Indian silks inspire felting

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser

Taking felt craft to a new level, the Funky Upcycled Felt Fashion exhibition opens at the Riverfront Gallery Denmark on August 5.

With more than 30 items on show, visitors can expect to discover the artistic world of nuno-felting.

Creator and artist Kaye Louwen said she discovered felting about nine years ago and had been collecting material from op-shops and other sources.

“Nuno-felting, felting with fabric, gives many possibilities for softness, drape and colour, and the items in this exhibition are all nuno-felted,” she said.

“Earlier this year, I found out that second-hand silk saris can be purchased cheaply from India, and that gave me the inspiration for this display.”

Louwen has combined the art of felting with garment-making, and she said she had been selling items at the gallery for three years, displaying work for sale on a regular basis.

“I hope that those who attend this exhibition will appreciate more what can be done with wool, fabrics and fibres, and may decide to have a go,” she said.

“As a textile artist, I find that the fabrics I am working with, their colour, size and feel, as well as the wools and embellishments I have in my studio ... inspire me to a certain style of scarf or wrap or jacket.”

Most of the items in this exhibition have been made in the past three months and Louwen said she often used scraps to make matching accessories, like a hat or a bag.

“All my spare time has been devoted to trying out different garment patterns — tricky, due to the fact that I am working with about 40 per cent shrinkage,” she said.

There is also a Felters in the Great Southern group, which holds monthly meetings and has a Facebook page.

The exhibition runs until August 20 and is open from 10am-4pm daily.

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