The exciting – and rather scary – news is that I and Tess, a fellow student on the creative and experimental textiles course at Morley College are going to try selling of our stuff at a stall at Spitalfields Market. We’re going for a Friday, as it’s cheaper than a Sunday, so we won’t waste too much money if nobody buys anything.

This has thrown me into a panic about having enough stuff to sell. Tess makes beautiful felt hats and bags and has been planning to do a stall for a while, so she’s built up a bit of stock. We agree that our styles are different, so it doesn’t matter if we both make the same kinds of items, as long as our prices are comparable. But I thought I’d try to make some scarves, to add a bit of variety.

The problem with making felt scarves at home rather than at college is that they require a lot of space, especially as you have to make them longer to allow for shrinkage. Working on my dining room table (the largest area available) means lots of folding over bubble wrap, pulling corners here, rolling edges there – all while trying to avoid pools of soapy water dripping onto the floor.

The other issue is seasonality – with the weather getting warmer, people won’t want to buy thick heavy scarves. So I made a couple of lighter ones in network felt (below), the blue one with silk threads running across some of the holes. I’m not sure it was that successful – it probably needs more silk to avoid simply looking messy.

I also really liked the pleated nuno net scarf I made using the ‘cooked shibori’ technique of tying it up and steaming it. So I made a couple of larger shawls at home and tied them up and steamed them in the tea urn at college.

The next challenge is whether I can do this ‘cooked shibori’ technique at home, as term has now finished. I don’t have access to a tea urn, so will have to improvise somehow.

Alternatively, we can just sell bags and hats.


7 thoughts on “Scarves”

  1. Hi from a snowy Shetland!
    Just read your tweet and thought I would wish you luck! Enjoy the experience and let us all know how you got on. The pics are fab, btw.

  2. Thanks Andy. Can’t believe you have snow up there when it’s been 16°C down here!

    All my felting has been with merino so far, but I’ve ordered some Icelandic wool, as I’m told it’s easy to felt. Do you know whether Shetland wool felts easily? A couple of people have told me they found it a bit tricky.

  3. May I have permission to use your photo for demonstration/illustration purposes? I am teaching a class to students and love to inspire them with images such as these.

  4. Hello! Thank you for the inspiration. Im wondering if you might tell me a bit more about this “cooked shibori” method and if the pleating becomes permanent in the fabric. I do have access to tea urns and would love to try this. I am familiar with nuno felting and with shibori. I also work with mx procion dyes, silk chiffon, and merino wool. Thank you so much!! Here is a link to what I do.

    Perhaps I can return the info favor somehow?? 🙂

    1. Hello Ida,

      I’m told the pleating is permanent as long as the fabric is synthetic and as long as you don’t heat up to the temperature at which it was steamed.

      By chance, I saw someone a couple of weeks ago who was wearing a “cooked shibori” scarf that she bought from me in December 2011 – and it was still firmly pleated.

      Good luck with your experiments!


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