I learned a difficult lesson today: the difference between silk and silk-feel polyester is that the former bonds with felt to form a firm fabric, while every micron of petroleum in polyester resists the process with a force much stronger than mine.
Since silk comes in so many different forms, and my experience up until now has been limited to a few scarves my mother kept in her dresser years ago and my wedding gown sewn out of dupioni silk, I wasn’t sure if the slightly artificial silky fabric I found at Goodwill this morning was actually another form of silk. After today, there is no doubt in my mind, and that bag of six scarves I bought are going right back to the store first thing tomorrow morning.
I’m so thoroughly frustrated with the scarf-gone-awry this afternoon that I can’t post any pictures right now, though I did document the entire nasty process, expecting to write a tutorial. Instead, I offer my first attempt at an inlay silk design on a nunofelt scarf.
On Wednesday, my friend Caterina and I worked on nunofelting a very thin, yellow silk scarf. We tore the large square in half, and laid strips of merino across it in diagonal stripes. It was so fragile that the bare spots in between the stripes tore as we worked with it. But we noticed that the pieces covered in felt took on an interesting texture, similar to crinkle of brain tissue.
Inspired, I tore the remaining piece of felt in two again, then laid them end to end to create a rectangle more than 6′ long. Using up the last of my blue roving, I covered one whole side in a thin layer of finely drafted merino. On a whim, I laid out some circles of tussah silk sent to me in a nunofelt kit by Tracy at Copperpot (she will have these kits for sale soon in her shop).
Overall, I’m pleased with the effect though three of the roses refused to adhere to the scarf. Since I am trying to build up an inventory of twenty pieces to consign for a holiday show that opens on Saturday, I need to find a fix for the roses hanging on by a thread.
My thoughts are to sew a few sead beads in the middle, or a dyed freshwater pearl, or to embroider a single french knot with sea silk yarn, though none of these options seem appropriate for the shape of the flower. The blobs suggest roses, which have no centers. Ideas anyone?