Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another Online Source for WOOL GAUZE Yardage

Still waiting for my order of wool gauze and in the meantime I have been scouring the net for other sources of this fabric and the prices are all over the map.

The price of any wool or wool-combo fabric have gone up almost 30% over last year's prices, I was shocked, let me tell you.  (I make special coat-weight wool scarves with felted leaves on them for my holiday shows since the sell like hotcakes.) with stores in NYC and LA have some of the best prices I have seen with several designer options for WOOL GAUZE yardage including Donna Karan.  Prices start at $17.95 and go up from there.

You don't need to get designer fabrics but when you have to buy fabrics online, site unseen, unless you have years of experience doing this from trusted sources, you usually can rely on designer yardage.  It is much more likely to be of high quality which is what you need when spending so much for your nuno felting base fabrics. WOOL GAUZE
Dharma's undyed wool gauze is about $17 a yard and if you want a color, follow their instructions for acid dyes.  (I usually do not buy pre-colored base fabrics but in this case, since I have no experience dying 100% wool, I'm taking a risk that will save me the time and effort to learn how to dye it properly.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wool Gauze Yardage Sale is having a sale on about a dozen dyed wool gauze fabrics up until August 2.  Wool gauze is the new trend in lighweight wraps, shawls and scarves and is perfect as a base fabric for nuno felting.  Hard to find, you can get it undyed at DharmaTrading when they have it in stock (priced now at about $17 per yard undyed).  I've been eager to try it out for myself but reluctant to pay that much for fabric that I would have to learn to dye first before using it for a wrap.
The sale fabrics at Fashion Fabrics Club range from $7.95 to $11 per yard, most are 54" to 58" width so you can get more than a couple of wraps or scarves out of it.  

Always buy 2 yards of any fabric - 72" will result in a scarf length of approximately 60" depending on your placement of fibers and number of layers.  

(72" is also the perfect length of your base fabric for a double loop/double infinity loop.)

I ordered the Mallard to try it out and will post the results here.  WCMercantile has Mallard Merino Roving that is a wonderful combo of dark teal and dark fir green.  I went through a pound of it last year and love it; it really goes with so many other colors including regular teal and regular fir green and kelly green.

Wool Gauze Mallard

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Buy Craft & Nuno Felting supplies at Santa Rosa Vets Flea Market on August 16

Fish Collage by Nunofeltdesigns

one table at one flea market  
Aug 16 Santa Rosa Vets Bldg FLEA MARKET

8 AM to 3 PM

Items available at huge discounts:  fabric, silks, fibers, roving, trim (for felting projects), yarns yarns yarns, beads, cotton fabrics, fabric paints, fabric painting supplies 

and tons of other craft supplies

You'll be able to get a lot of odds and ends that you can't find in any local stores!

I will have a booth on Aug 16 at this FLEA MARKET THIS IS NOT A REPEAT EVENT - ONCE THE ITEMS ARE SOLD, THAT'S IT- Please contact me if you need more info or you want me to send you an email notice 2-3 days before the event!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BOOKS ON SUMMER SALE! 2 technique-books by Nunofeltdesigns


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


Lots of fiber-color options - Handpainted Rovings


Yes, it really is the same handpainted roving, that incredible 15.5m merino that feels and acts a lot like real cashmere.  The colors are so incredible that they are as much fun to use as they are to watch transform into magic from start to finish!

The loop on the top-left is on silk dyed with eucalyptus leaves which left it a smokey ivy-green.  About 20% plain plum merino was added to the layout in addition to 10% bamboo bast fibers in contrasting colors.

The loop on the bottom-left is, YES, the same fibers but I added a hand-carded mix of 50% solid wine merino*** mixed with 50% bamboo bast accent fibers - that custom mix was added to the handpainted roving 50/50.  On silk hand-tinted WITH REAL RED ROSE PETALS.

The deep purple loop on the right has a lot more solid plum and violet merino added which pumped up the total purple-effect on medium-purple, hand-tinted silk.

All 3 loops are paper thin and extremely soft because of the 15.5 merino.  I used only one (completely different layout) layer of fibers on each fabric side.

If this doesn't convince you to get yourself some wonderful handpainted wool roving top then I don't know what will........

Give yourself a color break and let the handpainted colors do all that work for you.

***Wine, maroon, magenta, shiraz, whatever your source labels this color - it has as much variation in tone and hues as that damn purple.  Just so you know, I mixed 5 different maroon-colored commercial rovings because I only had bits and bobs left of several colors.

I love this color - not only because it can vary greatly with pink to brown under-tones, it is one of only a few colors that are truly flattering on just about every woman no matter what age or skin tone.  (Teal is the other most flattering of all the blues & greens.)

Note:  Mauve, it is one of the first dye colors discovered at the turn of the century when it made hum-drum dresses and gowns into mauve-masterpieces.

Which Soap for Nuno Felting?

What soap to use for nuno felting is already covered in the NFT&T Tips & Tricks Book, but it's taken on a new significance for me since my hands turned to sandpaper this winter.

Part of the problem was the constant immersion in soapy water for several hours a day, but the other tolls were the cold weather and my move to a new place ------- all the packing and cleaning on top of a crazed felting schedule turned my hands into liabilities. It even became impossible to complete a fiber layout without half the fibers sticking to my hands.....

Oh, and there's that pesky problem of the older you get, the more your skin dries out...

Using all kinds of hand lotions and special balms helps but the best thing to do if you are using one kind of soap for felting is to switch to Olive Oil Soap.

Most US felters use Dawn dishwashing liquid because it has few additives and leaves little to no soap residue. It's my favorite.

