This file is a collection of various messages having the common theme of making thin flexible felt, that I have collected from my reading of the various internet fiber lists, although they are primarily from the feltmaker's list. I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, most of the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter. The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors. Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the orignator(s).
Pat Spark, Manager of the Feltmaker's List.

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*Jill Gully's  web page has a link to information on making cobweb felt.
*Link to Pat Spark's Instructions for Making a Laminated Felt Scarf.

MAKING COB WEB FELT                                     



*Aug. 27, 1996 Wanda Scott. When I took Lis Dokkedal's workshop she showed us how to make this cob-webby, lacey material. I tried it using Finn wool. She said that the Merino was not quite the right wool, and Romney was not right either. What we did was lay a very fine layer of wool out onto a bare table, making holes here and there in it. Then we placed a cotton sheet (cut to size) over the wool and wet it down with hot soapy water. When this was done we then, starting at one end, slid it along the table, so that it bunched up accordion style. We then scooped it up sort of folding in the ends so (to protect the wool on the inside) and dunked it in the hot soapy water and gently squeezed out some of the water. We then threw the bundle on the table and continued doing this (the throwing) like you would bread dough for a short while until the wool stayed together when you pulled it off of the sheeting. We then continued throwing just the wool itself (very gently) for a few more times. We could then stretch it out to shape. The Finn wool worked quite well as it stays real soft but was not to fluffy as the Romney tends to be. Lis said they use a type of wool over in Denmark (I didn't quite understand what type of sheep it was) especially for this, something in between the Merino type and the Romney type. She had a slide picture of a wedding gown where all the outer layer of the whole gown was done in this lacey felt...beautiful!
*Sept. 16, 1996 Shelby Cefaratti. I have made a sample piece of felt out of Wensleydale wool. Wensleydale is an English bred sheep that looks like it has dreadlocks. The fibers are very long and curly. The sample was made up of four layers of wool. It felted nicely and I ended up with a very unique piece of felt. It is quite thin and translucent and you can see the lacy curls of wool. It is also very strong. If I understand the technique of making lacy felt, I think this would be perfect.
*Feb. 28, 1997 Jill Gully.  Cobweb felt is the name given to the very fine felt that can be made when a more drape-able fabric is desired for items such as scarves or shawls. The finer the fiber, the better the results, so I use my 19 micron merino much of the time. Since I only have that in the natural though, I have frequently used my dyed merino, which is 22 micron, and I still get excellent results. I recently finished teaching a 4-week series of classes for Balyor Cont. Ed. and we did cobweb scarves in the final class. I was a little nervous, because it requires a little skill, but overall, everyone turned out an acceptable scarf and was pleased with the experience.
        I start by laying down a towel and placing a long bamboo blind on the towel. Since the initial measurements for laying out the fiber are 65"-70 x 12"-13", you need a long blind. I then put down a piece of cotton sheeting with the scarf pattern drawn on it. This enables me to ensure I get straight sides at the end. The sheeting also prevents the "ridging" pattern that can sometimes occur when the blind "transfers" its ridges into the felt. . Since it is vital to have mastered the art of laying very fine layers of fiber, I find it helps to split the sliver lengthwise also. Pull off a couple of yards, and you will usually find that it will divide naturally lengthwise into two almost even halves. I then lay out three very fine layers of fiber -- 2 lengthwise and one crosswise between the two. I then add any design to the surface that I want. Tussah silk is a favorite. I will take the silk sliver and draw it out first into thinner layers and then make coil-type circles on the surface of the wool. Also, if you haven't tried VISCOSE, I found some at a fiber store. It looked just like the very white bombyx silk, only it was 1/4 of the price. I wasn't sure what it would do but went ahead and tried it anyway--and "voila!" felted in beautifully and has a gorgeous sheen. Using very fine wisps of this stuff, you can add sheen to almost anything. Anyway...enough of that. I put my netting over the scarf and wet it down and squirt on soap gel. I then buzz it VERY briefly with the sander -- it takes very little to penetrate those thin layers. Then I lift the netting and gently push the sides into alignment if they have got wisps sticking out or anything. I sand again briefly, giving a little extra on the sides.  Then I carefully turn the whole thing over and sand the other side. I then lift off the sheeting, and if I think it needs it, I sand directly on the surface of the scarf (substitute rubbing with your hands if you don't care to use the sander, but multiply the time by about 10x). When I feel it is sufficiently felted, I replace the sheeting between the blind and the scarf because of the delicate nature of the fabric. Otherwise, the blind can sometime snag the fine fabric or give it a ridgey look. I then full it in both directions, checking often to make sure it doesn't get smaller than I want it to, I have to fold it in half to full it in the crosswise direction, but that is okay as long as you don't do it for such a long time that you felt it together! It is not unusual to have either small holes in this felt, or at least very sheer patches. This is part of the distinctive look of the cobweb felt, and you can adjust the look as much as you wish. I have seen photos of one lady's shawl that had large holes ( like 3"-4" diameter) in it. It was a large shawl that covered all of her back and almost down to her hips, so it didn't look to bad, but I tend to prefer to avoid actual holes in preference for just the sheer patches. Overall, I find mine are pretty even. I just full enough to reach the desired size, and I rarely "throw" the cobweb felt. I then rinse it and press it with the steam iron to keep it in shape. The result...a wonderfully soft, but warm and elegant scarf. You can use the same method to make smaller cowl-type triangles that can be worn to fill in the front of a low-cut jacket. It is fine enough that it will fold into the gathers like a cowl collar on a sweater.
*July 13, 1997 Jill Gully. One of my recent projects has been some greeting cards. I bought some nice blank cards & envelopes at MJ Designs, and using a stencil, I cut an oval out of the front of the card. I then made pieces of lacy cobweb felt with designs and threads running through. I cut these into oval shapes and glued them carefully to the inside of the card front.  Inexpensive and quite unique. If you have rubber stamps, you can add extra "stuff" if you like. I just stamp a little sheep on the back of the card as my "signature".

