Saturday, November 19, 2016

felting tutorial: joining pieces of silk fabric together using merino wool.

How to nuno felt several small pieces of silk into one scarf?  I do this a lot to use up smaller pieces of sheer silk (from vintage silk saris).  It is easy to fuse the sections together, then decorate the scarf with coordinating bits of sari and other fibres.
Below you see three pieces of silk, lying on my table.

 I first put some sheer whisps of blue roving along (and over) the first edge to be joined.
 Then below you see that I have overlapped the light blue silk over the dark silk fabric.  Overlap by about 1.5 inches, then lay another line of light whisps of roving, over the edge of the light silk onto the dark silk.
 Do the same at the next join.  You see that the last dark silk piece is a bit smaller.  No worries, it is fun to play with the negative space.  The thing to remember with joining the separate silk fabrics is to have a layer of wool roving between and on top.  This will cause the wool to migrate through the layers and fuse with the wool on the other side, creating a solid fabric, that will not allow the seam to come undone.  You will add more roving to the flip side, effectively making a wool/ silk/ wool/ silk/ wool "sandwich".
 Add some pencil thin roving in a bit of a lattice pattern to the negative space....
 Then add a few tails to finish this end.
 In the middle of the large, light colour silk, place an "island" of fine merino, and on top of that a sliver of the dark silk.  Cover with VERY thin whisps of merino roving.  This introduces some of the end colour fabric into the center.
 A few tails of the light colour silk at the other end, layered with very fine whisps of merino, and some silk fibre and mohair yarn.
 A few circles of merino roving, and some added silk, and ramie fibres in green, and aqua and purple.
After wetting and covering with plastic, flip it over, and cover the seams one more time with fine merino roving.  Decorate just a bit on this side.
Finish with rubbing, rolling, hot and cold water.... more in future tutorials about this!

And here is the dried scarf.  The seams where I joined the different fabric are now solid, and  the details tie it all together.
 Close up of the seam between dark and light silk.

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