I made three felted fleece samples yesterday – from Hebridean, alpaca and merino roving.
hebridean fleece felt sample
alpaca fleece felt sample
merino fleece felt sample
The Hebridean fleece is quite hairy, just a little rough and yet soft as well, while the alpaca looks hairy but feels fluffy and silky. However, I think I did something wrong felting the alpaca, maybe rubbed it too hard too soon, it’s not very well felted after a lot of work, and doesn’t look anything like other alpaca felt I’ve seen on the web. More experiments obviously needed.
I think it would be interesting to dye the Hebridean fleece, could it give a rich deep colour with a hint of brightness wherever the white fibres take up the dye?
And the merino – I didn’t really need to make a sample of that, just an excuse to play with the colours!
I know you shouldn’t but sometimes it’s hard not to – this new book Eco-Colour by India Flint looks so beautiful and the subtitle is so enticing – ‘Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles: Environmentally Sustainable Dyes’. I feel a moment of weakness coming on. India Flint’s web site is delicious as well – beautiful work and a sidebar that takes the phrase ‘navigation metaphor’ to new poetic heights.
It’s been a lean and hungry textile week for me, with a time-consuming project keeping me stuck at the computer, but I did sneak away long enough to make a little piece of nuno felt, on a cotton scrim base. I’m really trying to get that lovely barnacle-like effect on the cloth side – this is a bit more like the nuno felt I’ve seen than my last attempt, so progress in the right direction.
The pastel side:
… and the bright side:
I imagine a garment with the delicately coloured textural side outward and the bright soft fleecy side within.
I forgot to include the earlier experiments, which are now in my sketchbook, in my last post – the links are to the images on Flickr.
couching, knitting, sketchbook 1, sketchbook 2
My response to Sharon’s April TIF challenge is about craft as change, taking something raw and unformed but full of potential, and effecting a transformation through a making process. Something like ‘n things to do with a piece of fleece’ where n is currently undefined, but (though possibly infinite!) will be determined by how far I get by the end of the month. I’ll put it together as a series of journal pages.
I decided to start with fleece and it isn’t actually raw – it’s already been washed, carded and dyed – a lovely crushed raspberry pink merino, dyed with madder and logwood, which I bought last week from Fiery Felts at the Embroiderers’ Guild North West Regional Day.
So far I’ve done some small experiments with weaving, knitting, needlefelting, and hand stitching, and I’ve started doing some felting.
I wove some of the fleece with a wool mohair warp and some with a fleece warp – I did two of each so I could felt one.
Ready to felt – thick and thin layers of pink fleece, adding colours to the pink, felting onto muslin, knitted and woven samples. More to come when these are done…
I’ve been making felts for the wadding in my wall hanging. The red is prefelted, the green – well, it’s done and the colours are what I wanted but I used some alpaca fibre and it’s very fluffy – I think I’ll probably use it for something else and do another, but first I’ll get the purple made. The fleece is mostly merino, space-dyed by Jan Hicks, with some plain colours (maybe also merino) I got from Reticule here in Kendal, and a little pink and red fleece I still have from a workshop with Jenny Cowern many years ago.