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*Oct. 6, 1997 Jill Gully.  I love to use the silk caps as surface embellishment on cobweb felt scarves. Use two very fine layers of background color and then pull off fine layers from the silk cap, stretching them out to cover the surface of the scarf. They'll add a lovely sheen to your work.
*Oct. 9, 1997 Shelby Cefaratti. I finished my first cobweb felt scarf - a la Jill Gully style - and I am quite pleased with the results. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Jill's technique {and Pat and Jill - please feel free to speak up here}, it is similar to the laminated felt that Pat teaches without a base fabric in the middle. The result is a very thin and surprisingly strong piece of flexible felt. I have been so inspired by the autumn leaves (something I didn't see very much of in Texas) and created my scarf in the shades of fall. I started with a thin base of green/orange/yellow variegated merino, then covered it with two layers of deep green merino and embellished the scarf with stylized leaves cut from pumpkin orange soft felt. I then added pieces of bright gold silk cap over the leaves. The edges are a bit wobbly and I would like to make them a little smoother and more "finished" looking. Any ideas? Any way, I just wanted to share my excited over my latest felt project.  What is everyone else working on?
*Oct. 9, 1997 Lana Elder. In response to your question about the edges, I find that if I use a small piece of plastic or nettings and fold it under and above the edges, I get a nice clean line. I also rub the edges gently with my fingers, which is one of the only ways to have "almost" complete control... Hope this helps..
*Oct. 9, 1997 Siki McIver. Your scarf sounds pretty lovely Shelby. I too have tried a thin cobweb-like felt shawl recently using some angora/merino? cross I got from Sue Pufpaff with the addition of silk throughout. I folded the edges over and so got a stronger and more regular edge but if I were to make it even thinner, as I'd like to, this might make for an opaque line all around the edge--maybe not so bad but..... Anyway, I remember someone talking about felting in a shallow pan right up to the edge to get an even line. I'm wondering if one could create an edge by having some long strips of wood down under plastic (with the plastic right up to the edge). Would that give me a more regular edge without the obvious fold line? Anyone do that?
*Oct. 10, 1997 Susan Krueger.  Shelby, Do you crochet? I've found a simple chain stitch can make a nice finish to a felt edge. You can space the stitch that goes into the fabric as close together or as far apart as you want & you can adjust the tension to help draw in some of the edges. (if they are wobbly like a wave-kind of wobbly) There are any number of threads, silks, yarns that could be used to enhance your scarf, which sounds wonderful, BTW.
*Oct. 10, 1997 Jill Gully. Your scarf sounds gorgeous! Wish it would get cool enough hereto even think about wearing a scarf! One thing I find helpful in regulating my edges is to draw the scarf pattern on the sheeting that I use to lay out the fiber. I use a waterproof felt marker ...(what other kind of marker would I use??).... and mark out the rectangle. I lay the fiber carefully along these lines. When it is wet down, I sand once very lightly, and then lift off the netting. I then spend time carefully turning the edges under or gently pushing them back to where they are aligned with the pattern.  Then I sand again, making sure the edges get a little extra sanding. I find this usually works for me. You won't ever get a perfectly straight edge as you would if you cut it with scissors, but it can be pretty good if you take the extra time. If you don't mind a machine finish, you could trim the edges and then zig-zag them with a decorative or matching thread.
*Oct. 13, 1997 Cynthia Konow. Hey's the late morning in So. Calif., and I'm finally healthy enuf to do some felting! I'm home with a sick kiddo, tho', but hey, a bad day felting beats a great day at work!!! I just tried some cobweb felt, and it came out sooo neat. I used some teal merino with some purplish merino rainbow batt. Instead of using a bamboo mat, I used fiberglass window screen material. It's real cheap ($3 for a pretty big roll), can be cut with yukky scissors, and the edges can sort of fold. I was also able to see through it. That was helpful as my kitchen counter is tiled and I used the grid to line up edges. I creased the screen material, and it gave my wool some "boundaries". The resulting scarf is thin and diaphanous and I love it! The edges were fairly well controlled. Rolling the screen material with the wool was a little weird. It doesn't roll that great. I ended up doing the fulling with the roll in the sink vertically. I rubbed up and down the roll, then laid it out, rolled it up the opposite end and did the same. I'm gonna have to experiment with this some more, but I got a really nice scarf out of it. Boy oh boy, this is fabric creation for the attention deficit/no impulse control child in me! Talk about instant gratification. I still have to get my hands on a bigger bamboo mat and try that out, but this sure does the trick in the meantime!
*Oct. 15, 1997 Siki McIver. Hi Cynthia, your cobweb felt sounds great! Thought someone else would mention it but since no one has you may want to reconsider using the fiberglass window screen because of the health risks. Now, I'm not really sure what amounts of fiberglass would be getting into you or your family's lungs but rolling it could certainly put it into the air for you or anyone else to breathe in. I was kind of keen on that screen until that caution was mentioned so I thought I'd pass it on.
*Oct. 21, 1997 Susan Krueger. Sometimes the material that we call "fiberglass screen" is actually nylon screen, (probably cuz it was first made in fiberglass then the public/manufacturers got wise?) so check the label.

