Friday, October 21, 2011

Rust print learnt from error 錯誤中學習的技巧

We're into fall and it's getting cool. Time to make a cape with wool. I used the nuno felt skill with chiffon as a base and the collar with my own made rusted print on silk. However I found wool felt with rusted print silk is not that easy. This is not a perfect cape but good to share what to avoid. I'll show what's wrong with it in the bottom. The cape looks good from front to back at the first sight.
Materials I used were silk, chiffon, mulberry silk, merino wool and fleece. During the making process the smell of "sheep" was wonderful with the raw fleece given by Kim whom I visited this April. She's so kind to have given me lots of these brown & white fleece. They are fastastic and the texture is apparent.

I laid wool over a chiffon and tore a strip of my rusted silk fabric intended to make the collar a special texture.

I did with plant dyed silk felted easily before but this time I made it with rusted fabric I found wool was hard to entangle. I needed quite some energy to rub. It's done but not quite "fixed well". See the pictures comparison above, the upper collar I put wool on both in & out just to let it entangle more. After agitation taken off some wool in the inner color to show the texture. Normally it doen't need to lay on both sides.

I surfed internet about rusted fabric got the Q&A from K Baxter Packwood
"The rust, when oxidizing, is to some extent, creating a layer of metal oxide onto the fabric. If fabric has a tight dense weave this layer of metal oxide is denser as well, making it difficult to needle."

No wonder my collar was not well felted.

Anyway I managed to make a cape with own made ceramic button for myself. (not a perfect one for a giveaway).

One piece looks like a moth.

A handy wrap in autumn.

The light and texture of raw fleece is my favour. Thanks Kim.
Learnt from trial and error, I'll do another wool cape with my eco-printed fabric. Hopefully to do a reversable one with different textures.


  1. Thanks Terrie-I think it is lovely even with the difficulties with the rust. It is useful to know your experience becasue I intend to try eco dyeing and felting after a while! I love the button, too!. And Kim's wools and other fibers put to good use here!

  2. Thanks for posting this, Terry. I have had similar experience with nuno felt with rusted fabrics. I get it to work now, but it is important that it is not rusted too much. It is indeed hard to sew through as well. The cape looks beautiful.

  3. Terrie--Thanks so much for sharing your experience with rusted fabric! Who would have guessed that the chemistry would change so much?...but on reflection it makes sense. It is still a lovely cape and only you will know it's not quite what you wanted. XXO-

  4. What a beautyfull cape. good you foudn such a nice purpose to use the raw wool for :) Thanks for sharing your experiences!!

  5. Terrie,
    Despite problems with the rust, this is quite a striking piece. Rusted fabric, particularly well rusted, is difficult to sew through by hand or machine, so I can imagine your difficulty with the felting.

    My suggestion: do the felting first, then add rusted silk fabric as a trim and different texture. OR rust on the felt afterwards.

    Don't allow your fabric, whether silk or wool, to become metalized. Rust just enough to stain the fabric the fiber. Much easier to handle that way.

  6. good or bad l think it is AMAZING and l wouldn't say no to owning it or wearingxxhax

  7. Thank you all my dear. It's a fun trial. Pat, your advice is valuable.

  8. Beautiful! I love what you can do with felt and fabric...

  9. Terri, that cape/shawl looks so elegant and perfect for the evening out when you want to dress up. I love the photo of the back view. Even a pretty gold or silver pin would be perfect to embellish it, or a string of pearls. Beautiful!

  10. Thanks Melinda, I'll use your Wensleydale fleece to make another one later.

    Susanne, your idea is great. will put on like that. THANKS.


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