects to a magpie, these items HAVE to be collected ‘just in case’ they can be used in a project. Often these items languish unused, colorfully taking up space and provoking guilt by sitting there for months (years?! ). Do not fret fellow fiber squirrelers – I’m elated to present the perfect justification project. Finally, that random, rainbow of scraps has an exquisite destiny! The nuno-felted collage scarf! First, sort your (I’m guessing ample?!) stash into color schemes and enjoy instant inspiration! and guess what? The more ‘bits and pieces’ you have, the more fun your design! Hoarding = JUSTIFIED!! Huraah!! Here’s how I did it: I laid out pieces of hand-dyed silk gauze, silk habotai and floral fabric The design was rolled up in bubble wrap and a long (some may say TEDIOUS!), delicate process of rolling and shaping the scarf began….and took several hours of physical labor and some magic After several rounds of rolling, shaping and general loving, the roving transformed into to felt, framing the fabric pieces like a large, fabric, stained glass window! and remember, the fabrics don’t felt…but when the roving felts, and shrinks, it grabs the fabric and takes it along for the ride, creating incredible ruffled effects. Amazing huh! You never have absolute control of the artistic process, which I absolutely love! Rolling caused the merino wool to wiggle its way through the gauzy fabrics, tangle with itself and transform into felt. The weak felt fabric was strengthened (‘fulled’) by ‘shocking it in hot and cold water, throwing it and reshaping it. Ta Daaaaa! The finished piece. I think it looks like a beautiful watercolor painted by Alice in Wonderland. < Detail of the scarf showing the ruffling effects – gorgeous!
about the author
Born and raised in England, I moved to Southern California for two years… in 1998… and never left! Despite having a successful career as an immunologist, my creative side has always competed for attention and I have been an avid fiber arts fan since childhood. My mission with Felt Evolution is to give the oldest textile known to man the spotlight it deserves, creating as many new felters as possible along the way!