Felting, eco printing and upgrade at Clasheen (the final one!)

Rather later than planned, here’s the final post about the current upgrades at Clasheen and a little pictorial review of the last few weeks. As mentioned previously, I’ve been working on creating a library area in the room which links the guest bedroom and the guest bathroom making it a comfortable suite for friends to stay and workshop participants to relax and refresh. It’s also a lovely bright area for me to read in when I have a minute, at last I have more than enough shelving (combined with the shelves already downstairs) to store my reference books and thrillers. Here’s a picture of one small area as I started to add the books, the little cupboard Jonathan created is specifically sized to store my printer and paper.


On the work and friend side of things April has ben a very, very busy month, what’s new!


I’ve been felting and printing a lot as I work towards creating pieces for my solo show in August and the FORM photo shoot which took place yesterday. Here’s an example of eco printed silk combined with fine black merino, it won’t be one of the pieces I display but it is good to be back in the studio getting my hands soapy! I’d also like to say a big thank you to the new FORM designmade in Carlow lineup for electing me as their new chairperson.


Wonderful textile artist and great new friend Kim Thittichai  visited Clasheen for a fun few days. Aren’t these beautiful flowers that she brought me so cheerful? I love them.


I absolutely loved being a helper at the first Lyda Rump workshop organised by Maureen Cromer in Dublin on behalf of Feltmakers Ireland, such fun during the day and a delicious meal and company in the evening!!! Lyda is a wonderful felt maker and textile artist, we’ve spent time together now in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Denmark again and now Ireland again, it was great to catch up, thanks Maureen and Terry for your hospitality too!


After spending time with Kim and Lyda I finally managed to get some intensive sampling done in advance of my ten day residential felt and eco printing retreat this summer. One of the things we’ll be covering is the possibility of mordanting fabric using natural materials, as opposed to using more traditional metallic based powders. Here are two samples using the same printing materials but different pre treatments prior to bundling and printing. The piece on the left was mordanted with Symplocos and the one on the right with pomegranate, both bundles were boiled in the same pot at the same time, used the same big leaves, are exactly the same lambswool fabric and the results couldn’t be more different! Join me from 15th to 25th July to learn more!


Thank you Klara and Irish Country Magazine for selecting one of my blackberry and rose printed silk cushions for your feature ‘Outside In’ this month, I’m delighted!


Thanks also to Dorota for your impeccable sewing as usual, I love the sample apron you made me and I’m looking forward to printing it and seeing how it comes out. I’m also very happy with the latest batch of cushions, this one is blackberry on Symplocos mordanted lambswool.

Finally for today, here’s a lovely picture of great buddy Dawn Edwards who’s just arrived from Michigan on her third visit to Clasheen, it’s great to have her back!!!










6 thoughts on “Felting, eco printing and upgrade at Clasheen (the final one!)

  1. Hi Nicola
    Woukd you mind sharing with me if you are premordanting the fabric before bundling and boiling or are you dipping the leaves in the mordant before bundling up? If you are premordanting the fabric do you let it dry first or just going ahead with it wet? Do you boil in plain water or add mordant to it?
    I am interested in using natural materials when printing and would like to get more variety of colors. The pomegranet looks amazing!

    • Hi Irma, I’m afraid it would take days to give you a proper answer to all your questions! In brief, I always bundle the fabric when wet, none of these pieces was using chemical mordants, I boil in well water which usually has rusty metal and some vegetation added to it and the pommegranate is a natural mordant all by itself. Hope this helps!

  2. Hi Nicola
    Could you please tell me if you are premordanting the fabric or dipping the leaves in the mordant prior to bundling and boiling? Do you boil in clear water? If you mordant the fabric before printing do you let it dry and set first? The pomegranate is amazing!!! I am interested in getting more variety of colors.

    • Hi Irma, in brief, I mordanted the lambswool with pomegranate and then bundled it damp, I’ll obviously be going into this in much more detail in my new workshops. Good luck experimenting, it’s great fun to develop new colour ranges!

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