June 4, 2010 by Mariana
1-How to use:
-Merino + Tussah silk blend
-silk noil texture.
The merino + silk blends are always great fibres to work with. You have the softness of merino wool mixed with some shiny patches of silk. Of course you could card wool and silk and do it yourself. But this is already done for you! Ready to use!!! And the colours!!!!
The merino used in these type of blends are usually 18-20 microns, so the wool is very soft. I use these blends especially for wraps, scarves or any piece that will be in touch with my skin. It just feels good! The blends are of course also great for spinning and later knitting or weaving. You can get it on natural colours or already dyed…
Silk noil also comes in natural colours or already dyed. I got a pack of four different types of noil from both tussah and mulberry. Tussah noil has a more golden colour (check the theory post!).
I like to use noil to give both texture and a bit of tactile attractiveness to a piece. But since it is also silk, it has a subtle shine as well.
I’m going to show you a simple project -assuming you know the basics of felting, otherwise there is a tutorial here.
I’m letting you see how the fibre behaves, but you artists let your imagination run wild and create!
Little spring scarf:
I have 50gr of merino + silk blend, and a pack of silk noil.
Silk + merino blends: Just use it as it were wool top. You will notice that it is softer and that some fibres tend to get a little static and cling to your fingers, that is the silk. let’s male a little spring scarf… light (because I don’t know where you are, but right here spring is a bit chilly still!).
I lay here on bubble wrap, two thin layers of natural colour merino + silk blend. Don’t forget to lay this layers as even as you can so there are no holes. Check with your fingers, fill out where it is needed. As simple as that.
Now the Silk noil.
I’m going to use it on the edges just as a bit of decoration.
Grab little pieces with your fingers, tease I apart. Play with it, shape it if you want… it won’t break!! and then place it on your already layed merino + silk scarf.
Now, you can have this bumpy silk noil, or you can have the other variety which is just short pieces of silk top that got entangled on machines or weren’t completely good. You can lay this type of noil as if you were laying top: grab it with the pal, of one hand hand tease out the fibres with the fingers of your other hand:
So far basically you lay everything as you are used to. The rest is pretty easy as well.
Wet the fibres with warm, soapy water. Not too much soap or the silk will be sliding around. Water has to be warm but not boiling hot for two reasons: 1- you hands!, 2-very hot water will damage the silk fibre and part of that soft shine will disappear!
Use the tip of your fingers to gently push the silk noil down. It takes a little bit longer to get wet, but if you tap on it a bit, you will force the water in. Once you see everything is wet… do a little bit of felting just so the fibres are in place, roll … and roll… You can of course felt the whole piece with your hands instead of rolling. That is up to what your normal favourite method for felting a scarf is.
I don’t usually use the “Shock Method” of felting (throwing against the table). I just feel I don’t have much control of the fibre. But it comes very handy with silk noil. See, the more you throw it, the bumpier it will become.
Here is a picture where on the right, there is silk noil which has been thrown against the table. On the left is the same scarf, other end, but I haven’t used that method, only rolling. You can choose what effect you like better. The noil will still add texture and shine.
The rest of the drill you know… rinse, dry…wear!
I made the scarf with a bit of a scalloped edges just to add something else…
Fibres and Equipment available at www.SarasTextureCrafts.com