What is a Micron?
A micron is a millionth of a metre, and is the measurement used to express the diameter of wool fibre. The lower the micron, the finer (and softer) the fibre. Wool with the finest diameter comes from merino sheep. The Merino sold by The Nutwood Collection is 19 micron, which is classified as extra fine.
What is Nuno Felting?
Nuno felting is the process of binding wool and a natural fabric (such as silk or cotton) together by layering wool over an open weave fabric. During the wet felting process the wool migrates through the fabric, the fibres creating a strong bond that holds wool and fabric together.
DHG have produced a 15-minute video of this process which you can see here.
The most important points to remember when nuno felting are:
The fabric must be a natural fibre such as silk, wool gauze or cotton . Wool fibres are reluctant to bind to most synthetic fibres;
The fabric must be lightweight and have an open weave that will allow the wool fibres to migrate through it. If the weave is too close, the wool cannot bind. To test whether a fabric is suitable, lay it over the palm of your hand and blow on it. If you can feel the air passing easily through the fabric, it is an indication that it is sufficiently lightweight and the weave is open. If the air does not pass through easily, the probability is that the wool fibres will not migrate through.
Fine wool, such as 19 micron, will bond strongly and evenly with little effort. Merino with a higher micron count will bond, but takes more effort. Wool with a micron count above 25 (such as Corriedale, Bergschaf and Maori) will give an uneven bond - or not bond at all.
Felting must be gentle in the early stages, using cool water and minimum soap. The object is to migrate the wool through the fabric; only when it has migrated the can the fulling begin.