Felting is a technique that can produce a variety of different effects dependingon the method, from wet felting( Nuno felting) to needle punch felting.
In case of Nuno felting warm water and soap scales swell open, allowing the filamentsto snag and interlock with one another when agitated. This knotting causes shrinkage,resulting in dense, strong felted fiber. Matting happens naturally overtime, as evident in the hair of pets or in the hair of humans that has not been brushed. Additional fibers that alone would not mat such as silk,cellulose fibers and even synthetics can be blended in smaller proportions with these animal fibers to create felt, as the animal fibers will intertwine and mat around them.
Felt from wool is considered to be the oldest known textile. Many cultures have legends as to the origins of felt making.Some of the earliest felt remains were found in the frozen tombs of nomadic horsemen in the Siberian Tlai mountains and date to around 700 B.C. These tribes made clothing, saddles, and tents from felt because it
was strong and resistant to wet and snowy weather.
Two of the primary reasons I chose the Nuno Felting technique are - it’s sustainable art and I use local sources of wool having developed close relationshipswith wool farms both on Long Island and upstate New York.
In Nuno Felting we can create sculptures and multi layered surfaces. The possibilities are endless!
I usually try new techniques on a small scale before starting a big art project. Here are some examples of creating texture with fabric, plastic, and yarn.