Nuno (sort of) Felt

For no particular reason I decided to have a play with some bits and pieces and do my own version of nuno felt – or at least what I think that is, which is wool felted over fine silk so that the wool grabs the silk and pulls it up, sort of like ruching?
Well I didn’t have any fine silk, but I did have some hand dyed cheesecloth, so laid that down then arranged strips of torn silk, some merino wool tops, and some other bits and pieces – what are those shiny curly bits called? – oh, and some of the silk ribbon I dyed last week, chopped up – oh well, easy come, easy go! The first picture is all that laid out.

Then I covered it with some nylon curtain stuff I got from the felters group – they told me that is what you put over the top before you wet it down and start massaging it all, which I did. When I had done enough so that it wouldn’t all move about I rolled it up inside a bamboo placemat with a wooden rolling pin inside and rolled it back and forth. That didn’t last long, as I have problems with my back and neck and it has been particularly tetchy this week, so after half a dozen rolls I thought, forget it.
I rinsed and dried it (outside – its a stinker here today, so took no time at all to dry), then went to my trust embellisher and needled it all over from the front then some from the back. Then I took it back and gave it another wet felting (coz I just can’t stand those needle holes showing!) – I kind of massaged it rather than rolled it a lot. It was shrinking up pretty well, but I decided it needed more, so I got out my trusty washboard and rubbed it on that – well, that did the trick – it shrank up before my very eyes!
Here is what the finished piece looks like from the front

and this is the back. I quite like the back – the colours are nicely muted and I like the ruched texture.

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