Nunofeltdesigns San Francisco
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If you are a nuno felter with a medium level of experience and have read any of the 3 books, you know that things are changing rapidly in the world of felting. New tools and techniques are being invented all the time to do it faster and better.


Now that I use a variety of tools that include a sander and 2 of Heartfeltsilks wood tools, the Large PW and Edge Tool, my own nuno felting process has changed and so much for the better.


Gail just sent me an email asking my advice on these wood tools which you can now buy in a set of 3 which includes one Large and 2 Small (see photo).


Since I've just finished a huge store order, my routine might help you adapt it to your own method of working so that you too can complete nuno felt much better & faster.


Most of my projects take one hour from start to finish -- all because I use a sander AND the Large PW and Edge Tool. ( I don't have the Small PW.)


Below are excerpts from my email to Gail:


As you already know because you have plenty of felting experience that the rubbing and agitation is the longest & most arduous part of the process.


You can use the Large PW and Edge Tool for this part of the process for all felting projects. For nuno felting, you do have to complete the Rubbing Stage which usually involves 15-20 minutes of manual work with your hands and then use the wood tools. Your fibers need to be pushed through the fabric first because the tools can dislodge fibers especially if you are nuno felting multiple layers.


I'll describe my process to you so that you can adapt it to your specific needs for nuno felting:


Wet down project with cold water & soap, encase in plastic.


Wet plastic and add a little soap, use my hands to press, rotate over and massage the project inside the plastic for 10 minutes.


While the plastic is still covered with the soapy water mess, I use the Edge Tool in a straight line on all the edges and ends and in sections that have several fiber layers (don't rotate this tool, use it in straight strokes) and go over these areas 2-4 times.


Use the Large PW to rotate over the entire design from one edge to the other 4 times.


Remove the soapy mess with warm water and a big cotton cloth.


Blot the plastic dry.


Remove the project from the plastic.


Place on my worktable on top of a towel (side with most fibers facing down).


Sand the project perpendicular and vertical once each making sure to spend extra sanding time on the edges and ends.


Turn the project over.


Repeat the sanding done on first side. Spend extra time on the edges and ends if needed - it makes them stronger.


Trim edges and ends as needed, wet these cut areas with cold water and soap.


Re-sand these cut areas to make sure they are sealed.


Then I Throw, Agitate, Stretch, rinse, dry and press.


NO SANDER: If you don't use a sander, just continue to use the wood tools until you're done but supplement it with rolling in solar pool cover or a bamboo blind. The goal is to make sure that your fibers have migrated through the fabric and shrinking has begun (fabric starts to pucker). Continue to throwing & agitation to complete the process.


The wood tools are so adaptable that the more you use them the more ways you find to use them.


You may need the Small PW especially if you are doing a variety of felting projects including bags, etc. Like the Edge Tool, it probably works very well in corners and on bag handles.


If you are doing a lot of felting, I am sure you will find all 3 tools (Small PW, Large PW, & Edge Tool) useful and even more so if you don't use a sander.


It took me about 2 months to adapt the PW & Edge Tool to my process but now I can't live without them-----especially since they reduce the time to make nuno felt by about 10-15 minutes AND fix most stickability problems - wow, is that a relief!

More info & details about these tools are in the books - the sander in Nuno Felting Tips & Tricks and the Wood Tools in Nuno Felting: New Tools, Tips & Special Techniques.

NEXT: Why using a sander eliminates all the fuss and muss when you get to the end.

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