Nuno shibori scarf

A few weeks ago I tried nuno felting on nylon net. Last night in class I used a shibori technique to add texture.

nuno net scarf
Nuno net scarf before shibori

We rolled the scarf around a piece of sawn-off drainpipe, about 18 inches high. This was fine, because I wanted the ridges to run vertically along the length of the scarf. If I had wanted horizontal ridges across the width, the scarf would have to be rolled vertically, which would have needed a much longer drainpipe!

After rolling, we secured one edge of the scarf with an elastic band, then tied some string to this and rolled it in a spiral down the rest of the scarf, leaving gaps of about half an inch between each  round. About halfway, we squashed the part of the scarf that had been tied down to the bottom so that the ridges became more pronounced, then finished tying the other half. Finally, we put another elastic band on the top edge of the scarf, tied off the string, and pushed the whole scarf down as far as it would go. (Sorry I don’t have any pictures of this – would be much easier to show!)

We heated some water in a tea urn and placed the drainpipe inside with the scarf at the top, so that no water was touching it. (The idea is to use the steam to set the pleats, not to wet the fabric.) We put a towel on top to seal in the steam, and then the lid. I guess you could do this at home in a tall stockpot or similar, but obviously this limits the width of fabric you can use, which is why a tea urn is ideal.

After steaming for about an hour, we removed the drainpipe and scarf, cut off the elastic bands and string, and admired the end result.

Nuno net scarf after shibori

The tying/steaming process didn’t just produce the pleasing pleats – it also softened the cheap scratchy nylon net into something much more pleasant to handle.

My tutor says that the scarf can be dry cleaned or washed without damaging the pleats, though obviously in cool rather than boiling water.


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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

2 thoughts on “Nuno shibori scarf”

  1. Hi, What a gorgeous project! I was hoping you could add some information on steps in this process. It looks like you did a little bit of nuno felting the wool to the netting and then completed the shibori process, and then the shibori process caused more felting. Is that correct? I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Hi Kendall,

      You can see the information about nuno felting on net in a previous post.

      The wool was fairly firmly felted before binding it around the pole, so the steaming didn’t really cause any more felting. I think it just looks like it in the picture because the pleats make the colour and texture of the scarf look different.


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