The process of felt making is a true passion of mine! After spending a number of years exploring different mediums including weaving and watercolours, I was introduced to wool and felting and fell in love with this ancient craft. Since then, I have explored and experimented with different techniques and from that emerged my current interest in creating clothing using wool and silk. I have exhibited my work in Canada and abroad.
The tactile and restriction-free nature of wool allows me to create truly unique felt pieces of contemporary, wearable art in the form of nuno-felted wraps, scarves, vests, jackets, tunics, ponchos, bags and hats. All of my pieces are rich in colour – some are made with vibrant, hand-dyed silk pieces and others from the colours of nature that have been dyed directly onto the felted fabric that I have created.
I use only the very finest silks and wools in making my garments, and enjoy making unique pieces to order. Come and visit me in my studio on the Gatineau River, or look for my work this year at the following locations:
WHAT IS NUNO-FELTING?
Felt is one of the oldest ways of making fabric, it is thought to have been around for about 8000 years. It was probably discovered when wool was placed inside foot coverings to insulate them. Sweaty feet and vigorous agitation from walking soon matted the wool into a strong, warm fibre that could be cut and sewn into various other garments. It was even used as armour because of its strength and density.
I produce felt with the use of hot water, soap and agitation, which changes loose fluffy wool into a strong non-woven, versatile fabric. It is the versatility that draws me to this medium. The process and the possibilities of felt are endlessly intriguing.
Nuno is the Japanese word for 'cloth'. Nuno-felting is a technique that bonds loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze, creating a lightweight felt. The fibres completely cover the background fabric, or they may be used as a decorative design that allows the backing fabric to show. Nuno felting often incorporates several layers of loose fibres combined to build up colour, texture and/or design elements in the finished fabric.
Wool is only one kind of fibre that can be used in making this nonwoven cloth. There are hundreds of different wools and fibres to choose from, each with its own unique properties and handling abilities. Different fibres create different surface textures. Other types of fibre that will felt other than the merino (sheep's) wool that I use are: camel, llama, alpaca, Mohair goat, Cashmere goat, yak, Angora, rabbit, dog, cat and human hair (think dreadlocks)!!
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF NUNO-FELTED GARMENTS