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*Oct. 27, 1997 Jill Gully. Instructions for cobweb felt follow: COBWEB FELT
To make cobweb felt, you must have first mastered the ability to draw off very fine layers of your fiber. This is done by ensuring that your fingers only hold down the very end fibers, allowing only a portion of the piece of roving to  be pulled from the length. I start with merino top in sliver form, so I usually take a 3ft length and split it in half lengthwise. This splitting gives me more control over the fineness of the pieces I pull off. Lay down towel (if working inside), then bamboo blind. Then place piece of old sheet on top of blind. Use contrasting color of sheet to fiber, or else you can't see how fine your layers are. For a scarf, draw a 75"x15" rectangle on your sheeting. Lay fibers within the lines. I use three very fine layers of fiber, criss-crossed in direction. I then add any surface design such as silk, mohair or fancy yarns. You should be able to see through the fiber even when all three layers are down. Make it even, but don't worry about spots that look almost like holes. That is part of the unique look of cobweb felt.   I then cover the layers with the netting to protect the surface design from shifting when I wet it down. After wetting down and pressing out the air, I squirt on soap gel and rub gently for a couple of minutes. Then I use my electric sander very briefly to make the initial "skin" on the felt. I turn it over, while still encased between the sheeting and the netting, and sand the other side. For a scarf with neat edges, I then push any straggling fibers in at the sides, to ensure a straight edge down the scarf. A little extra water usually helps this process. You just have to use your judgment as to how much more to sand (or rub) the fiber before fulling. Be careful about it felting to the sheeting or netting. Peel away carefully when removing. While the fabric may appear fragile, it is amazing how strong it really is in spite of its sheerness.   I usually do not full my thin felt for very long. Firstly, it is thin enough that it simply doesn't take as long as thicker pieces, and also, I want a softer, more flexible finish, and ever-fulling produces a stiffer result. When you are through rolling it in the blind to full it, rinse it well and press it with the iron. When you hold it up to the light, you can easily see the directions of the layers of fiber, and should be able to see through the scarf in places. When it is around your neck, you won't notice any thin spots and it will be nice and flexible and soft.
        I would not recommend anything coarser than a 22-micron fiber, and merino is best for softness. I prefer the 19-micron superfine merino that I carry, but I only have it in the natural color. I have the 22-micron in 40 other solid colors. It only takes about 1 1/2 - 2 oz. of fiber for the scarf project.
*Oct. 15, 1998 Shelby Cefaratti. I have made a cobweb felt shawl/wrap out of the thinnest amount of Wensleydale. The end effect is very lacy and light. To give you an idea of just how thin it is, it measures 15" x 96" and weighs 2.5 oz. This is one of those projects that just amazes me! Wool is one heck of a neat fiber.
*Oct. 17, 1998 Gage Evans. Wow! The shawl sounds beautiful! What color(s)? I have not tried the cobweb type of thing. Do you pull it apart or cut out the base fabric? (Please excuse my ignorance.) What is your source forWensleydale?  I have never used it, but have heard it is wonderful.
*Oct. 19, 1998. Shelby Cefaratti.
I use the Wensleydale in its natural color - which is a glowing off-white. To create the shawl I lay down one very thin layer of fiber one direction and then a second layer perpendicularly. Cover with netting and wet down with warm, soapy water. Using the lid of an old Tupperware pitcher I gently rub all over until the fibers begin to felt together. Some small holes may develop, but that is okay - just don't let them get to big. Work the felt on both sides until you feel that the fibers are well felted. ** I do not use the sander with this, because it tears the fibers apart and causes big holes ** Then I warm up the felt in the microwave for a few seconds and full it with a glass washboard or throw it a bit. Basically, use the same technique as you would for any piece of felt - but be very gently. This will also work nicely with other fine fiber such as merino. It took me three hours to complete the 15" x 96" shawl.
Oh, Wensleydale really is wonderful. The fiber itself is on the course side, but it is soooo soft. I buy my Wensleydale from Lynn's Texas Fibers - 800-997-8665.
*Dec. 10, 1999 Karen Strano. I'm just trying to learn cobweb felting. The first scarf I made is all right, but I'm sure not what people would call cobweb. It drapes nicely and I will wear it. However, now I want to make a couple of scarves for others for Christmas and would like a more cobwebby, lighter, drapier scarf. I'm working on one now and it seems to be a lot like the first one. The beginning dimensions were 12 inches wide by 78 inches long. I made 3 layers and used about 2 1/2 ounces of wool. I guess I have 2 questions.
1. More or less, how much wool (by weight) would you use for a scarf of  these dimensions to make a "true" cobweb? I'm using my own Finn-Rambouillet cross if that makes a difference.
2. When fulling cobweb felt, do you just stop fulling when the felt gets to the consistency you want? I'm having a hard time phrasing this question. Before fulling I laid out the wool, used the sander to get it to the soft felt stage. After sanding I rolled the scarf in a bamboo blind and that's when it got to the stage I liked. Could I stop there or would the scarf, with wear, lose it's shape?  For this scarf, I began fulling on the glass washboard. It is now about 5 1/2 inches wide and about 66 inches long and I'm sure it would go down to the size of a postage stamp if I fulled long enough. I really liked it better before fulling. Will the felt hold up alright if it is not fulled to the final degree? It's still a nice scarf, but I guess I want gossamer. Probably using about half (or less) wool would help. But when fulled won't that shrink down just as much?

