Felting ready for dyeing

I have been preparing a couple of felts for dyeing.  The inspiration is some rocks.


Thinking through a plan in my note-book for the felts and fibres.


And laying out ready for felting.  The pieces all use Blue faced Leicester fibre.

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I laid out some dark and some light fibre on the back and felted the pieces.  I stopped felting when the pieces where about 20% shrunk , to check them and to add some hand stitching.




If you look very closely you can see stitching on the fabrics.

After final felting., they were ready for some more hand stitching and some machine stitching.


Here the stitching is more visible , with the lovely variation you get , when you combine all the different stitch techniques together.  Ready now for the dye bath.



Felt and dye fibre tests

I have had on my to do list for a long time to test soy, flax and jute.  By test I mean , felt them and the dye the felt and see what happens.  This week I eventually got round to some testing.

I actually tested sisal,linen top, flax, jute yarn , cotton knitted yarn and nettle.  I am not sure where the soy fibres have got to in the confusion resulting from my move.  One day they will turn up.
First I made prefelts with the fibres.  Here is a sample cut from each prefelts which have been made with Blue faced Leicester fibres.

At this stage the different fibres are quite hard to see , but I hoped that with dyeing they would become more visible.  I  decided to do my test with  onion skins.  Simple to do and  I love the colour .


Sisal and linen , still very hard to see the fibres.   Onion has taken really well on all the fibres


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Flax and jute

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Cotton and nettle.

Interesting experiment , with some , nice textures and subtle , very subtle colour changes.




I have been trying out some Lino printing , firstly with a Christmas present kit and then at Artybird. I am not sure where I am going with this but it’s good  to have a play.  I started simple , with shapes and black acrylic paint on paper .  I was quite pleased with the effect.

Last week at Artybird I tried again with inktensive blocks and a more complicated design , in fact two designs.  The idea was to print onto felt.

It is totally unintentional that they look like legless birds.

Here I have tried printing on fabric with the inktensive blocks.  

Not very impressive.  Worse was to follow as I tried to print on felt.

What a disappointment , I think my shape was not well chosen and getting an even distribution of the colour medium to transfer to the felt seems very challenging.

Back home I tried a simple black print 

I think I better stick to felting ! 

Worldwide colours of felt

I am delighted that a piece of mine will be appearing in Worldwide colours of felt which is due for publication in June by Textiellink.  I am even more delighted that the piece that was chosen was dyed with madder. There are pictures of felt works from over 500 artists from 40 countries in the book. With this good news it seems an ideal opportunity to look back at how my piece was made.

First I laid out white merino on a resist.

Then used more resists to add wings and I also added cords.


The finished vessel was difficult to dry and so I slung it in the garden used a foam roller, an old broom handle and lots of gaffer tape along with skewers to curls the cords.




Here it is straight out of the dye pot .  I had to tied it up , to make it fit and this also had the benefit of giving a shibori effect.

A close up shows this effect to some extent.

mar 13-14 madder shell vesel detail

The final piece as will be seen in Worldwide colours of felt in June.


mar 13-13madder shell vessel

Don’t forget to order a copy of the book !