a life of fibre

Posts Tagged ‘nuno’

WSD Workshop

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

On Saturday I was lucky enough to run a workshop for the Bradford Guild of Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers who meet at the Bradford Industrial Museum. It’s a really nice light space and the guild are so welcoming. If you fancy popping along and meeting them their meetings are held on the 3rd Saturday in the month and I highly recommend it as a great way to spend a day.

Anyway, my task was to teach a nuno scarf workshop and it was ace! Looking at my pictures afterwards I’m not sure I captured them all (the end of workshops always seems hectic) but most are here for your delight.

We were working on silk chiffon and using Blue Faced Leicester wool with Wensleydale fleece plus various silk and plant fibres for shine and interest.

There are so many options for laying out the design/wool e.g. extending beyond the silk, covering part or all of it that I thought it would be helpful to take away some of the angst by working solely in white. Plus, of course, there’s expertise in the guild should anyone decide to dye theirs afterwards!

It was a good decision as people did indeed have a lot to think about and some stunning designs and ideas came our of the workshop. Working in white helped to focus attention on the process and I’m sure everyone could now go away and repeat the nuno felting at home.

As you can see, there was also quite a variety of shapes for the ends of the scarves as some trimmed away silk and / or extended beyond it.

How lucky was it to have a black towel to show off this snowflake and icile fringe design scraf?

I can see I’ll have to recommend people bring dark towels in future as they’re such a good backdrop. On Friday 13th April I’m running a nuno scarf workshop in Otley, West Yorkshire and you can book direct here.

Nuno felt tree scarf

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

I showed you this when I began work on it and here I can show you it finished.

For the background I used a hand dyed silk chiffon scarf in pale shades of green and lilac. I seem to have lost some of the green during the felting process although, when you see the scarf iin real life, you can still see hints of it here and there.

Loving the way this turned out and feeling inspired to make more tree scarves.

My next nuno scarf workshop is on Wednesday 14th June, bookings can be made direct here.


On my table

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

It seems ages since I last made felt and I’ve really been enjoying working on this scarf.

The base is silk chiffon which I’d dyed a mixture of purple and green. I’ll give an update as soon as I finish. πŸ™‚

Poncho 3

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Sorry I’ve been missing recently, it’s been a particularly hectic time but I’ll try and catch up over the next few weeks. Apologies if things are out of time order.

This was one of the ponchos I made for the workshop but never got around to showing. I began by salt and pepper dyeing the silk chiffon and took my colours based on the results.


The colours were quite bright so to tone them down I used autumn tones with black, it worked a treat and here’s the wool reverse.


Good enough to wear this way out but even better when viewed from the silk side.




You can see circles of prefelt thatΒ  I used to adorn the poncho and also to weight the ends. The prefelt was added on top of the silk prior to felting.


If you look at the left you can see a line in the colour. The silk wasn’t the right shape for my project so I cut and stitched it together before felting but after dyeing. If I’d stitched and then dyed you wouldn’t notice this at all. The stitches were removed after felting. I wanted to show that it is possible to work in this way and also that it can be used as a technique to patchwork your nuno.

I think there may be other clothing shapes to follow if I ever find a quiet day!

2nd Eco print workshop

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Just a few pictures from the second workshop I ran on eco printing. I know at least two participants have gone on to do more at home which is so satisfying for me, to inspire people to make and experiment is what it’s all about.



There are far fewer photos this time because all I had with me was my phone, you think I’d have learnt by now! Not only that but I seemed to take a few out of focus and some with my finger in the way. Obviously a bad photo day!



Still, they looked stunning didn’t they?

Nuno felted poncho

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Last month I took delivery of some black silk chiffon printed with abstract flowers, I had a plan. Once Woolfest was over I found a chance to turn it into the poncho I’d been planning. I forwent tasselling or fringing as I thought it would distract from the striking design on the silk.



I’m really very pleased with how this turned out. I didn’t think about the placing of the pattern on the points and which should hang where(oops)Β  but it hasn’t worked out badly at all and I love the pattern across the chest. The main colour of the fabric looks purple beacuse of the Fuchsia and Bright Pink Merino that I used on the reverse.



Better by far that items are reversible whenever possible as it gives you the greatest flexibility and opportunities to wear. I covered the Merino with some gold Mulberry silk, all available from Adelaide Walker.


There’ll be more of these to come, there are several fighting in my head for release so I need to get to it quite soon! These are so much fun I’ve added a new workshop on Thursday 27th September which you can book here.

Eco printing workshop

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

I ran this workshop yesterday and spent some time preparing for this last week. Imagine my horror when I learnt that I had no idea what had happened to the samples I made last year!Β  I’ve had a busy few days making samples, mordanting cloth and generally preparing. One of the biggest headaches of course was that I had only one steamer and there’s no way that would have taken 8 bundles. Fortunately Hubby is very understanding and spent some time constructing a steamer platform for inside my old jam pan – problem solved.

People brought leaves ready pressed and we set to laying the plant material out between a layer of cotton muslin and one of silk gauze.