*April, 2003.  Ruth Walker. FLIPPING FELT This is how I do it, with gratitude to Lene Nielson:
Spread out about half or a third of a length of merino or merino silk top on a 72" x 30" matchstick blind. (To make this easier, use this tip from Meike Dalal: Spread out the combed top on a long sheet of paper -- I use thin Christmas wrap -- placed on the blind, hold the end of the spread top and pull out the paper.)  Spread an equally evanescent layer perpendicular to the first.
Add whatever you want to felt in (yarns, gauze, bits of felt). Wet down the wool and roll it up in the blind; begin to felt by rolling lightly. Here is one of the brilliant things: When you unroll the blind, the nascent felt will have turned itself over by sticking to the other surface of the blind.  But it will have also sort of moved itself down.
    From the end of the blind which has the most space on the blind (this was the outer part of your rolling): Fold back part of the cobweb, maybe a foot or so. Fold the blind underneath itself, and unfold the cobweb. The end of the blind and the end of the web should be about even.  Begin to tightly roll up the blind. Here's the next brilliant bit: As the excess of the blind begins to roll up, you will stretch the wrinkles out of the web. Continue to carefully roll it all up. Keep doing this over and over, felting enough each time so that the web "automatically" turns itself over every time. Felt it completely! The holes will become ever larger as (ironically) you 'full' the fabric.
*April, 2003. Ruth Walker answering questions from Chris White. Chris, yes, hard to envision. could you try it out on a sushi mat or a
place mat? It might come clear...Chris White wrote: > Sorry Ruth, I can't picture this part.....From the end of the blind which has the most space on the blind....Is it that you have the blind completely unrolled at this point and you peel a foot of the felt's length back...
>but where do you put it once you fold the mat underneath itself???
Once you fold the mat underneath itself (it's a sort of z fold) you unfold the nascent felt back to even it up with the end of the mat.
Hopelessly confused! But, I do see how it would be a real time saver to not have to delicately  re-straighten out the thin felt after each rolling.
Ruth- Oh, my gosh, you have no idea how wonderful this is. I can't imagine (well, I can) having to turn the fragile felt over and try to straighten it out.

*April, 2003. Candy Hoeschen. FLIPPING FELT 
You need to flip your wet, dripping, barely-holding-together felt over to the other side to roll in a bamboo blind or in bubble wrap. Here are some tricks to flipping it without distortion or wrinkles.
    To learn these methods, make a thin felt that is different on each side so you know if you have flipped the felt. Side A will be up for the first period of rolling. When it's time to flip it to Side B, start to unroll the blind with the loose edge closest to you, and unroll it until you see two inches or so of the felt appearing. Allow the felt to stick to the UPPER rolled part of the blind (don't try to peel it off and make it lie flat). If Side A has properly stuck to the upper roll, you see Side B looking at you.
    LENE's Method (best with 2 rolling bars**): Pick up the roll and swap it end-for-end (left side now at the right). Begin to unroll using a REVERSE rolling motion, with Side B now facing up. When you have 6 or 8 inches of felt unrolled, NOW is when you will carefully reposition the edge of the felt several inches to be nearer to the leading edge of the bamboo blind - there is now several inches of excess blind material. Use the second rolling bar and begin to roll up the felt - the excess blind material allows you to stretch the unrolling felt, smoothing out any wrinkles. Unroll the felt from the first rolling bar while rolling it onto the second.
    **You can pull out and use the original rolling bar if you have completely rolled it in the blind prior to rolling up the felt, and you have not rolled so snuggly that you can't pull it out.
CANDY's Variation (1 rolling bar): Begin to unroll the felt, until you see the edge and verify that it is sticking to the upper rolled up part of the bamboo blind. Lift the roll straight up in the air and
flip the loose edge of the blind UNDER and AWAY from you. Begin to unroll using a REVERSE rolling motion, with Side B now facing up. Unroll the entire felt, in all it's wrinkled splendor.
    As you come to the end of the rolled up felt and to the rolling bar, if the felting fairies are with you, the edge of the felt will catch gracefully upon the wet rolling bar. Roll the felt onto the rolling
bar (with the reverse rolling motion) until it feels safe to lift it from the blind. Approximately 2/3 of the felt will be rolled onto the bar. Stretch and straighten the blind. Carefully unroll and transfer
the felt from the rolling bar back to the blind, Side B up.
    I use both methods. My variation is useful to transfer the felt from one rolling surface to another, for example from a bamboo blind to bubble wrap. Practice felt-flipping on small pieces until it is a smooth and easy process. Then you're ready to try it on a full-sized shawl or yardage.
*April 2003, Jill Gully.  FLIPPING FELT 
I find the easiest way to take care of flipping fine felt is to work with the felt between two layers of nylon fabric. Not only does it keep the fine felt from getting snagged or wrinkled between the little bamboo rods, but it means you can flip the entire thing as a "sandwich" without disturbing the delicate nature of the felt. You can also draw your pattern with a permanent marker on the underneath piece so that you can lay out between the lines for accuracy. You may find it takes two pairs of hands to flip it at first, but as you get used to it, you can (albeit rather inelegantly) spread eagle your legs and arms and "flip that sucker over" all by yourself!! Just be sure to check that the upper layer of fabric is not sticking to the felt before you turn it over; and once it is turned, check the (now) upper fabric also, before you start working the other side. For those who have trouble with fabric sticking, I have, through trial and error, found the best fabric to work on is the nylon mesh knit stuff that they often use to make basketball uniforms out of -- it has holes in it, (which lets the water through) and it is a slick synthetic that the wool doesn't manage to stick to. I often find it at WalMart for $1 yd on their clearance tables. This is a slightly simpler method than previously suggested on the list.


