felting, natural dyeing tutorials, learn to felt step by step beginners experienced feltmakers

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The end is the beginning...

The end of one year and the beginning of a new one, the expression of the ongoing cycles in life.
I wish everyone a creative and inventive 2010, a smile for every new beginning and gratefulness for what we achieved so far.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Felt Making Tutorials

I recently added two wet felting tutorials to my etsy shop:

The first: how to make a wet felted “WILD NATURE” scarf. This tutorial is suitable for beginners.

It is an easy and fast method to make a scarf and also an excellent idea to make one as a present for a friend or family member.

Wild Nature scarf tutorial on etsy

The second one that I have for sale in my etsy shop is a Silky Nuno Felted Poncho. This tutorial is suitable for all levels.

The technique is explained by easy step by step instructions, accompanied by lots of images.
The project can be done with very simple equipment, which you probably have already available in your house.

Silky Nuno Felted Poncho on etsy

Both tutorials are available in PDF version. The techniques are explained through easy step by step instructions, accompanied by lots of images.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Freeform Lace shawls

This shawl is sold

These Freeform Lace, Felt Art Shawls are made from hand felted organic merino wool pieces and nuno felted pieces, sewn together with recycled fabric ribbons.

The ribbons are cut offs from industrial weaving.

They are a nice addition to your evening outfit.

Purple freeform lace felt art shawl:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Etsy Treasury: SHE loves red and black.

This Etsy Treasury features Schooling at Home Etsians and was made by farmsteadladydesigns. I am very grateful to be included in this red and black treasury.

Preparing fibres for natural dyeing.

Preparing the fibres:
Before dyeing fibres, whether it is for natural or synthetic dyes, we will need to scour them. This means, we need to clean them properly so that there are no residues of grease, dirt or chemicals left. If there is dirt left in the fibres, the dyes will stick to the dirt and will disappear with washing them afterwards or give your hands a nice, but often undesirable colour.

For raw uncarded wool straight from the fleece, I soak it for several hours and keep repeating it as long as a lot of dirt comes out (note: you can use this rinsing water for your plants, it is rich in nitrogen). Now add dishwashing liquid to the water and let it soak for a while. You might have to do that a few times and rinse it well afterwards, until the water becomes clean. Be wary to never pouring hot water onto the fibres or handle them roughly , because the wool might start to felt.

Wool slivers are cleaned, washed and carded, so there is no real need to go through this whole process. You will still need to soak them in clean water before mordanting or dyeing. The only risk with the slivers is that they can have residues of chemicals in them, which might interfere with the dyeing. This is one of the many reasons to use organic wool slivers, that have been processed without chemicals.

Silk fibres or fabrics need to be gradually brought to just under the boiling temperature and kept at that temperature for 1 hour. Boiling can damage the fibres. If the silk has not be de-gummed yet, it needs to be heated up with dishwashing liquid. Repeat this process until the silk doesn't feel sticky anymore.

Vegetable fibres, such as cotton, hemp and linen need to be boiled off with washing soda for 1 hour. If the fibres are new and still have wax in them, you will see the water turn yellow to light brown. In that case it could be safe to repeat the process. If you need to prepare a lot of fabric, you can put it in the washing machine at the highest temperature, close to the boiling temperature and add the washing soda to it.

When the fibres are well clean, they can be used for dyeing.


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