This was a fun tutorial to make, and is a primer for needle felting other shapes and even simple dolls. Needle felting something as basic as a mushroom can be very meditative, and also great practice for blending colors and working on a smooth finish.
Nuno Felting Tutorial — Free!
This very detailed tutorial is step by step across a set of videos to demonstrate the process for nuno felting a simple, yet highly textured neck warmer.
More experienced felters may want to fast forward thru steps as everything is covered here! Watch the video and let us know what you think with your thumbs, with comments or post questions! Please share it if you feel inspired!
Also available is a step-by-step PDF for a different neck warmer, a matching shawl and another shawl (3 projects in one pdf). That is here: http://goo.gl/Cp0nVg
The PDF is 30+ pages, 150+ photos and two resolutions. Download the HiRes if you want to zoom in or want super sharp pics, the other one is much smaller if you need that.
Wishing You LOTS of Fun, Creative Time & Inspiration!
#nunofelt #nunofelting #wetfelting #feltingtutorial #livingfeltwool #livingfelt
It has been a while since I blogged anything…but I have been so very busy this year! Of course, I am incredibly grateful for this, for my family, for customers & felting friends, our business and our crew! I thought I would share a project I just finished today…. a new Treat Bar at Living Felt!
We have a odd sort of space…that indeed has served us well these past …going on 6 years, but you walk in to a small space and to warm it up, a “treat bar” seemed the perfect thing.
It was great fun shopping for! I gathered inspiration from Pinterest for a Popcorn Bar, and Hot Chocolate Bars. I decided to mix up the containers and make it a bit eclectic while still keeping a bit of a country feel.
We have a large kettle popcorn maker that gets used almost every day we are open. The staff LOVES their afternoon popcorn…we use organic kernels, organic coconut oil, and sea salt. They like “toppings” too 🙂
They also make coffee in the afternoon…so today we treated them with Delonghi Espresso Maker.
When it comes to washing fleece, there are many different opinions on which detergent is best to use. At Living Felt, our MC-1 Felting Batts are washed with an eco-friendly soap, then dyed and carded on a large scale here in the USA. The volume is too large for our facility, but our premium mohair and curly wool locks are processed in house with great care to bring you shiny beautiful locks that are clean and lustrous.
Before and after we started washing our locks, we researched what others were doing and what detergents they were using to wash their wool. We first started using Kookaburra, which is a great product, but decided to try a less expensive laundry detergent to see if there was much of a difference…and there was. Since we wanted to wash our wool and mohair for the whitest whites, and truest natural hues and luster, while still keeping health and the environment in mind, we decided to conduct our own test of different detergents. We chose our long and dreamy Teeswater locks for this particular wool washing test.
People commonly say to wash wool with “Dawn” original blue — avoiding the new stuff due to enzymes which break down protein fibers = not good for your wool, mohair, etc. Dawn was not considered an option for us for the following reasons:
1) We like only environmentally friendly solutions
2) We require a product that is unscented
3) We require a product that cleans lanolin and dirt without stripping the fibers of their natural luster.
Some people say to use any household detergent to wash raw fleeces, so we tested two eco-friendly household laundry detergents and two “wool wash” products. What prompted this test was a bit of experimentation that was not so scientific, but revealing nonetheless. I first washed with one detergent and thought the fleece looked clean, but when I tried another, I noticed it had a different “hue”, one looked more golden and yellowish and the other looked a little less golden, tips looked more brownish.
A= ALL Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear. Available at grocery stores
B= Kookaburra SCOUR, Environmentally Friendly. Available at Kookaburra Scour
C= ECOS Laundry Detergent, Eco friendly. Available at Whole Foods and Costco
D= BEYOND CLEAN, by Unicorn. Environmentally friendly. Available at Unicorn Fibre
LONG TEESWATER LOCKS, RINSED BUT NOT WASHED
The photo above is our what we started with … fabulously long Teeswater locks that have been rinsed until the water runs clear, but not washed with any detergent at all. *Notice the locks have a beige hue but are not yellow-ish
The picture above of “Z” shows locks from the same source as those used in our wool washing test…but notice the brownish tips, and how dry they look. We found that locks we washed looked better than ones washed at the farm, but since most are even further treated with hot water and dye, we wanted them to look and feel their absolute best and to maintain as much luster as possible before being dyed.
To keep the tests fair, we separated out 4oz batches of the Teeswater locks and washed each in individual tubs using the same amount of detergent for each product tested. All locks came from the same batch and were treated the same with the same number of washes.
A: These locks were washed with ALL Laundry Detergent. They look nice, but up close you would see they have a bit of a golden hue which is concentrated at the tips.
B: Teeswater locks washed with Kookaburra Scour. This is an environmentally friendly product, there is a bit of a scent, but it scours well. Notice the goldish/brown tint on the locks and especially the tips.
C: Teeswater locks washed with ECOS laundry soap. Up close these are brighter than previous samples and any tints in the tips seem softened.