*April 6, 1997 Jill Gully. Laminated felt is the term used to describe the process of encasing a layer of woven fabric between two layers of fiber. This enables a felter to use fewer layers of wool while producing a strong but fine felt fabric. For a scarf, one wants a flexible, drapeable fabric, and the usual 3-5 layers of fiber often result in a fabric that is too thick to drape. While a fine drapeable fabric can be produced using the "cobweb" felt method (2-3 extremely fine layers of fiber, preferably 19-22 micron), it is not as sturdy as a laminated felt. The fabric sandwiched between gives strength to the felt, making it ideal for garment construction such as jackets and vests where you want to cut out the pattern pieces and sew them together. A laminated felt can produce a thin fabric that is not overly bulky when sewn together at the seams. Cheesecloth, fine cotton voile, tulle or other such fabrics are suggested for laminating. For a very flexible fabric, try using a lycra stretch mesh or lace between the layers of fiber. Stretch the fabric between the layers of fiber, and release as the felt begins to shrink.  Hope this gives a relatively clear explanation.
*14 Oct 2003, Joyce Jackson. What is the difference between silk fusion and nuno or laminated felting?
*14 Oct 2003, Pat Spark. Silk fusion is the same thing that some folks call silk paper. It is silk fiber that has been "glued" together to form a paper-like fabric. No felting involved. However, if the adhesive is water soluble, like methyl cellulose, some people do cut up silk paper and felt it onto a base of wool. If the adhesive isn't water soluble, such as acrylic medium, the paper can be attached to felt, but is great used by itself. The FAQ pages about silk paper:
*Aug 30, 2005. Lois Perry. What is laminating with regard to fibre?
*Aug 30, 2005. Anna Salvesen. It is felting fiber to a loosely woven fabric.  It is also coined nuno felting (I believe credit goes to Polly Stirling for coining this term).  Laminated felt allows for a drapey, lightweight felt, suitable for clothing, scarves, drapes, etc.  The fabric can ruffle & contract into interesting textures as the fiber contracts in the fulling stage.

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FABRICS USED FOR LAMINATION, NUNO Question: What fabrics are good for lamination (nuno) and where can you get them.

