Cobweb shawl with Alisa Bordo

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Alisa Bordo is a felt textile artist living in Mannheim, South Germany.  

For almost 15 years she has been creating felted accessories: scarves, shawls, wraps and hats.  Alisa invites you to a virtual tour through her atelier and her art market stand.

In this tutorial, she will introduce to you some of her favorite felting techniques, supplies, tools, and her strategies as a maker.

Cobweb scarves are the focus of Alisa’s business strategy. Every year, she creates hundreds of one-of-a-kind scarves and shawls for the German autumn and Christmas art markets. How does she optimize this process, choose the best materials, uncouple the “dry” and “wet” phases of felting? How can she avoid burning out? How does she make the beautiful labels and invent new “yummy” names for her scarf’s collections?...

She will share these secrets with you.

Alisa offers you a constant technical support. We created a private Facebook group where you can directly communicate with the instructor, ask questions, show your own work. This group, Cobweb shawl with Alisa Bordo, is opened only for people who purchased this tutorial.

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Model 1. Harmony

In this video Alisa will show you step by step how to make three basic models of cobweb scarf.

First model is called “Harmony”, with silk fabric, ruffles and a shiny surface made with different decorative fibers.

Model 2. Flamenco

The second one is “Flamenco”:  it has a complex décor (vegetal fibers, nepps, silk scraps).

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Model 3. Unisex

The third one is “Unisex”: it is beloved by Alisa’s male customers and has a beautiful fringe.

You may create these models in natural or neutral colors, or choose vibrant shades and bold colors. Neutral and bright, with frill or with fringe, these scarves will become a main part of your wardrobe or your assortment.

                                           Materials and Equipment

Equipment

You will need standard felting equipment: bubble wrap, a bowl, olive soap, a towel, thin gloves, synthetic netting, a spray bottle for water and your favorite bottle for soapy water.  Alisa prefers to use the electric sander, although she will explain how you can make such scarf without it. You will need a felting noodle (or pipe insulation) for rolling.

You will also need scissors and eventually thread and needle. For Flamenco model, you may need hand cards or a pet brush.

Materials

First, you will need fine felting merino wool in tops, fineness from 16 to 19 micron. Alisa always uses multicolored blends for her cobweb shawls. You will need an appropriate length of wool top. Depending on the model, it is 3 to 2.5 meters, approximately 35-45 grams of wool.

And of course, some decorative materials: viscose fibers in tops (approximately 40 grams of viscose per scarf) and/or tussah silk, bamboo, linen, silk fabric, lace and wool nepps.

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List of materials

Shawl “Harmony”

For this shawl/scarf you will need a length of wool top. Alisa is using Champs-Elysée from DHG. Then, you would need a piece of silk approximately the same length as your top and an assortment of decorative fibers (mostly viscose and tussah silk and a bit of more coarse fibers like bamboo, linen, hemp etc.), 30-40 grams of fibers in total.

Shawl “Flamenco”.

In this case, the shrinkage will be a bit stronger, up to 20-30%. You will need an appropriate length of wool top (Alisa uses “Flamenco”, from the “Candies” collection from DHG) and plenty of decorative materials. She uses nepps, tussah silk, viscose, linen, and bamboo for this scarf. She uses carders for the preparation of viscose blends and will show you her techniques of carding in a separate part.

Scarf “Unisex”.

This model has fringe and contains less decorative fibers. You will need approximately 3 meters of wool blend and some decorative materials like viscose and silk fabric scraps, preferably matte.

First, Alisa will show you the step-by-step creation of a “Harmony” shawl (Parts 2-4), and then two other models (Part 5 and 6).

Felting techniques

Part 2.

Spreading out the wool.

This technique is not the same as the usual wet felting techniques as Alisa does not use “shingling” which means pulling out wool shingles and laying them out, she spreads the whole length of wool top instead. It is quicker and easier than any other layout.

 

Part 3 Laying out the decorative fibers.

Alisa completely covers the wool with decorative fibers.

 

Part 4 Felting.

Now Alisa starts felting and fulling. She does not roll this model because of the ruffle.

And now, she will show you her secret technique called “Propeller”.

The scarf is ready, it is beautiful, is it not?...

Part 5 “Flamenco” model

The next model, “Flamenco” has no ruffle and no silk on one of the sides. For the décor, Alisa uses carded decorative fabric and small scraps of silk.

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