Thursday, 14 March 2013


sample silk nuno

the idea has been fizzing around on and off for a number of years, and with the focus of an exhibition coming in September, it's sample making time...

Another prompt was this -

mouse nest of wool and silk

The mouse invasion meant I needed to completely clean and sort a stash of cloths crossing generations from Great Great Grandmothers to babies - a collective female history (herstory perhaps)

cleaned and dried awaiting repurposing, remembering

This is Great Great Grandmother Alice Gertrude's wedding dress, thick silk satin, see how rotten it is -

Alice married in 1891

Would this fragile cloth felt in or completely disintergrate?  The woman died of pleurisy when only 37 years old, leaving two children.  The age before antibiotics ... the only remedy was to use a mustard compress to draw off the liquid. 

invisible baste on Alice's silk

stitching right side

To secure the scraps I used a variation of Jude's invisible baste to hold them long enough for the wool to do its magic in the felting.

Freda's wedding veil

another treasure is Great Granny's wedding veil, married in 1932.  Also to be included would be some of the velvet from the sleeves - she had a winter wedding and then removed the top to make a velvet skirt died black during the war.


and then this became this ...


and this

closeup of Alice's silk

This ...

woven scraps

became this ...

felted woven nuno sample

I've been using fleece from local sheep - teased cleaned and carded so blending dark chocolate brown with creamy white.  So soft.  A little book would be good to make too to record these folk - to accompany the mantle that emerges.


  1. Oh , that old wedding dress has just made me so pensive about the ancestors things we may have. I think your project is very intriguing !

    1. some of us hold on, and some let go. I'm learning to let go by remembering and redefining...

  2. I love how the woven scrapes meld together with your felting technique. So soft, and nubbly. Alice would be pleased, I think to know her dress is part of this beautiful piece of art to come. Yes.

    1. texture texture texture so much part of textile. Ancient textiles's techniques of such fine hand-stitching.

  3. Hi Anna, what a great collection of cloth & a beautiful way to honour your ancestors (just hopped over from Jude's What If Diaries)

  4. You're welcome to hop over here anytime. Crows are clever birds, like jackdaws and ravens. They all like Dartmoor too - alot around crowing away. some ideas for a story maybe. Think i need to go do a bit of hopping around!

  5. Hello Anna, and "wow"! Love what you are doing with wool, felting, piecing, and honoring the cloth of the women in your family. ((Another stitcher from Jude's What if Diaries)