Saturday, 17 July 2010

Felting Silk ?

Felting with Silk Fibres
Are you having trouble making your silk 'stick' ?

Silk fibres are long and smooth and triangular in shape. This makes them slippery and gives them lustre.
Wool fibres are made of layers of 'scales' which cause them to be dull and allow the fibres to shrink.
This diagram from 'Chemistry of the Laundry' is a magnified sketch of
a) Wool  b) Mohair c) Cotton d) Silk e) Linen

The fibres with more surface texture, felt better than those with smooth surfaces.
If you can imagine meshing these wool and silk fibres together, it is fairly safe to say the only ones with real grip will be the wool fibres.
So, when you decorate with silk, the trick is to place down your silk and then lay down a very fine cobweb of wool over the top to 'anchor' the silk fibres into place.
(Nobody sneeze or move quickly or you'll blow it away !)
But beware, too much wool cobweb will suck the silk into the wool and you will lose the silk's lustre.

These silk roses are nuno felted onto cotton voile.
The rose was a circular twist of silk.
The ripple effect has been caused by the wool fibres pulling and anchoring the silk on the surface into place.


Ginny Huber said...

Yes, those wonderful but sometimes pesky fibers don't stick the way we hope they will! Love your diagram and the sweet examples of those flowers! said...

wonderful feltblog!!!

Joan Kirton said...

Hi Aussie Felter,
Thank you for visiting and joining my blog.

What a wonderfully inspiring fact both your blogs are inspiring. I look forward to seeing more.


What is felting?

"FELT" The Essential Macquarie Dictionary meaning:

"A non woven fabric of wool, fur or hair matted together by pressure"

Fibres can be manipulated with the use of soap, water, friction and heat variations ..........or the use of barbed needles to create many interesting, practical and wearable things.

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