*Sun, Jan 12, 2003. Dana Sheppard. Several of you have mentioned using the silk scarves from Dharma Trading when doing laminated felt scarves. Which material are you using? They list several types of ready-made silk scarves, as well as various silk fabrics that can be ordered by the yard.
*Sun, Jan 12, 2003. Sue Pufpaff. I am successfully using the 4.5mm silk gauze fabric for laminating. Great stuff.
*Sun, Jan 12, 2003. Pat Spark. Dana, I like the 8mm silk habotai scarves. But I use very fine merino with them since they are tightly woven. Size 80's (18-19 micron) I don't use a sander when laminating these scarves, just lots of rolling with the bubble wrap.  That seems to coax the wool into the tightly woven cloth better than the sander does.  The resulting textured fabric is quite wonderful.
*Sun, Jan 12, 2003. Julie Earl, Australia. To help the fine merino migrate through the fabric when laminating, I find that a trick that was taught to me in a class on laminating felt, roll the felt up for at least 100-200 times, then flip it over and rub the reverse side with your bare fingers, or with a pair of rubber gloves on. This seems to bring the fibres through without too much hassle. Then after applying lots of hot water and soap, the term used by the teacher was "worry it, like a dog would". Hope this helps.
*Sat, April 26, 2003 Camille Ludlow.
Various people have mentioned getting gauze from Dharma Trading Co. for nuno. Has anyone used their silk or organza? What is the best type of fabric to use if you want something more luxurious than cotton.
Sat, 26 April 26, 2003. Anna Salvesen.  I have just tried my first three nuno felt scarves the past week using silk gauze. I looked at the website for Dharma Trading Co. and they have slightly lower prices than where I ultimately bought my silk gauze, but fewer fabric choices. I was very happy with silk gauze from Thai Silks <>. It was recommended to me by a nuno felter & shibori dyer (Marylil of Rochester). There were lots of choices in width, mm specs, & white or black. You'll find it in the chiffon section or type gauze in the search box. I used what she recommended, the 3.5 mm gauze, 36 in wide (by 90 inches long), with great results, but next I will order some black gauze, too, & perhaps make the scarves longer…108". They shrink up quite a bit after you throw them. The order arrived quickly and the shipping cost was low.
*Sat, April 26, 2003 Suzanne Higgs.I was at Sue Puffpaf's and she had used their (Dharma's ) silk gauze in several scarves. In a word: YUMMY!
*Sat, April 26, 2003 Barbara Marr. I use their 8 mm habotai silk scarves for needle felting. I prefer the scarves because of the hand sewn seam. There is a picture of a vest made from 2 scarves on my webpage The picture is before I did any detail work, I have added darts to the front and needle felted decoration - will get that picture up soon. I tried wet felting with them also but didn't get the fiber over the edges well so will have to needle felt the edge. The fiber is holding to the scarf but haven't given it a lot of wear testing yet.
*Sun, April 27, 2003. Allison Pitt.
I bought 10 meters of silk organza. (Minimum order) Its a slightly stiff transparent silk. Having trouble nunoing it. Any suggestions folks?

*Sun, April 27, 2003. Ruth Walker.
I have used the organza in the "hat on a ball" method and found that the ability to felt it in was directly related to the feltability of the wool. I have felted the needle-punch felt yardage into the organza with the sander. I think that because the organza is so slippery that you have to do something to assure that the wool fiber is not sliding around on it.
*Sun, April 27, 2003. Rebecca Lavell. I use organza all the time in my shawls....I love the look of the shimmering organza and the matte do have to work it a little harder, I find organza and suri alpaca an awesome can see my shawls on the gallery page of my web site Most of my organza shawls I start by hand and finish on the felting machine. The only fibre I wouldn’t recommend with organza is mohair....I have done a few with mohair and using the worlds slipperiest fabric with the worlds slipperiest fibre is a real test of character!
        Patience grasshopper! Laminate felting on organza is a journey! My advice would be to wait for a day when you have a lot of internalized stress to let out.....seriously though the most important part is the beginning....when you wet out and start to rub do it with more pressure than motion and don’t roll until you feel the fibres are migrating through the fabric....also avoid quick felting wools as they will felt before they adhere to the fabric....try something like alpaca or if you can get some try suri alpaca (my personal favorite with organza) most of all don’t give works it just takes a LOOOONNG time.
*Sun, April 27, 2003. Sue Pufpaff. Silk organza is a closer weave structure than the guaze and will be much more difficult to get fibers to penitrate. Its the weave structure that determines how well the fiber will accept laminating not how transparent it is. Try getting some very fine felting needles (gauge 42) and needle felting into the organza. That should work......
*Sun, April 27, 2003.  Candy Hoeschen. Nuno is not my thing, but I would layout on small bubble wrap and rollup around a rolling bar and roll it DRY to encourage fiber penetration before any wetting. Dry fiber is a bit more fluffy and "stickery" than wet. Sanding it dry might also do a wiggle and jiggle that will push fiber through the fabric. Just a couple of things to try. . .
*Sun, April 27, 2003.  Cynthia Mollenkopf. Some of you have talked about needle felting your wool onto fabrics rather than rolling. Have you found the needles to cause any damage to the fabrics, especially silk?
* Thur. July 17 2003, Fan Admin. Are there Canadian sources for silk fabric?
* Thur. July 17 2003, Maureen Harding. Dharma is the cheapest I have found so far. There is another outfit in Texas, Silk Road, who sells it, but about 3 times the price. The only other sources I have managed to find sell it by the square inch!!!! I have no idea if it is of a totally different quality from the yardage, but the prices are just horrendous. A typical price seems to be $99 per yard. Seems that people use it for needlepoint, it surely must be a different weight and quality. I guess that's why they sell it by the square inch!
        I like the 3mm, a bit fiddly to work with but I like the results. I haven't found a Canadian supplier who sells it by the yard at an affordable price so I imported some bolts from Dharma, it saves a lot on the postage, but there is still customs payment, and sometimes brokerage....depending I guess on what the customs people are feeling like on a particular day, seems like an arbitrary thing, I haven't been able to establish a pattern!
*Mon July 21 2003, Anna. I order silk gauze/chiffon from Thai Silks. Orders can be placed online at (it might be I have found their selection and prices to be as good or better than Dharma Trading. I have ordered the 36" and the 54" width gauze several times. Thai Silks was recommended to me by another felter. I have especially liked the selvedges of the gauze/chiffons from Thai Silks. I had purchased silk chiffon at a local fiber arts store (don't know it's source) and the selvedges needed to be removed prior to felting because of distortion from the blocking process (I think it was sewed and stretched). I didn't notice this the first time I felted with this particular silk gauze, but it was very apparent after the felting. I am sticking to Thai Silks now. Shipping is pretty fast and not too expensive if you choose regular mail (UPS is more). I think they are located in northern California. Other than as a customer, I have no affiliation, etc., etc.
*Wed, 3 Nov 2004. Janet Hedley. Wow, two posts in one day from a long time lurker who just had her first lesson in felting to a background fabric with the blue bubble wrap and pvc pipe. In our class, we used silk chiffon and I notice in some of your posts, you refer to silk gauze - what is the difference between the two? Do you think one is better than the other.
*Wed, 3 Nov 2004. Rebecca Lavell.
My fave is still poly chiffon (boo hiss) the colours stay true so it is easy to match your also felts well in our machines......having said that I also really like stretch lace and silk noil and silk gauze although I usually wash and dye the gauze first.....I think there must be sizing on the gauze that inhibits laminate felting as it seems to be more successful after dyeing.....also someone posted earlier about cutting the gauze....I have to confess I just fine. I find myself experimenting and felting on all kinds of fabrics just to see if they will work......I did some really tacky net stuff with fake rhinestones.....really really garish but with felt on top it was GORGEOUS! I have also bought some poly tricot on ebay to give that a whirl too when time allows.....some of the garment I have made from laminate felt on various fabrics are on
*Wed, 3 Nov 2004. Pat Spark. Chiffon is more opaque and slightly textured. Gauze is thinner and more transparent, although not as transparent as nylon gauze. Rather you use one or the other depends on how much texture you want and how much you want the wool color to show through.
*Wed, 3 Nov 2004. Janet Hedley. Does this mean there are other fabrics I can felt to besides silk? You mention nylon gauze and I seem to remember another post saying something about a cotton backing...
*Wed, 3 Nov 2004. Pat Spark. Yes, I use a lot of different fabrics. Use the "blow test" to select a fabric. Hold it up to your mouth and blow through it, if most of the air comes through to the other side, the fiber will probably pass through as well. It's always best to make a test sample though. I use cotton gauze, cotton voile, polyester knit, stretch lace, nylon gauze, cotton cheesecloth, cotton scrim. I even use fabrics that don't do well with the "blow test". Like China silk.