D: Washed with UNICORN Beyond Clean … this is the unscented version of their SCOUR
These locks are not only the brightest white, they are also the softest.
From the photos it may be difficult to see the difference…so look at them up close…
click on any picture for a larger photo.
C is notably brighter and less brown/gold than B. They also seem less dry.
Notice how much whiter/brighter D looks to C. In this photo, you can see that C has a golden hue whereas D is more of a platinum white and looks noticeably brighter. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR CLOSEUP.
For some readers, these may all seem equally clean, in person we could see the color/brightness shift of the various batches. We wanted the whitest whites, not only for our teeswater, but for all of our locks including Cotswold, Wensleydale, Lincoln, Mohair, etc.
Keep in mind that when it comes to getting a raw fleece white, the detergent may not always be the issue — sometimes a fleece may be “stained” with no hope of getting it white. Look at these two fleeces, one Wensleydale and one Cotswold. Raw and in the grease, they almost look identical.
(notice these locks are sorted, and faced with “tips in” to keep them from entangling during the wash. More on washing to preserve lock structure in a later post.)
After equal washes, it is obvious the Cotswold is stained. I took this “get my fleece white” challenge to hand spinners who wash a lot of their own wool…and again many heralded “Dawn” to be the answer…so I bit the bullet and bought some. It had been years since I purchased any. I used to felt with it because that is what so many people said to do…but it literally peeled the skin off my fingers (not good) and the smell is horrible.
No, the stuff does not work miracles. This fleece is stained. It was destined to dye 🙂
Here are some dreamy mohair locks washed with Unicorn Beyond Clean;
Before they are gray and very heavy with dirt, but soon all is revealed – and look, no golden hue! Just bright beautiful white.
Watch for an upcoming post demonstrating a few ways we wash locks to preserve lock structure and get the locks as clean as possible.
Earlier this year we received a call from a rancher who asked us to try her mohair locks. She sent us washed samples of Kid and Yearling Mohair locks. They were horribly dry, she was using a laundry detergent. We encouraged her to try Beyond Clean – she ordered a sample and was so impressed. So were we — when she sent us new samples, they were much nicer, more lustrous and less dry. We still prefer to wash our own mohair though, there is a great satisfaction in processing a fleece from start to finish and revealing the beauty of the locks.
We now use UNICORN Beyond Clean to was all of our locks. We love that the product is eco-friendly and bio-degradable; the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) will show you there are no Hazardous Decomposition Products, you can ask for the MSDS from any supplier. Beyond Clean is also unscented, and low-sudsing which is good for sewer systems, and of course the bottle is #2 PET recyclable. Beyond Clean also scours at lower temps — and while this is considered an environmentally friendly trait because less energy is required, it also means you can use hot water from your tap and let it soak a bit longer as the temperature drops.
We also love the great customer service at UNICORN. By now of course you might think they sponsor us, but the only thing we have received free is the same sample you can get just by making a request on their website. We have paid for every bottle, and are happy to. PLUS, we are thinking to offer it to our customers … and of course, what we sell in our shop are only products we use and will stand behind 100%.
This test is certainly not exhaustive, but from my experience I love Unicorn Beyond Clean and it continues to perform time and again.
I hope you will visit the good folks at Unicorn, and tell them Marie sent you :O)
Today I am a little beside myself with “glee”. The project I have been working on for quite some time has finally “come together”. I challenged myself to create a nuno felt bra for Art Bra Austin 2015, a fundraiser for BCRC, Breast Cancer Resource Centers here in Central Texas. Their services are free of charge to everyone they serve.
The inspiration kept flowing and resulted in a fairy costume complete with adult sized fairy wings and a no-sew tutu. I shot a little video with my phone to capture it for posterity’s sake. Its a little “shaky”, but I’m just glad to have captured it 🙂 If it is accepted by the judges for the benefit, I will no longer have it. It was truly a labor of love.
In this post, I will share pics from this Art Bra / DIY Fairy Costume in the making, along with links back to the great resources that helped and inspired me. First I will show you more on the nuno felted bra and how it was made.
NUNO FELT ART BRA
The bra was made by creating a nuno felt fabric and then hand stitching it to a new commercial bra in size 40C. This is one of the requested sizes by the organization to fit women who may have had reconstructive surgery after having a mastectomy.
A goal was to have the bra be “wearable”, and for it to be somewhat adjustable to fit women of different sizes. This halter will fit women of various shapes; it ties in the back and the ends wrap back towards the front.
This was the color and texture palette began with, and the bra of course! I started with colors and fibers of merino top from the Living Felt Fairy Hollow Specialty Designer Pack, a silk chiffon fabric that I dyed in complementary colors using Jacquard Acid dyes, mohair locks, teeswater locks, and lustre fibers such as silk tops, silk noil, silk thrower’s waste, silk hankies, and bamboo fibers.
