WET FELTING - NUNO FELTING
Felting is an ancient craft which is very popular even today. It is the process of transforming wool into a dense cloth by bonding and shrinking the fibres together using heat, agitation and moisture. After the wet felting process is complete, the felted item is finished off by a process called fulling. When it is dry the felted fabric can be cut into any shape and will not fray.
Only certain types of fibre can be felted successfully such as sheep's wool or alpaca fibre. The reason being is that these types of fibre are covered in tiny microscopic scales, similar to the scales found on a strand of human hair. Wetting and soaping the fleece causes the scales to open, whilst agitating them causes them to latch onto each other, When cooled and dried, the scales close and lock the fleece into the material called felt.
When felting the wool, fibres hook together and shrink. Warm water and soap accelerates this process. (Olive oil soap is best).
It is difficult to predict exactly how much the wool will shrink during the process – it can be anything up to 40%. The actual degree of shrinkage depends on the type of wool, the length of time it is felted and fulled and the density of the fibres when laid out.
Felt making is fun and easy to learn and offers countless creative possibilities from clothing and accessories to toys and unique home accessories.
Nuno felting creates a beautifully textured fine lightweight drapable fabric. It is a technique developed by Polly Stirling, a fibre artist from Australia around 1992.
Nuno felting is the bonding of wool with a light weight natural fabric like silk chiffon.
The fibres can completely cover the background fabric, or be used as a decorative design that allows the backing fabric to show.
We carry a full range of nuno felting supplies for all your projects including silk chiffon scarves and prefelts.
The prefelt is lightly needled Merino wool either bought as a pre- cut shape or in a required length of fabric. Prefelt is great because it cuts out the step of laying out your wool fibres, providing a wonderful surface for making a nuno felted fabric. You can add surface decorations, threads, etc as well as make holes for that deconstructed look.