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*Sun, 28 Aug. 2005. Raven.  I was making a quick pass through in Walmart a couple days ago when some bright colors grabbed me from the corner of my eye... (ya know us Ravens....OOOH SHINY! LOL!) and I had to go take a quick look... naturally I walked back out of the department with a yard of this stuff. SHOOT! I knew I'd forget the exact name of it... "sheerly there" or "Softly Sheer" or some such something name. It's nylon, soft as a whisper and barely there and it's a NON-woven, felted like fabric. A 58" wide yard of it weighs so little you can barely feel it in your hand and barely half fills a sandwich baggie. It was only in real bright colors, I bought purple. Has anyone else seen this stuff, have a clue what I'm talking about, and tried it in laminating?
*Sun, 28 Aug. 2005.
Susan Brown. I have used this stuff for laminating. It works great and looks sort of "spiderwebby". It attaches well without using any other fibers over the top. WE have it here at Joanne's fabric shop at certain times of the year only and it only seems to come in almost fluorescent colors.
I was told it is used in the "wedding season" in bridal gowns. It is fun stuff.
*Sept. 14, 2005. Sharon Costello. I bought some of that stuff at Walmart a while back. It looks a lot like flimsy interfacing. I used it as a collage fabric in nuno felt...I thought it was a bit too flimsy to use as a base fabric...but it is pretty cool stuff.
*Thu, 22 Sep 2005 Cynthia Reynolds, Norway. I get all my silk from . They require minimum purchases of bolts (15-17 yards per fabric) and need reseller info. They also have a retail website (no minimums that I know of). I have sets of their fabric swatches which makes ordering the right fabric so much easier, as they have thousands to choose from. Another great source is of course only problem there is that you end up getting so much more than just fabric, I always spend more than I had planned!    I am sure everyone has their favorites, as different silks give you a different effect.
I order the following by the bolt in natural:
-Silk Gauze 3mm: not at all like cotton gauze (see mesh chiffon below for more info). It does not provide a bubble effect, it ends up laying flat and meshing directly to the felt. If you are using it in its natural colour, it will give the effect of fading the shade of your wool, so if you cut shapes out before application, you can produce a very interesting graphic tonal effect. I also use it on the inside of some purses, it adds a strength to the structure, as well as holds the fibers down and reduces pilling. (no sheen)
-gauze noil poplin: Woven from the remaining fibres from the cocoon carding. A very nubbly fabric with an open weave, it creates quite a heavy textural effect. (no sheen)
-mesh chiffon 8mm: what I would compare to a cotton gauze, in that you can clearly see the mesh weave unlike the silk gauze mentioned above. This is a lovely weight to work with and produces a bubble effect. I seems to me that it has been created by loosely twisting 4 ply silk and then weaving it. (soft sheen)
-Paj 4.5mm: a very lightweight, easy to work with silk. The weave is open enough to mesh quickly with the fibers. All my baby blankets are made with this. I much prefer this to chiffon, as chiffon does not have the light reflecting properties that I look for in silk. (nice sheen)
        Exotic Silks, (no affiliation just a happy customer) also has a variety of 'china silk' or habotai in various weights. So far 8mm is the heaviest I have used. I have noticed that dyed silk of the same weight as its natural counterpart is somewhat tighter, maybe the silk shrinks in the dyeing process. I have a ton of black silk that I just cannot seem to get working for me (quite the disappointment). One item they do have is what they call iridescent chiffon, I enjoy the colour play, as they have woven 2 colours together to produce a great effect.
        Silk info: mm = mommes (pronounced 'mummy') The metric equivalent of 1mm is 4.3gm per square meter
Do order a set of swatches before ordering a large amount of fabric, one nice tip if you are willing to buy two sets, is to keep one as reference, and use one as a large sample with all the little squares on it, I am thinking I will make a nice wall hanging reference chart. I just have to make sure I keep track of which squares are which!
        Another tip, wet your silk before you cut it!!! The silk gauze for example shrinks tremendously as soon as it is wet.