Dawn produces soap bubbles so it's easy to judge if I made a mistake and added too much to my wetting-down water. If you add too much soap it inhibits the first stages of the nuno felting process because your fibers actually get too slippery to migrate through your fabric base.

Olive Oil Soap does not foam or bubble at all so it takes a bit to get used to using it once you make the switch. Most European felters swear by this soap and never use anything else.

It truly is not only kind to your hands but will restore moisture to your hands and the more you use it, the less work you have to do looking for other remedies.

1. Fill your wetting-down container with water first
2. Add your soap and swish it into the water with your hand or a spoon - if using Dawn, try not to produce soap bubbles --- it makes it harder to see what you're doing through all that mess
3. How much soap you use - both Dawn and/or Olive Oil Soap - depends on your water temp, your fibers and fabric, and what kind of water you have - hard or soft.

Adjust the amount of soap you use as needed ---- I have extremely hard water and need to use just a scant teaspoon of Dawn for 2 gallons cold water.

With Olive Oil Soap I have to add 1/2 cup to the same amount of water.

You can buy Olive Oil Soap in liquid form at 3x the price of the soap in blocks.

I use a cheese slicer to flake off the soap and dilute it in hot water in a jar with a lid, shake and use once it's completely dissolved. Just reshake every time you use it.

Smells wonderful and it is so much kinder to your hands - even if you just switch to it temporarily until you return to your favorite "other" soap.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Nuno Felting and Humidity Levels - New Revised Post

The weather and your environment DO have an impact on the techniques you use to complete your nuno felting projects ----- and the amount of humidity in the air often force you to take additional and extraordinary steps to avoid the problems we all encounter while felting.

Since I am smack dab in the middle of production for my store accounts for the fall (yes, it's that time of year) my frustration with extremely LOW HUMIDITY IN THE AIR has taken over my felting life.  In Petaluma, with daytime temps now going into the mid-80's to mid-90's, by Noon, the humidity level dips to 10-15% which is like living in the middle of the desert.

For years in San Fran the humidity rarely went below 40% and on most foggy days it remained at 60-80% which is absolutely perfect for felting --- nothing dries out.

Over the past 2 weeks I have had to slow down my "faster nuno felting" process to a snail's-pace and been forced to double the time it takes to complete each project.

The key to my sanity has been the constant use of several tools - not in sequence - but whenever I need them.  The real lesson is that it's STILL possible to nuno felt no matter what obstacles you face.  In other words, if you're having problems with your nuno felting project, it probably isn't you --- it might be your environment.  

RE-WETTING and my miracle Weed Sprayer

$25 weed sprayer
In this dry air, my projects dry out in about 20 minutes which dramatically affects the process----the fibers just don't get enough time to migrate through the fabric and lock on the other side.

Between the Rubbing Stage, using a Palm Washboard (PW), Sanding, and Throwing, I have to re-wet sections or the whole piece several times.

Any time my fibers dry out, lift off, or refuse to stick, I re-wet the section, use the PW with the microfiber sheet, or use the Sander OR BOTH.

My Wrapped Edges are a constant problem now (never before!) and often refuse to stick to the other side of the fabric.

Using all the tools along with re-wetting, I actually have to focus a lot of extra effort on these edges as if I am completing a second project!  (The extra effort is the only thing that makes them stick.)

I also sometimes use a towel under my wet project, sometimes I do not -- and often Sand directly on my "bare" plastic Solar Pool Cover.

In the end, what's kept me sane is the Weed Sprayer ------ once it's pumped up and ready to go, I can spritz anything in 2 seconds and keep the process going ------ don't know what I would do without it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nunofeltdesigns at the Valley Ford Mercantile & Wool Store

14390 Highway 1
Store hours:  M-W 10:30 to 3; Th-Sun 10:30 to 5
If you're like me, you'll feel wonderful when you walk inside this country store.  Full of local wool products and local artisans' designs, everything is so lovely, so wooooooooly!

If you are on your way to the Pacific Coastline drop in.  You'll find my scarves and nuno felted gifts.

Monday, June 15, 2015

NEW market location for Nunofeltdesigns this summer & fall

from the Bodega Bay market site
NEW booth location for Nunofeltdesigns in BODEGA BAY - SUNDAYS 10 am to 2 pm

2255 Highway 1 (1/4 mile north of town behind the community center, plenty of parking)

Dates: June 28, July  19, August 2, September 27, October 18

If you have been to Bodega Bay or are planning a trip there the town is so small, don't blink or you'll miss it!

This market is only 5 years old and is quite small but very appropriate for the area.  Farmers, cheese, one of the most incredible bakeries I have ever seen, and live music.  Parking and restroom in the community center.

See you there; please introduce yourself to me and mention this blog - you'll get 10% off your purchases.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wool Festival Vally Ford CA (population 162 not including the sheep!)

2nd Annual Wool Festival in Valley Ford CA (about 20 miles northwest of my home, Petaluma.)

The essential message is that the more wool fibers we use for all kinds of projects including nuno felt, the more the sheep farmer's will thrive with small, sustainable farms where everyone thinks, eats, sleeps and dreams wool!

I get tired of all the hipster over-hyped "where does what you wear come from?" because all of us really need to experience these kinds of events to understand the difference it makes in your fiber-choices when you see, visit, talk to and learn to appreciate the people who care so much about their animals, their environment and their communities.

At Valley Ford they are wholely commited to the more unusual breeds of sheep including CORMO and CHURRO which I love to use to make felted bowls and vases as well as bags and pouches.

To think that just a decade ago these were thought of as wool that was too unusual to use for any purpose (and much of it could not be sold but was thrown away!) until people like us starting using all kinds of wool for all kinds of purposes (one good outcome of the "maker movement").

Long live these small farms and their wonderful sheep!