Monday, October 18, 2010

launch week-infinity scarf/cowl-concept/production

I was originally going to write separate post about concept and production, but decided to streamline and make it one post.  Like I was saying the other day, the idea of the infinity scarf/cowl came from a Lucky issue. But, taking the idea from the photo to concept took a little experimenting. Most of the time when I get a new concept in my mind, I ponder it, hem and haw over it and then when I finally decide to try it- I jump straight in, head first! The first one made started at 10 feet long! and ended at 70 inches around, and about 7-8 wide. It came be wrapped around up to three times- but is pretty smug at that point.

I first had figure out what materials to use. Most of my wet felt work is done with bamboo curtains. It was the first technique I was shown and has continued to be my preferred. But the bamboo was not going to work for the scarf idea. I needed sometime more flexible and also a way to form the resist in the middle ( to keep it from felting together). I decided to try bubble wrap. Some felt artist really prefer the bubble wrap, and it works great to form areas of resist, which was imperative for the scarf to work, and also is available many more lengths, which again was totally necessary for the scarf idea to work.

The first one made turned out pretty good. In addition to felting in the round to form a seamless felt loop, I also incorporated a technique called nuno felting. Nuno felt is when a piece of fabric, I use mostly silk, is layered into the roving and as the felting process is happening, the fibers intertwine themselves into the fabric, causing it to wrinkle, scrunch, bunch, crinkle and whatever other term you want to use, to form a lovely texture in the felt. And, it also helps to add structural integrity to the scarf. Above are some photos showing nuno felt.

 I started a new cowl to show the steps. Here I am using a piece of silk crepe that has been dyed previously by me with some natural dyes, the wool is a ramboulette and grey alpaca.

Be sure to check back for the photos of this finished cowl and for the official launch.

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