Hand Felted Wool Scarf - Autumn
(Please Note: Photos are as accurate as I can get given the challenges of lighting and the light reflection effect silk, bamboo and viscose top often create. Indoor/Outdoor/Direct light can change the color significantly due to the shine)
About this handmade item:
There’s a mysterious deep gem tone in this lovely heathered autumn color blend hand wet Nuno felted wool scarf. Anytime, anywhere, any season……. is what this colorway offers. I love this design, it’s so practical yet maintains such a grace about its appearance. Ready to wrap around a longing neck perfect for either gender. Baby soft fine merino wool and silk blend, perfect for next to the skin. Long enough to wear in multiple styles, yet lightweight and drapey to not be bulky. The benefits of wool insulate both ways, keeping you warm in the cold seasons, and cool in the warmer seasons. Elegant, durable, functional & flashy! Quite practical in a vast array of settings, whether dressed up out on the town, a casual coffee date, or if you’re like me..... a trip to the sheep barn for chores! A wonderful handmade truly ewe-nique accessory that’s a must for any wardrobe. My scarves are hand made one at a time and considering the nature of wet felting and the challenges in design and fulling (shrinking) of such a sheer design, no two will ever be exactly the same in size, shape or design.
Is an age-old art form to create a textile like fabric, which often today we refer to the form as “wet” felting. Additionally, a more modern technique of felting is called “needle felting”, it has also been coined the term “dry” felting since there is no water involved. It can take several hours, even days to complete a design from start to finish. Wet felting can be a physically vigorous activity requiring stamina, upper body strength and the ability to stand for long periods of time. While needle felting can come with a bit of its own hazards like poking yourself with a needle and neck & shoulder stiffness from sitting hunched for long periods of time. Wool felt can be quite durable, it can be felted in a seamless fashion for strength, it can be felted very thick & dense or incredibly sheer lightweight and delicate. It’s a great insulator from cold and heat, it’s the most flame resistant of all natural fibers.
How I felted this item:
Using a base of silk chiffon fabric, I used the Nuno (laminating) felt technique. This is by carefully laying out loose fine merino wool fibers blended with silk in a methodical manner on top of the fabric, further topping the wool with veins of white silk top. Carefully wetting out the entire length that had a reach of approximately 92”, I rolled it in a manner to flip and unroll it, repeating the layout process. Once the layout was complete more water was added followed by rolling/flattening out any air pockets within. Minimal hand massaging flowing right into rolling the scarf up around a cylinder with cushioning. After securing the roll, I did hundreds of rocking motions back and forth using my arms in a downward press against the roll. This process persuades the fibers to migrate through the silk chiffon fabric to the other side, all at the same time as being interlocked with other fibers via the scales that are on them. Between rolling, side edges are addressed and worked by hand. The ends are deliberately allowed to thin out, creating an incredibly sheer cobweb, lacey textural effect. While some areas within the full length are more transparent than others, adding to texture and lighter feel and look. Further compression and friction through various techniques is what “fulls” (the shrinking process) the felt, essentially tightening and making the piece solid, strong, yet maintaining a drapey sheerness. The sheerness of the wool also allows silk chiffon to reveal through the central part of the scarf. I finished it off with a simple tag stitched at one end that bares our farm name
74” Long by 10.5-11” wide
Unlike synthetic materials, wool pilling is a completely “expected” occurrence even in the highest and finest qualities of wool used in woolen goods. The more loose a yarn is spun or felt is fulled (shrunk), the more luxurious it tends to be, allowing fibers more opportunity for friction and in turn, pilling. Even tightly spun or densely felted items may still see some pilling, although perhaps less. Shorter fibers are more likely to pill because there are more small ends which are exposed to the abrasion with regular use. This doesn’t mean that shorter fibers are “poorer” quality, but it means that the particular garment or woolen design was made using, or even required, shorter fiber for its production process and purpose. Friction and abrasion pilling typically shows most around the base of the back, underarms, behind the neck. Areas like where a felted handbag sets between your arm against your torso, or the shoulder strap rubbing on your shoulder, a scarf around your neck and even under your arm where it may rub or catch.
Wool designs can easily be freshened or cleaned. Use wool friendly cleaners like WoolLite or Unicorn Fibre Rinse. For small areas spot rinse under cool water and gently dab gently. Alternatively fully immerse in a sink of cool to lukewarm water keeping agitation to a minimal and let soak for several minutes. Then gently rinse under cool water, squeeze (do not ring) as much excess water out, then open back up gently. Vessels (like booties, candle hurricanes, handbags etc.) can be stretched a wee bit back into it’s shape again and let it air dry. Flat pieces (such as scarves, table runners etc.) can either be draped over a sweater rack or just laid out flat. Steam ironing with iron on the wool setting may help to set down the natural fuzziness that occurs from use (wearing/handling)
Click this link to hop on over to my Fiber Studio page to see some past and recent designs I’ve done.