I was fortunate enough to meet a textile artist the other day who told me where to source hemmed silk scarves in Australia.
I liked that idea because during our summer months the heat and humidity does make the wool on the edging of even my summer scarves a tad warm. Using hemmed scarves means I can still felt beautiful details and pictures onto the silk, but without ‘hemming’ with wool along the edges to prevent fraying, as I have done up until now.
Of course, I still love my tissue silk and will continue to purchase that as well, because the effect you can get on this lightweight material is gossamer fine. The hemmed silk scarves I have just obtained are slightly less open weave than the tissue silk, but when I opened the pack, I blew through one and knew that with a tad more rubbing, I could still felt it.
These scarves are gorgeous, with such a sheer lustre to them, I couldn’t wait to felt onto one.
This morning I set about another poppy scarf as I loved the effect of the original one I made recently. This one is a slightly different design but still uses fine merino wool as well as silk hankies and tops along with a little Angelina fibre to get that glow that brings light-catching properties to the matt of the wool.
Gawd, I love textile art!
I figured wispy merino would probably migrate more through the netting during felting than onto the scarf, so I used prefelt pieces ‘stuck’ down with merino rovings, and with the wool and silk details applied on top.
I was right about needing to work it harder, but I reckon the finished effect is well worth the effort. During the felting, some of the red dye from the hand-dyed wool transferred to the white silk scarf, giving it a delicate hint of palest red, which works very well with the bold reds, black and green of the poppies.
The finished scarf is gorgeous! It’s lightweight, sheer, lustrous and has a lovely tailored look with the hand hemmed edges and the felted poppies at each end have a painted effect that I love. I will definitely be felting the others in a similar way.
I reckon this will make someone a delightful Christmas present. It is one of a kind, and art in textile as well as sumptuous materials, sheer for Australian summer yet warm for winter – that’s the beauty of silk.