They look like very beautiful works of art. We tried to use as wide a range of leaves as possible to give a greater variety in the finished printing. Whilst we were waiting for the bundles to steam we made flowers.


As you can see, I restricted the number of wool colours we had to work with to just black, white, olive green and old gold, all chosen to enhance the finished printing. You can not believe how exciting it is when the bundles are opened.





Once people had chance to look at the results it was time to decide whether or not to apply ferrous sulphate to the print. This will darken the print and in some cases bring out areas which look blank and can be done by spraying or painting on the solution.


I’d made up two solution; one weak, one strong. Most people started with the weak solution but in the interests of experimentation, couldn’t help themselves and ended up trying both.


It’s amazing how much of the detail is retained in the plant print and sometimes, unexpected bonuses like outlines.






After much oohing and aahing we started the business of nuno felting. Most felted the silk but a couple of people chose to use the cotton muslin. From left to right: muslin on a white wool base, silk bordered, silk on a white wool base.


The next three are all on silk, the first two on white wool bases and the far right on a green wool base.



A dramatic border on the next, framing the print beautifully.


A white ruffled border. Although I like the white I’m not sure if the ruffling doesn’t detract from the printing a little but it is very pretty.



We didn’t know exactly what plant prints and shades of dye we would achieve but you can see now, why I restricted the Merino colour choices. Don’t the brooches look well with the finished scarves?


If I can fit another workshop in in the next couple of months I will but it’ll be a mid week workshop. Anyone interested?


Ruana Shawl

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

I’ve been lucky enough to spend three days this week at a workshop with Robbin Firth of Heartfelt Silks. Robbin is visiting the UK to run a number of workshops and the Ruana shawl is the largest piece of felt to be made during her visit.

First off, Robbin had to contend with irregular sized / too small tables, people who hadn’t brought the right stuff (oops!) and working away from home without all her usual bits to hand. She did an excellent job.

I’d dyed up some silk chiffon but decided instead to go for using the undyed silk paj that I’d also brought with me. You think by now I’d know well enough that I should have washed it first to remove the dressing, but I didn’t πŸ™Β  It still works okay but just meant more rolling for me.

To add interest to the silk side of the shawl I laid down lines of coloured tops in purple and some nepps in purple and blue. The hope was that the coloured lines would show through the silk and that the nepps would add texture.


On top of this I added Merino tops in four shades of blue and finished the edge in BFL dyed curls. As I worked up the shwl I began to add purple into the blues, then to gradually remove the blues until I worlked in purples at the far end, finishing again with the same fringe.


At the purple end of the scarf I laid down blue tops in lines along with more nepps.


Even though we had 4 tables apiece to work on sometimes nothing but the floor would do. Here you see Robbin and her daughter Kirsten helping with Gilly’s shawl.


Sue had to leave early so her shawl isn’t in the group shot, lovely isn’t it?


From left to right :Β  Yvonne, Androulla, Gilly, Louise, Robbin, Liz, Helen, yours truly with her eyes shut! and Kirsten.


Great fun and not long until my next workshop with Robbin on 24th June.

Nuno felt workshop

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Foolishly I decided to go online and check a few things this morning before I wrote this blog – 3 hours later and I’m finally writing it!!!! Technology must be one fo the greatest time wasters there is so I have just made myself a promise to spend less time on it.

We began the workshop by making small narrow nuno samples just large enough to be a scarf if required. For this we used cotton muslin as the fabric and tried out various ways of laying the wool, changing the ends and incorporating frills.



Muslin gives greater texture than the silk chiffon which we used later and so is good to practice on and compare end results. Sharon had a finger injury and spent the day trying valiantly (but ultimately fruitlessly) to keep her injury dry.


It’s interesting to see scarves being laid out and then contrast that with the finished item.



Kathryn’s scarf was beautifully laid out and was double sided. In fact, everyone made double sided scarves, some looked the same on each side and others were different on each side.



There’s a wonderful variety isn’t there?




The last two were made using the same coloured chiffon base but the addition of different wools and patterns means unique results. I love the nuno workshops, perhaps I should plan more?

Nuno + devore

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

I’m running a nuno devore wrap workshop in December and have been playing around with samples. This latest one is a charity shop find, no label but I believe it to be wholly synthetic.


A silk/viscose mix would have been better. It’s a blue grey in colour although the later photos show it as more blue. I thought it was quite pretty if a little short.


I carded up a mix of black, navy and cornflower Merino from Adelaide Walker and added some dyed throwsters silk waste for extra interest. As the scarf was so short I laid the fibres going across the scarf meaning that it would get narrower but not shorter. To compensate I also added a wool border right around the fabric making it wider and longer.


You can see from the way the scarf has crinkled that I laid the fibres in one direction.


I’m really rather enjoying the texture and weight of this scarf. The carded Merino colours compliment it beautifully.


It’s amazing how few devore, especially silk devore, scarves end up in charity shops. I know I can buy fabric by the metre but I don’t want all my samples the same so I will continue to explore the shops and see what I come across.


I can feel a non devore wrap coming on – must dash and play. Byeee