Nuno felt experiment

Weather permitting I will take some photos tomorrow morning of the nuno felt wrap I made recently using cotton gauze as the fabric and some commercially produced needle punched merino as the wool.  This was another experiment I tried out at the start of my water difficulties and although the needle punched sheet was merino and the end result does look very pretty it does not appear to be as soft against the skin as my usual merino fibres would be. 

Cutting out shapes in the needle felt


From a design perspective it did work quite well however.  I laid the needle felt on my cutting mat and with a rotary cutter sliced out my design.  I wanted it to be reminiscent of foliage and removed leaf shaped pieces which I then added to the reverse of the gauze at both ends and in selected places along the side.  The cotton gauze that I was using was a gorgeous apple green and I decided to add small oval shapes in several places formed from hot orange, pink and plum coloured merino.  Actually felting the wrap took AGES!  The lay out was quick enough but the time saved by using the needle felt was totally eaten up and overshot by the length of rubbing and rolling I had to do to get the fibres to migrate through the gauze. 

Wetting out the gauze and needle felt wrap


The ovals of fibre needed a huge amount of rubbing but this was probably because I almost dry felted them in my hands before laying them out on the gauze.  Eventually however everything came together nicely and after a couple of hours rolling the wrap was felted and finished.  When I take the photos you will see how nice this nuno felted piece looks against the light.  In actual fact I think that with a little bit of adjusting it would make a beautiful panel to hang from the trees although with our ongoing weather conditions here in Ireland maybe that would not be the most practical option!

Don’t forget that if you live anywhere within striking distance of me and would like to experiment making nuno felt I have a 2 hour workshop on at Clasheen, Borris, Co. Carlow this coming Saturday morning!  Please contact me asap to reserve your place.

8 thoughts on “Nuno felt experiment

  1. A lot of food for thought here. I have een experimenting with cutting out shapes from prefelt to incorporate into design. It seems so obvious now but i only tried it in December. I have the same apple green nuno gauze. I tried it on a larger piece first and it was my first ever attempt at Nuno, still unfinished. Now that I have worked with silk this past two weeks and had some good outcomes i may try it again.

    Love your piece, and thank you for giving me some more ideas.

  2. I love this idea, and it makes the cost of needled pre-felts worth a try. This project, and the one using cobbled-together pieces of pre-felt sheets means you can use the scraps and create more than one design.
    It could be used as the base fabric for sewing up a bag or clutch as well!

  3. Nicola

    The colours are wonderful and the process seems fairly easy for a beginner like me but all that rolling in the blind…I guess it makes for a good upper body workout ! I will pop over to flickr later on and see your photo’s .

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  4. I woke up this morning with the idea that I want to do something simular with velvet–cut out pieces and nuno some merino into the gaps. Not sure if it would work for a full scarf but maybe broaches and smaller pieces….the colours would be lovely!

  5. Nicola,

    I can barely wait to see this piece and you, once again, inspired me–hope I can follow through but none the less will sketch out some ideas in my journal. I have a window on each side of my front door–they are called sidelights (go figure). 7 years ago I did silk paintings for these windows. I coated them in wax as the silk was not drapery weight. I wanted a light weight silk so the light streaming through would resemble stain glass. After 5 years the sun finally made its mark and the fabric dissolved in my hand. I replaced the silk with a pair of with cotton with hand paintedwhite circles in various sizes.

    This Nuno felt you described, although I have yet to see it, is stirring my imagination to create Nuno felted window covers. I will keep you posted if, and when this project flies. Thanks for the idea of hanging your new piece in the trees. I am thrilled to see your new piece.
    PS I am wondering if next time, the commercial felt is brushed with a wire brush or carders to lift the surface nap so the felting would go faster? You have the patience of a monk.

  6. How you did overcome all the bad wheather was a thought in my mind sometimes…you still are aliveandkicking fortunately.
    prefelt often is not so soft after roling.
    Silk is more soften too.


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