Monday, 14 June 2010

More Samples from Felted Handspun

No, this is not from the handspun cushions but it is part of the project.

On Saturday I went to London to talk to the London Guild about silk and I took a book to read in the train - Shereen LaPlantz  'Cover to Cover' which is a wonderful book on bookbinding. In reading this, it occurred to me that I could use the felted samples from the handspun cushions as covers for a book.  But I would like to decorate them. I could get two sets of covers out of what I have so I did not want to waste any of it on trying out techniques of decoration. I remembered that I did a handspun blanket a few years ago and there was a piece left over. This was one of my least successful projects. It was woven using only grey handspun but I space-dyed half of it with indigo. The weaving just looked bitty - look at the background of the fabric in the photo. I found a nice felted piece of this about a foot square and cut it into quarters. I did a zigzag round the edge of one square with multicoloured machine embroidery thread to make sure it does not fray. Then I fused a backing on to some space dyed cotton and cut out shapes to apply (see triangles). Not too easy but probably manageable but - -  there has to be stitching on the other side. I had been thinking in terms of applique lettering but I really do not like the idea of the stitching appearing on the other side. I could cover it after decoration with a piece of cotton which would have to be hand sewn on.  Hmmh!! What else can I do? I could use  transfer printing where the  paint is put on sheets of paper, dried then cut into shapes and applied to the fabric with a hot iron. That is the orange square with the dark surround. Then there are silk paints, also fixed with a hot iron and the fat lines in red are they. So transfer paints and silk paints work and do not show through to the back. Tomorrow I will try another square with more complicated shapes in transfer dyes.

I also cut off a cushion, zigzagged the edges, washed it and put it through the drier for 20 minutes. It came out more felted and shrunk than I expected. Perhaps this is because it is much bigger and heavier and therefore gets thrown about more. Also the front has shrunk more than the back. That was something I did not check with the samples. The surface is fluffier too. It is drying now.

Added later. Of course there is always needle felting. Would that come through the felt? Better try it out.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.