Thursday, April 20, 2017

PART 2 - Indigo Dyed Nuno Felted Seamless Dress - The Reveal

Using many resists, including a godet on both the back and front to make a full skirted dress, I created the nuno felted seamless dress out of the indigo dyed prefelts, silks and wool roving by pieceing them on the front of the resist overlapping the edges of the resist so that they would seam to the sides and the shoulders of the back.  Once I worked the front with my hands and my new electric car buffer (thank you Mary Papaj), I flipped it and created the back of the dress. Then some rolling, more with the electric car buffer and then some fulling and voila...THE REVEAL (Drum roll):

I used a portion of the shibori dyed prefelt as the main attraction in the bodice.  I cut up the shibori balls and used them sparingly on the front.
 I shibori tied and indigo dyed a pair of white cotton/spandex leggings that I bought on Dharma Trading.  These tights are OK but a bit saggy.  I'm on the look out for some other white leggings with more stretch.  None the less, they look adorable with the dress.

The back and left side

The back with the shibori wrapped portion at the top

I love the little flower on the right

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

PART 1 - Indigo Dyed Nuno Felted Seamless Dress - Making and Dyeing Prefelts

 I am really into indigo and now that my hair is platinum and no longer red, I have been wearing a lot of blue.  Indigo is my blue of choice and since it is a natural color, it is actually is a beautiful color on all skin types and hair colors. 

 I decided to make an indigo dyed full skirted dress for myself starting with various white prefelts.  Above is a pic of the indigo dyed prefelts along with fabrics and wool roving that I also dyed in the indigo pot.

I made a few prefelts:  1.  one layer of sheer silk silk gauze with one layer of merino wool roving.  2.  two layers of merino wool roving laid perpendicular to each other and 3. one layer of silk habotai and one layer of merino wool roving.

I wetted them out and then rolled each a few hundred times just to the prefelt stage.

Once it was at the prefelt stage and could be picked up carefully, I shibori bundled and tied it as in various ways with the wool side up  1.  Flat marbles closed with small hair type rubber bands, 2.  stones closed with large rubber bands, 3.  pinching up the fabric and tying it with Japanese cotton thread, 4.  making balls from wool roving and enclosing them in the prefelt and tying them off with Japanese cotton thread.

Lesson learned:  Decide if you want to make your shibori bundles with the wool side facing up, which I did, or the silk side facing up.  It may make a difference depending on how you want to use it to create your felted garment.


Following Dharma Trading's recipe for using Indigo crystals, I made my pot and starting dipping and dyeing wearing my trusty long yellow gloves. 

To remove the flat marbles, I stuck a needle between the wrapped rubber band and then cut it with a small scissors

This is the silk side of the marbles and stones which I liked better than the wool side.

The photo above is the wool side of the pinched fabric tied with Japanese cotton thread.  I like the silk side better in the photo below.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Nuno Felted Seamless Garment Workshop

STUDIO 907 - 2017 Nuno Felted Garment Workshop from Beth Marx on Vimeo.

Thirteen students came from near and far to attend Studio 907's February 2017 nuno felting seamless garment workshop in Southern California.  Experience ranged from students who had never made a felted garment to repeat students. The camaraderie among the group was terrific and most of us got together on Saturday evening to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Belmont Shore.  

The first of the four days was spent taking the train 50 minutes from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles.  Once we departed the train, we walked the short distance to Beth's favorite fabric shops where the group had the opportunity to ooh & aah at all the silk fabric and then, with Beth's help if needed, coordinate colors and patterns and buy silk fabric (at excellent prices) not only for the workshop but also for their future felting projects.  After several hours of fabric shopping, we were ready to sit down and have a delicious lunch at a local Argentinean restaurant where the choices were plenty from burgers to empanadas to beautiful salads with salmon or ahi.  

The next three days were spent diligently working on the project.  I taught the students how to use one of their own garments to make a sized up pattern to account for shrinkage.  They were each given one of my "Easy Peasy Shrinkage Calculation Sheets" to make the calculations super easy; calculators are not even needed!  After that it was felting and fulling until they each finished their unique and beautiful creation.  On the last day we finished up with a photo shoot and critique. Everyone was in their element and glowing modeling their creation; I felt like a proud mama!














Saturday, January 28, 2017

How to create a nuno felt abstract design with prefelts

I was commissioned to make a cover for the top of a piano to coordinate with a painting hanging next to the piano.  The magical, abstract impressionistic painting with vivid colors of greens, oranges and purples of a woman wearing a hat standing in a field of flowers sets the mood for the small, intimate music room. My goal was to make the felted piece have the same feeling as the painting by creating organic, textural, abstract flowers. 

This is the painting in the room.  One of my ponchos currently sits on the top of the piano.  I was commissioned to make a larger felted piece to coordinate with the painting.

Although the felted piece was made to be a piano cover, it also makes a terrific shawl worn right side out or inside out.  There is no right or wrong way.
 I began by dyeing white silk fabric and white wool roving to coordinate with the colors in the painting.  Click here to see how I did the dyeing.  
Wool roving is carefully added to the acid dye.  
Acid dyes were created by mixing various Dharma colors togerther.
Finished silk fabrics
White wool roving dyed with acid dyes

Once the silk fabrics and wool rovings were dyed and dried, I compiled them along with other fabrics and textiles that I planned to use on the piece.

Before I started my design layout, I first created pre-felts with silk fabrics and one layer of wool roving.  I rolled it about 200 times until it was substantial enough to pick up but not completely felted. I later cut these prefelts into various shapes and placed them on both silk fabric and wool roving.  They will adhere to silk fabric since they are backed with wool roving.  
I laid silk fabrics for the reverse side of the piece.
I added one thin layer of roving using both white and dyed roving.
Here's the work in progress layout on my felting table.  Staring size was 444" x 92".
Work in progress showing prefelts cut into abstract flower shapes.
Work in progress
To the bottom layer of silk fabric and wool roving, I created my design by cutting the prefelts into various shapes.  I added layers of fabrics, new and repurposed textiles including vintage sari silks, and wool roving to create my desired design which starts off as an rectangle.  

The felted piece shrunk about 35% overall ending up at about 31" x 53".  The drape is amazing and it looks terrific as a couch cover.
I think my felted piece captures the essence and feeling of the painting.  

It can be worn as a shawl inside out or right side out.  Try it upside down and how about as a wrap skirt with a shawl pin.  The drape is amazing. 

A felted piece meant as a piano cover but it can be a wearable piece of art as well as a flat piece.

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