Monday, June 20, 2016

NEWS from Opulent Fibers

Meet me at the Blacksheep Gathering this weekend!

Limited Edition Tees

This week, I'm crafting something fun for the Blacksheep Gathering… LOVE WOOL tee shirts!

These limited edition T-shirts will only be here for the week (I need to get back to felting!). They are made to order from stencils punched on my vintage machine… The font is fabulous!
Choose from three designs and three colors.
I'll also have a nice selection of Navajo Churro wool in the booth… Come visit! Booth #J1

Show your LOVE! Limited edition tees available this week only. Three designs, three colors.

Texture Techniques with Needled Wool
Home workshop with online support. Registration closes Sunday, June 26

Learn about the kit, class and online program here...
Update on the piece I shared with you last month… I dyed the felt background on this one using a combination of gall nut and iron, making sure the locks retained their original color. This week I'm working on mounting and framing. Finding the right wood for the mount was a bit challenging, but I finally focused my search to what I have here in the studio and came up with something perfect… Stay tuned!
Silk worms! If you've been here for classes, you've seen the enormous mulberry tree growing over the back fence. Tucker and I love to snack on the prolific berries… These little silkworms feast only on the leaves! With such a huge food source for this incredible fiber producer, I've given in to fostering. Watch my instagram feed for updates on their growth and silk production… They are fast growing creatures!

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Opulent Fibers
2455 SE 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214

Friday, June 17, 2016

Textilelink's New Book - great inspiration!

Textilelink specializes in publishing coffee-table picture books on felting around the world and this one is really wonderful - mine arrived in the mail this week.

It's organized by color and gives a brief bio of each felter so you can continue to do your own research to learn more about the artists you're most interested in.

It's also the most inclusive of their recent selections and includes felt jewelry, felted animals and other non-wearables that have become popular worldwide in the last 7-8 years.

No instructions, no info on the fibers or methods but a great way to feed your inspiration to try something new in felting.  

I am using mine to start work on new vases, bowls and to learn to combine different textures and color combos. The more I look, the more I see!


The long-awaited Textile-link edition 'Worldwide colours of felt' has now been published.
This edition brings together the most diverse felt art by over 500 artists from 40 countries.

KEEP ADJUSTING the final length of your LOOP SCARF


If you start with Paj Silk (or Habotai) 74" by 10" and use similar fiber placement techniques the semi-finished (before Throwing) should have shrunk by approximately 6" in length and 1" in width.
Please note that shrinking CONTINUES when you Throw.
You should expect another 1-2" shrinkage in length after Throwing, 0.5" more in the width.
IF YOU NEED TO REMOVE or ADD length to your loop scarf you have one last time to do that when you JOIN THE EDGES and create your LOOP SCARF.
The best technique (when no adjustments in your measurements is needed) is to overlap the two edges by about .25 to .50 inches before you lay down your fibers over the seam area and take it through Agitation and Sanding.
Please remember not to overload your seams with too much fiber or fiber that exceeds the amount you have used on the rest of the scarf.  It will make it "weighted" too much and stand out when you really want it to "disappear" into the overall design.  No one should be able to find your seam when you're done.)


When you join the 2 open edges of your scarf to nuno felt the seam and therefore close the loop, you have one last chance to make adjustments by
1.  make the scarf shorter by trimming off the excess of one edge so that your overlap remains at .25: to .50" and is easy to cover with fiber, agitate and sand
2.  make the scarf longer by adding a piece of fabric (same color, same width) to extend the overall length
3.  make the scarf longer by adding a layer of fibers-only in the opening (I do not recommend this option because the weight of this "extra area" may end up too "heavy" and ruin the drape).

long double loop

IMPORTANT NOTE:  When you finish Throwing let the scarf dry completely before you steam press the edges and seam.
YOU SHOULD HAVE A LOOP THAT IS (ending length) from 62" to 66" long and 8.5 to 9" wide.

This is the perfect loop length for most women to comforable twist and wrap the loop around their necks twice easily and have plenty of "give" to make adjustments to the final look.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Length of fabric for LOOPS - the 2 silks

dyed Paj silk
For the last 5 years I've been using 2 main silks for my base fabrics sourced from Exotic Silks in CA.  They are still the only source for undyed 4.5m-weight (white) Paj at a great price if you can qualify for a wholesale account (with a $100 minimum purchase per order).

I also get my 4.5-weight undyed silk gauze from them - and the quality has always been excellent.

Paj can be interchanged for the info in this post for 4.5 to 5.0-weight HABOTAI silk which has a similar texture (shiny surface on one side).  Paj is different and worth a search for a source if you cant' buy wholesale - and it is worth the effort to find out where to buy it.  I prefer it so much that I never work with Habotai - I just don't like how it looks as a base for completed nuno felt. Too shiny and in many cases too stiff.

Paj, like Habotai, tends to SHRINK (pucker and schrunch) more than silk gauze - that is because the shiny surface has a bit of added "stiffness" which reacts a more dramatically to the process of the wool fibers that shrink around it.

For that reason I ALWAYS ADD MORE inches to the length of the Paj silk I prepare for nuno felting.

My LOOPS have outsold all my other designs over the past 5 years by 3 to 1 and I can claim with experience that NO ONE likes a "single loop" or one that only loops around the neck like a collar.  No one.  Not only are they boring, there's nothing to fool around with once you put it on.

