How I made the felt shrug!

Thanks for all your comments everyone, it is always nice to get feedback.  Here are some brief instructions for those of you who want to give the shrug a try this weekend (could that be you Dawn??)!  On top of bubble wrap and with bubbles facing up lay out a LARGE circle of merino (a bit bigger that the one formed if you create a circle with your arms stretched in front of you and by joining your finger tips together) one layer thick.  I used predominantly one base colour and added splodges of green and some darker merino as well, don’t be too fussed if the shape is  not totally round as this creates an organic feel to the edges.  Place your silk chiffon (in a contrasting or complementary colour) on top of the wool almost but not quite up to the edges (for the ‘Peony’ shrug I used 2 different colours) and then lay a second layer of merino around the edges and in a few selected areas of the silk. 

Back view of 'Peony' shrug

Back view of 'Peony' shrug

I then added some gorgeous space dyed mulberry silk on top of all the areas where wool fibre was uppermost, wet out as normal with tepid water and olive oil soap, placed bubble wrap on top bubble side down and started the nuno felting process.  I did pay particular attention to wetting out all the fibres, rubbing while the layers were flat and then rolling around an insulating pipe for a couple of hundred rolls in various directions.  When the fibres and silk were holding together well but not felted fully I cut out a narrow wedge shape just like a slice of pizza!  Leaving the felt flat on the table I then went round and cut short slits all over the place but always in the direction from the outside towards the center.  Next I sealed the edges of the wedge and the holes with soapy hands, swirled and massaged it gently in a warm bowl of soapy water and then just continued to felt as normal for nuno.  I kept laying it flat again, stretching the holes but being careful not to tear them too much at the edges.  I also stretched the whole shrug so in fact it ended up not a whole lot smaller in diameter than it started.  When happy with the result (I tried it on wet a few times!) I rinsed the shrug in warm water, shaped on my kitchen table and then left it to dry shaped over my new (to me) tailor’s dummy.  Enjoy and have fun making your own shrug, remember that I want to see your pictures!  By the way, this piece in reversible and can also be worn back to front if  you prefer!!

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