Spider Shawl

This lightweight shawl -- a perfect Halloween accessory -- requires no sewing thanks to an innovative technique called Nuno felting, which brings two different materials together to create a new, textured fabric.

Spider Shawl

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2010



Wool roving from Blue Goose Glen. Fabrics from B&J Fabrics. Crystals from Swarovski Elements.


  • Bubble wrap

  • Duct tape

  • 1 yard silk organza

  • Merino wool roving

  • 1 yard tulle

  • Olive oil soap

  • Pool noodle

  • Pantyhose

  • Bucket

  • Crystal beads (optional)

  • Hand-sewing needle and thread (optional)


  1. Tape pieces of bubble wrap together with duct tape to make a base that is slightly larger than silk piece. On a flat surface, layer silk organza over bubble wrap with bubbles face up.

  2. Outline silk fabric with a border of merino wool roving. Place strips of wool in an "X" pattern across piece, overlapping strips of wool if they are too short. Make another "X" pattern offset from the first. Make arches with wool in between the lines to form a spiderweb design.

  3. Place tulle over entire piece.

  4. Break up bar of olive oil soap and soak in water to make a soap mixture that is slightly looser than dish soap. Sprinkle soap mixture over design. Pat the mixture into the piece with hands until just slightly dampened.

  5. Place a pool noodle at one end of the piece and loosely roll the bubble wrap, base fabric, roving, and tulle around the pool noodle. Secure the roll with pantyhose.

  6. Roll entire piece across a flat surface, starting with piece in hands and rolling to elbows, then rolling back. Roll at least 100 times.

  7. Unroll and carefully separate wool fibers from tulle. Sprinkle more of the soap mixture over fabric; rub soap and fibers together against bubble wrap. Continue to rub piece for about two minutes, squeezing out suds as you go.

    Tip: Flip a corner of work over to check wool as it's beginning to felt through the organza. Organza should ripple when roving is fully attached.

  8. Put shawl in a bucket of warm water and soak for a half hour or more. Remove shawl, wring out water, and hang to dry.

  9. Embellish shawl with hand-sewn crystals, if desired.


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