I have to confess to being extremely curious! And just being told that something works is not enough for me.. I have to try it myself - cant settle till I have. This has led to some funny situations in the past believe me.. This time my curiosity was piqued by reading about people using a tumble drier as a felting tool. Not something I have ever done before.. The curiosity became unbearable when I heard about it being used to speed up nuno felting!
... you may recall the large nuno shawls that I made earlier in the year - they took, what seemed, an eternity of rolling (many, many hours over 2 days) to get the fibres to migrate through the fabric. I had no plans to felt any more of these shawls, even though I LOVE the way they turned out, because they took so darned long - and near killed my back!
Some experimentation was in order.. so I googled and found this excellent tutorial on Treetops Colour Harmonies website.. and followed it :)
For my first experiment I used silk chiffon to make a nuno scarf - using a lot less wool than I usually do:
|Decorators plastic layed on top|
Then into the tumble drier it went - on a no-heat settling, for 15 minutes. Then, like with normal felting, unroll & straighten, then re-roll from the opposite direction. Back in the tumble drier for another 15 minutes. This was repeated rolling from all 4 sides, though for the final 2 sides I only did 10 minute tumbles - this was plenty.
After all this bumping & tumbling the fibres had migrated through the silk beautifully.. and was ready for heat and throwing - this is the bit that I like.. the magic nuno moment when you get the lovely texture.
I had also prepared a sample sized piece with synthetic organza to see how this behaved & tumbled it at the same time (this only took 3 tumbles!)
I am going to leave it there though for today.. Tomorow I shall show you how it turned out, what became of the synthetic sample piece AND my new bargain must have felting tool!