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*Sun, 01 Oct 2006 Cynthia Reynolds, Norway. As mother to a three year old son and a six month old daughter, nothing beats nuno baby blankets. I have one in the stroller, one in the crib, one in the 'koseseng' (what we call our 'cuddle-bed' in Norwegian) and one on the sofa. For newborns, I only use undyed merino wool (19 micron) and silk, as I am always finding one corner being sucked on (dyes and babies do not mix). The style that I make ( I have made more than 20 already due to popular demand!) has three sides neatly edged in wool, with the top edge having a silk ruffle. I have used quite a few different silks, my favorite being silk paj (mentioned earlier this week on the list). I am sure that there are 'cuter' things to make, but when it comes to practicality.. nothing beats a nuno blanket. Not a day goes by in this house, both in summer and in winter when one is not used. (Link to pictures of nuno felt baby blankets.)

*Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Cynthia Reynolds, Norway. Answers to some of the questions that have been sent to me privately:
Sizes....I make them in all different sizes this one was made for her cradle, fits perfectly. I also make some double long for the stroller, so that she lays on half and the bottom folds up over her and she cannot kick it off. Very practical.. about the size of a large shawl. Wider ones are tough, and often require 2 pieces of silk, as width is the issue. I do plan on cutting up some of my sons to make a patchwork style- larger one for his new 'big boy' bed.

As for washing... We live in wool in this house, and there is at least one wool wash a week. I use my front loader on the wool cycle, with wool detergent ('Neutral' brand here in Norway, good for sensitive skin.. no perfumes etc) I just toss them in with everything else. They are fulled very well!

Little babies don't really stain stuff.. baby goo just washes out. .. baby pooh on the other hand!!!

Pilling happens, you can see in the photo, that I need to remove some of the pills..a mommy's work is never done.. c'est la vie!

Edges... 3 sides are wool edged, but on the top, I extend the silk and fold it back under itself so there are no loose edges. It makes a lovely trim. The blanket in the photo is made with 'saree' silk, (a bolt I bought from, but you can also find it in smaller quantities at thai silks.. see 2nd link below (link no longer active) Worth looking into for other projects, as it is an open weave silk. Very similar to cheese cloth I use it for sooooo many things, I just adore it! But for the blankets, I do prefer the paj (see 3rd link below-, search on Paj)   it retains a lovely sheen and is ohh soo soft.

For silk edges on shawls.. I often use pre-hemmed scarves and shawls, the only problem there is that after shrinking, they are too small. So I frequently use more than one at a time, incorporating them into the design. One other trick, is to only run your wool in one direction to control the shrinkage... and with careful fulling, you can obtain some fantastic linear designs instead of random bubbles... it is something I have been working on, and am really loving the look of! some of the pieces on my felt site show this in the detail image. see 4th link below-

*Fri, 13 Oct 2006 "Dorothy" asks: Thanks for all the "tips" for the Nuno baby blankets. The idea...... to run your wool in one direction to control the shrinkage
with careful fulling sounds great. Could you give us more details?

*Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Cynthia Reynolds. Necessity is the mother of invention.... I am always trying to get past the limitations of my workspace and supplies. Either my work surface or fabric is either too short or too narrow. In an effort to get the most out of the least... I figured that if I ran the fibers in only one direction, I could control how much shrinkage would happen in length vs. width. I only do this with nuno projects, as the fabric provides the strength to the item.
On some of my shawls, I wanted to keep them as long as possible, and as lightweight as possible. So after I roll them from each end, I carefully bunch them up.. gathering them in tiny pleats, and gently drop them so that the fulling process works primarily in one direction, building up to a full blown tossing. After a while, the whole piece gets a good old fashioned bundling up in every which way possible and tossed around by Max, my three year old. He does help on most pieces ( here is a link to see a shot of him felting ..  )
The end result is tight lines of bunched up fabric versus the traditional bubbles. I love the look, and am working on a few pieces that will emphasize the feature. I do not know if anyone else is doing this, but I would love to hear what peoples thoughts are on producing different designs using shrinkage as the method.
look in the gallery section of my felt site to see some detail shots.




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Patricia Spark
Copyright 1999
Last Updated: Jan. 4, 2006