The fabric was laid out first, and then the fibers laid on top. Below are a few detail pics. Notice that fibers such as silk and mohair are anchored down with delicate wisps of merino. Of course, all of my supplies came from www.livingfelt.com and my personal stash.
One edge was intended to be straight and the bottom more “organic” in shape. The fibers were covered with mesh and wet out with olive oil soap and warm water. I hand rubbed most of the time and used my Heart Felt Silks Palm Wash Board part of the time.
I was quite pleased with the color and textures in the finished nuno felt fabric, but uncertain about how to make it “fit”. It did not take long to realize that I was going to have to be very crafty to get it cover the full bra in one piece.
I really took my time, lots of time, lots of thinking and researching and more hand titches than I could guestimate to make this actually fit. Of course I wish I had made it much bigger, but I am so grateful that it worked out afterall!
I first pinned from the top of the cups down.
I stretched and loosely stitched the fabric in place so I knew it would be positioned before working on the cups.
I found my tiniest needle to be my greatest ally in this process. The bra cup fabric is very tightly woven.
Straps removed and fabric stitched down. I did not know how to finish the inside, and an experienced belly dance costume maker in my guild said the felt was soft enough that I could simply trim off any excess and stitch another row and get it all to lay down…so I did. (this pic is not the final-final), but shows just before the trimming.
I wet felted a cord for the halter style tie, and 2 leaves, all are merino wool.
The NO-SEW TUTU
I got the inspiration to make a tutu, and was gratueful to discover the ingenious “no-sew tutu”.
I will search for the few resources I watched on this — I basically borrowed from a few.
I chose the ribbon tulle for convenience and cut varying lengths. The tulle is simply tied on to the ribbon or waist band fabric of your choice by folding the length in half and knotting it over or under the waist tie. It took a lot. I am sure I used at least 5 spools of this. *Warning! The glittery ones will fill your house with glitter and may cause a ruckus! You can read by fb post on this
… called The Glitter Incident of 2015 🙂
THE FAIRY WINGS
I watched a few videos to learn how to do make these, and combined a few methods.
I used 14 gauge wire purchased at Home Depot, ( I could not find 12gauge anywhere). The stockings are a Queen size Sheer full panty hose with the legs cut off. Despite valiant efforts the knee highs would not stretch this far! Also used some glow in the dark fabric paint, glitter fabric paint and glitter glue. Electrical tape, satin ribbon and silk flowers.
Bend two wires at a time to match length and shape. BIG wire snips make cutting easy 🙂
Twist ends of wire together, stretch stockings over and, pull snug and bind off with electrical tape. My wings tended to curve a bit. I think 12gauge wire would have been ideal.
Detail added with silver glitter fabric paint on one side and sparkly glitter glue on the pack side of the wings. Not sure which I liked more…both are cool.
As was suggested in other tutorials, I burned out small holes with an incense stick. The loop on the back and the back join is covered in satin ribbon that is hot glued into place. Previously I had satin ribbons as shoulder straps (but wanted clear elastic). The wings kept falling (tilting). This back loop/brace made all the difference and no shoulder straps are needed.
I played with the wing placement a lot and finally decided on 3 per side. More would have been fun 🙂 Final touches = silk flower cluster and ribbons trailing down.
I would love to hear any feedback or questions from you! Wishing you a great year and great fun with your Inspired Ideas!
FELTING SUPPLIES & INSTRUCTION – Visit us @ LIVING FELT
FAIRY WINGS VIDS – the two I watched over and over were:
There are tons of no sew tutu videos on youtube, I watched two and cannot track them down…but will keep looking. It is easy, surely any of those videos out there will help you. Have fun, and it you make a fairy costume or a nuno felt bra, I’d love to see it! 🙂
This felted picture of a Longhorn within a landscape was my first attempt at felting a “realistic” subject. To create it, I started with an inspiration image, wet felted the major features of the background and added detail with needle felting.
Realism is not my forte…but I wanted to challenge myself to it nonetheless. To assist in achieving accuracy, I started with a drawn outline of the major lines from a photograph. (sky/tree line, tree/grass line, longhorn)
To achieve this, you can blow up a photograph to a poster size, or draw an outline and enlarge that image, or you can free hand it. **I would love to hear your feed back in the comments and feel free to post any questions!
I hope it is helpful and wish you great fun in felting your own picture or landscape!
Living Felt Brand wool: PF-X Prefelt batt, and MC-1 Felting batts.
(I will do my best to name colors in the progress pics.)
Olive Oil Soap
Wet Felting Mesh
42 Triangle Felting Needle (95% of the time)
*Sometimes two 42 Triangle needles in the Clover Pen Tool
40 Triangle Felting Needle (fine)
36 Triangle Felting Needle for deeper lines only
*all supplies are available at Living Felt – Felting Supplies
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO SEE A LARGER FORMAT = SLIDE SHOW WITH CAPTIONS
We are so grateful for the inclusion in this awesome magazine: Organic Connections!
See the full article here: Feeling the Growing Love for Felt | OC Digital.