Nuno felting

Back in 2012, I attended the New York Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time.  Like many crafters, I have a habit of impulsively buying materials and then storing the items for years before using them.  I picked up a batt of rainbow colored marino wool flecked with tinsel and a silk scarf.  At the time, I had recently become fascinated by felting.  Already experimenting with needle felting, I wanted to try out nuno felting as well.  My new toys sat in the bottom of my wool basket until last week.  I have found that periodically cleaning out my craft closet has a tendency to inspire me to finish old projects and begin new ones.  YouTube has become  my go-to guide for directions on new crafts and techniques.  For felting, I really like the videos created by Terri Pike.  Here is her intro to nuno felting video.  Many artists recommend using netting on top of the wool while felting.  When I have done regular wet felting, I found that laying it down was necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the design.  However, it didn’t seem warranted for nuno felting.  Perhaps it depends on the person performing the work.  My design stayed in place and I didn’t have to spend time lifting the tulle from my piece to prevent it from felting to my scarf.  I decided to go with a simple pattern for this piece so that the colors in the wool could be appreciated.  I laid out the wool on Saturday morning, then came back and did the felting in the afternoon.  The great thing about felting is that it doesn’t require a lot of concentration.  You can play music while you work and by the time you are done, you will feel relaxed.  The rolling can be meditative.  Instead of counting my rolls, I used a timer — opening up my bundle every ten minutes.  After drying, I ironed the piece.

Layout just before wetting and rolling.

Layout just before wetting and rolling.

Detail of colors after felting.

Detail of colors after felting.

Finished and ironed nuno felted scarf.

Finished and ironed nuno felted scarf.


About Erin

I am a watercolor and embroidery artist who loves going to art exhibits and meeting other artists.
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3 Responses to Nuno felting

  1. Ginette S says:

    What kind of silk did you use?
    It’s beautiful!

    • Erin says:

      It’s called “china silk”, which is a very basic weave that comes in different weights. The fabric I used was already cut and hemmed so that it could be made into a scarf. If you do a search on silk painting, that is the same type of fabric.

      • Ginette S says:

        Thanks Erin, I searched it and it’s also known as Habotai. You have been a great help. Thanks!

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