With fall and winter on the horizon, bacon lovers everywhere are pulling out their cool-weather gear and bracing for the next few months.
But what to wear when bacon is on the brain? Why, a bacon scarf, of course! California artist Christine Chun may have the perfect design for men and women who love fine wool scarves, bacon or even just beautiful clothing.
“My friend, Nadja Robot, suggested the bacon design. She’s a wonderful, clever, and humorous organism, and I have her to thank for my modest and fleeting popularity among the bacon crowd,” says Chun, a vegetarian who says she recalls “liking bacon back in the day. I remember that I preferred it kind of chewy, like gum, instead of crispy.”
This bacon scarf is evidence that what Chun really likes these days is design. She says she usually makes felted scarf blanks in solid colors and needle-felt or dry-felt designs like these. She describes it as “kind of like drawing with felt.” Chun has also done work that’s closer to an applique, where she cuts out shapes and then “wet-felts” them onto a blank, see here. It makes for a flatter design that looks like it’s printed onto the wool, she says.
“However, the bacon scarf is more like painting,” Chun says. “I have to lay down swaths of wool in such a way that I get an organic, messy and meaty look. I get striations of fat and fibers of meat. It’s the most time-consuming of the three methods. I charge more for the bacon scarves because they take a long time. I usually have to dedicate a weekend to them. They take so long that I figure if I make the price high enough, not that many people will buy them and I won’t have to spend the time making them.
“I wish there was a cheaper way of getting bacon scarves to the masses,” Chun adds, “but as a full-time English teacher, it’s hard to squeeze in felting time between classes and grading. And while each bacon scarf I’ve ever made is completely different, there’s very little creativity involved in repeating this process and design, so it can get boring.”
As a result, Chun says she might stop making the bacon scarves soon. And with the holidays coming up, that’s another reason why bacon lovers should order a scarf soon.
“You can definitely buy cheaper bacon scarves out there, and I recommend that you buy some from the fine artists at Etsy, but you might not get that realistic bacon look,” Chun says. “With knitting or crocheting, you get a pixel-y effect. With painting or fleece, you get a cartoonish look that isn’t realistic. I considered using an applique technique for the bacon scarves, which would decrease the production time and possibly decrease the cost to the seller, even though pre-felt is more expensive than loose wool. I’d also lose the realistic look, which I think is the most unique aspect of my scarf. Wet felting by hand, carefully laying down the strands of wool fiber, results in the most uncanny and realistic bacon that I’ve seen yet. The shape is not a perfect rectangle, just like a real piece of bacon. I’ve considered adding some kind of artificial bacon smell to make the scarf even more realistic but I understand that’s a little gross.”
Chun says many people think the scarf is a just a beautiful red, pink, and white garment until they pick it up and hold it open. “That’s when they realize it’s a huge bacon and laugh. Also, it’s functional and warm. Since I use merino wool, it’s soft and it doesn’t irritate.”
You hear what the artist said. Order now, before she retires from the bacon scarf business!