How to create a perfect nuno felting
One of the things that most fascinate me about nuno felting is that there are no set rules or recipes. Everyone is free to experiment and fine tune the tricks and solutions that work best for them. Even the advice that I am about to give you is entirely subjective as it is based on observations and problems that have come up in my own personal experience and experimentation.
Nevertheless, I hope you find them useful.
A lesson by Gaia Girard
To obtain a quality nuno felt choose the fabric you work with carefully according to the project that you wish to make. Light and open weave fabrics work best.
In my work for DHG I have tested a lot of fabrics and here are my notes:
- chiffon 3.5:
is a very light, open weave silk that allows you to create a thin, smooth, bright and homogeneous fabric, giving compactness to the work without adding three-dimensionality. It is ideal for soft and impalpable accessories and clothing such as scarves, dresses and summer jackets.
- chiffon 6:
guarantees the same advantages as the chiffon 3.5 but with added weight to the fabric. It is ideal for scarves, as well as mid-season and winter clothing.
- voile 70% cotton – 30% silk:
gives the fabric the weight of cotton while maintaining the shine of silk. It is great for accessories such as scarves, bags and hats as well as winter clothing. The result has more of a “wrinkled” effect than that of pure silk fabrics.
- viscose crepe voile:
viscose, also called artificial silk, gives the same softness of natural fabrics and adapts very well to nuno felting, giving the fabric compactness and three-dimensionality. It is ideal for winter accessories and clothes, plus home accessories such as pillows, runners or tapestries.
is a light worsted wool with a compactness similar to viscose with a more “rough” and opaque effect. It is great for coats, winter jackets, bags, hats and home accessories.
- wool gauze:
is a pure wool fabric with a very open weave, making it ideal for felting. The final effect is rather “rustic,” while still being very light.
Make a sample swatch before you begin a nuno felting project
It is a fast and efficient way to test new fabrics, combinations and solutions. It is also key in calculating shrinkage, as well as being an excellent tool for future reference.
- Take your time and spread out the extra fine merino wool fibers as uniformly as possible. To obtain a homogeneous, light and compact nuno felt it is best to work with many thin layers, laid perpendicular to one another.
- It is very important to use lukewarm water in the beginning stages of your work. Hot water would cause the the wool to felt too quickly and not allow enough time for it to incorporate the fabric. Only once the fiber has made its way through the weft and warp can you use hot water to accelerate the felting process.
- Try to move the fabric as little as possible when beginning to massage your work so as to not interfere with the felting process (during which the wool migrates through the weave and hooks itself onto each side of the fabric). The objective is to allow the fibers to distend themselves and to make their way through the fabric’s weave to then begin to incorporate it.
This is the reason why I recommend laying the fabric on a table and then spreading the wool over it. When nuno felting it is best to use light pressure in the first stages of felting as to not separate the wool from the fabric.
It seems to me like I have told you everything. The rest will have to come from your fantasy and creativity.
Happy nuno felting!
If you liked this article maybe you would also enjoy Video tutorial about nuno felting and basic tecniques with Gaia Girard