Here is a shawl I picked up at the charity shop some time ago. It is just under 7 feet long and fairly wide (I didn’t measure). As you can see, it is very transparent. There was another sheer layer of fabric behind the patterned part, but I cut that off to use on another project. I decided to nuno felt the patterned part and leave the sheer ends.
I don’t know what this material is made from, but in my mind, I should have been able to felt it. The side with the pattern is quite delicate and you can see why it may have ended up in the charity shop. I had it in my mind to make a pale pink shawl. To be honest, I don’t know where my mind has been lately as I have been a little bit forgetful. I thought pink would be a nice contrast to this mauve colored fabric, but I could have used others, and in a finer micron. Most of the merino wool I have is from World of Wool. Before I started making scarves, I have been using their regular 23mic merino. This is probably the heaviest you may come across. It is good for bags and hats. I have made shawls with this, but you need to lay out the wool really fine and why I have been mainly making felting batts with it on the blending board. They also sell superfine merino in 18.5 mic, but I am waiting to get some work before I order any more wool. I had ordered some fine and extra fine Merino from DHG in Italy after Christmas, when they had a sale. Their fine wool is about 22.5mic and the extra fine is about 19mic. Wingham Wool Work sells dyed merino wool in 21mic. I haven’t used it before. So getting back to the color, I chose a pink from DHG in 22.5 mic when I could have used the 19 mic in a darker pink or red. I think I was having a senior moment.
You can see how thinly I laid out the wool. I only used one layer. I then added sari silk fibers on top of that in a pale pink. I really like using sari silk fibers as it is recycled sari waste and the color variations with the threads are very interesting.
Here it is all laid out, about 60 inches worth. This took me over two hours to do. It takes me a long time because I am fussy. The sari silk fibers contain other threads with the silk and some of them can be quite thick and white. I really don’t like the white ones and before I lay down the fibers, I check to make sure that there isn’t anything in there that I don’t want. To look at the layout above, you would think that this is just pink, but there are lots of other colored threads mixed in there too. After finishing this layout, I sprayed it with some water to hold it together and left it until the next day.
I wet the piece out the next morning and sanded. Here it is all wet and you can see the threads that are mixed in with the pink. I went over the whole section and pulled out white and black threads that I missed.
Just before I started fulling, I noticed that some of the threads were coming away on the sheer ends from the area where I added wool. It seems that this material wasn’t really as sturdy as I thought it would be. I thought I might be able to fix it by adding more wool, some extra fabric from the part I cut away and using the embellishing machine. So I squeezed the water out and let the piece dry to have a go the next day.
Well, that day was today and I looked at it again and decided that extra work wasn’t really worth it and I might have made it worse. So I just cut off each end of the shawl and trimmed the sides. I was now left with a rectangle that was too small to make a vest and too wide for a neck warmer. I nearly threw the towel in at that point, but no, I thought I had spent too much time with the laying out that I would try to do something – so I cut it in half and rounded off the ends and finished fulling both pieces.
Here it is all ironed. The silk is really soft and shiny and the whole piece is super lightweight. I like the design on the back too. Making this was a real learning curve. There was no opportunity to make a sample as I was upcycling the whole scarf. What I had in my mind was a scarf with sheer gathered ends. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but if you don’t try something, you don’t know if it will work or not. I don’t feel I wasted my time as I now have two pretty neck warmers. You certainly would need one today as the weather has turned quite chilly! 🙂