My customers prefer to to wrap the loop around TWICE, at least, and even more, especially if they prefer a "muffler look" or like to enjoy the warmth of a tighter or bulkier scarf.

For my LONG LOOPS I use these measurements (please note that the 10"  width for all loops is preferred - it works for 95% of all designs):

Paj Silk - 10" wide x 74" long
Silk Crepe - 10" wide x 71-2" long


Paj Silk - 10" wide x 76-77" long
Silk Crepe - 10" wide x 74" long

Extra Long Loops can easily wrap 3 times around someone petite (or with a small head!) and look fantastic.

Extra Long Loops are also a much better look for tall women - over 6 feet -  who need that extra length to get a more balanced look.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fabric Length & Width for nuno felted LOOP SCARVES

Got a great note from an avid blog reader today - Gail - who reminded me that things have been a little too quiet around here.  It's been a long time between posts and it's 150% due to personal business involved in the latest move to a new home and personal loss.

So, like many of you, life gets in the way.

I have also, mainly due to where I live (and the fact that online selling is no longer viable) where and how I sell my original designs has changed 180 degrees.  Since I moved to a part of the state that lives on tourists and tourism 90% of my work is now sold at weekly markets, annual live fairs and small boutiques in towns so little they are only 3 or 4 blocks long.  (Which involves a lot of travelling every week.)

BUT, down to business.

LOOP SCARVES are still very popular, especially those that are nuno felted.  Not only are they lovely to wear, with nuno felting they can be designed with two totally different designs on each side and the color combos are can't get this kind of variety with any other textile technique and what you get in the end is really two scarves in one that always look completely different depending on how you loop it around your neck.  The most versatile scarf in the world.

Since I make hundreds of these kind of scarves every month using mainly silk gauze and PAJ silk, I've learned to make them exactly the way my customers like them -------------long and extra long.

The next post will cover the best base-fabric measurements for LOOP SCARVES including what to expect in overall shrinkage when you make your next one.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Textured Felt Vases - Dawn Edwards at Feltmakers North

Feltmakers North

Posted: 10 May 2016 07:20 AM PDT
Hello everyone! I am just wondering how I am going to condense all I want to say about this workshop, as there is so much to tell! Those of you who know Dawn will know what I am talking about, Dawn Edwards is a wonderful tutor and person. We had such fun learning from her, with such a lovely relaxed and calm atmosphere!
Before the workshop started I presented her with her prize for our photographic competition!
Of course it was a sheep!
After an informative demonstration, we were all dying to get started, so we selected our wool and prepared our resists!
 Laying out the fibres.
Dorothy was almost submerged under a pile of fibre at one point, but survived and produced a beautiful vessel!
Leah working hard!
As with every group, we have some colourful characters and this is reflected in their work! I wonder can our members work out who made this one??
Hard at work!
Of course a wee coffee break was important!
The completed pieces lined up!
Elaine Mc Combe made this fabulous swirl design on her vessel.

A very happy, creative and fun bunch of felt makers!
Happy Chairperson Ann McCullough at the end of an extremely successful workshop with Dawn Edwards.

Just a wee quick reminder about our AGM which is on Saturday 21st May, for all the members, we will get through the business asap then there will be a talk on Silk by Gail Cooke and Fiona Harvey. Lunch is included and we will also have our first bring and buy!! So you will be able to stock up on the must needs for felting !!

Look forward to seeing you all there!
Fiona Harvey

Friday, April 8, 2016

BOOKS - improve your nuno felting technique & lots of SHORTCUTS

Create better, more intricate nuno felt faster!

TOPICS include:
Part 1: How to use the new tools including the Palm Washboard, Edge Tool, Felting Stone & Felting Mat
Part 2: Tumbler Dryer Method & Shelf Liner Shortcuts, Rolling Machines - what they do, where to buy
Part 3: Importance of Color in Nuno Felting including How to Work with White, Using Non-Wool Fibers, Using Cotton Base Fabrics, Prefelts & Batts, & What went wrong - my fibers fell off?!
Part 4: How to make an Infinity Loop, add Ruffles to your designs on the edges and inside, make Felt Lace, the Two Layer Technique, Mosaic Nuno Felt, add how to quickly make and add Prefelt Swirls as a design element
Part 5: List of sources for supplies including fibers, tools and fabric


Kindle COVER
Kindle Digital Edition*:

PRINT Edition on***:
*NOTE: The Kindle digital edition is readable on all Apple and Android devices including tablets and smartphones using free Kindle Reader software.


NFT&T has hundreds of secrets and tips for how to nuno felt better and faster using the newest and latest techniques and tools. It's so popular that it's now available in several bookstores and public libraries in the US and UK. Available in print and digital editions.

Best Silks for nuno felting with a list of types and weights
Cottons for nuno felting
How to dye your own fabrics with RIT and DYLON powdered dyes
Non-wool fibers and nuno felting
Using a microwave
Using a portable electric sander; detailed directions
How to "water" your nuno felt
Soaps for nuno felting
Learn how to make great EDGES and ENDS
Make "ROVING YARN" to create outlines & designs
What to look for when buying custom-dyed/mixed fibers online
Best throwing technique
Using the "ALL COLD WATER" method
Fix a "mistake" with needle felting
plus many, many more!
or you can buy it from my online store at a discounted price