Shibori Experiments

Following some very helpful suggestions from the ladies at the Felting and Fibre Studio Forum I have felted the original piece of shibori dyed silk and created a couple more samples, trying out alternative methods in an effort to maintain the beautiful folds of the bound fabric.

Felting the original shibori piece
I laid a very fine layer of merino all over the silk and lightly sprayed it with soapy water. Then folded the fabric concertina style from one end, trapping the wool between the layers of fabric.

 Once folded up, it was secured with elastic bands every 4 or 5 cm and felted with warm soapy water.

This was the result once the bands had been removed and the piece stretched at little. It is a similar width to the original silk but the length is much shorter, it was 50 cm long and is now just 8 cm. I think it will make a nice cuff / bracelet with some beads nestling in the folds.

Creating a laminate for shibori

For this sample I felted a piece of silk to 2 fine layers of merino and fulled to achieve rippling of the silk. Then it was stitched and the threads pulled ready for shibori dyeing.

It was dyed with Procion MX midnight blue – as you can see the silk has accepted the dye much better than the wool.

It was allowed to dry before removing the stitches and stretching out. It has a springy nature; it can be pulled almost flat but always springs back to this position.

Adding wool fibre while drawing the threads tight
On a third sample, I stitched the silk as normal but while I was drawing the threads tight I poked wisps of merino into the folds and felted the piece before dyeing with the piece above. This is what it looked like after it had dried and the stitches were removed. It looks remarkably similar to the first piece with very sharp folds in the silk.

Feeling chuffed

Part of my New Year’s non-resolution was to spend more time being creative and to that end I bought some extra annual leave from work (not cheap but I think it was worth it), so I took today as annual leave to be crafty ;o) I’ve had quite a productive day, finishing a low relief sample from a monoprint for my C&G course:

And started felting some rainbow dyed cotton scrim for a hooded scarf, still a way to go yet but I’m liking the colours. As usual I have wandered off brief and used a carded mix of colours instead of plain white merino tops. With some careful stitching I’m hoping I can make it reversible. This is the wooly side:

And the dyed cotton side:

I also started some samples exploring acrylic paints on prefelt, I am testing acrylic paint on their own, with an iridescent additive and both of these with and without a textile additive for acrylic paint. Then I repeated these samples on wet and dry felt. This is what they look like while I (im)patiently wait for them to dry. The bars in the middle are some commercial fabric paints. Next step is to iron fix them and see how well they stand up to felting.

Last week I had a lucky win on Ebay, I bid on 8 metres of blue silk chiffon and won it for just under £33. It’s pretty shade of royal blue, actually appears to be silk (I’ve lost track of the number of times I have bought things on Ebay that have turned out to be something different than described) and is in good condition.

Best of all, I conducted an experiment using discharge paste on it today and it worked!! Here are the results, the white grid is where I painted the paste on. It was so easy!

I feel the urge to do some shibori discharge dyeing….

And just in case you think I forgot about the Q1 challenge, here is a sneaky peek of what it currently looks like….

(linked to Off the Wall Fridays)

Something for myself

Having spent the last 4 weeks furiously finishing pieces for the Christmas fair last Thursday I thought I would take a weekend off from felting but have failed miserably, I didn’t even manage to get out of bed this morning before I was buzzing with ideas for a handbag. I could do with a new bag, so this one will be just for me.

I made an evening purse for the craft table, which to be honest is my favourite out of the bags I had for sale, but it doesn’t contain enough pockets for my day-to-day use so I wanted to create something a little less glitzy, a little more boxy (so it can hold more of my “essential” junk) and have some pockets for phone and pens (I can never seem to find pens when I want them despite there always being at least 3 milling about in the depths of my handbag).

This is the evening bag I made a few weeks ago:

I have used purples and pinks for this bag with some rainbow dyed silk hankies for sheen and colour variation on what will be the front flap (bottom of the picture).

This is the same piece after felting. The wider section will form the sides of the bag to give it a box shape once it is stitched together. The lower part of the picture will form the flap, it is not very clear from the picture but the silk hankies have a lovely sheen to them.

And the internal sections with the pen and phone pockets, these pieces will be stitched into the “box” to create 3 separate compartments inside the bag.

I hope to get this sewn up tomorrow, pardon the pun ;o), so expect to share the finished bag with you tomorrow evening.

The Beach – prefelts

After months of pondering, collecting images of sunsets and finally sketching ideas in watercolour I have finally started laying out the fibres for this painting. My new drum carder arrived last week so I have been itching to use it, this felt picture is the perfect foil for my new toy. 🙂

I have decided to tackle this picture as a mosaic of prefelts with inlay for the silhouettes and Kapiti Island. The mosaic technique should give a clean straight line for the horizon although I will actually use 3 strips for the background, the yellow one will be cut in half length-ways and stitched either side of the blue prefelt.

The prefelts were constructed from 2 layers of yellow or blue fibres followed by batts of mixed fibres from the drum carder.

Here is the roving all laid out ready to felt.

And the prefelts all stitched together.

Hopefully I will get to spend a few hours tomorrow adding wisps of roving to the base to bled the blue band and the lower half togeher and making the prefelts for the silhouettes.

1 22 23 24