Wool Supplies and Samples

While I was laying out my white texture felt piece the other week, I had all my bags of white and light grey wools spread out on my floor, along with my stash of raw wool locks, so I thought I may aswell go ahead and do an inventory of my white wools, to see if I’m running low on any and need to order more. I usually keep a small stash of each wool breed (or colour) out in my felting boxes and put the rest away in my supplies bags and boxes, it makes it easier to have a large selection of breeds or colours to choose from without taking up as much room. These are the white wool tops, scoured and carded wools I most commonly use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy favourite raw wool locks are Gotland, Teeswater and Wensleydale. There’s also some raw mohair locks here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter scribbling down the names of all the different wools I commonly use, I checked whether there was a good amount in my felting box and whether I was low in my supplies and needed to order more. This took a while, and it suddenly occured to me that if I made myself a document on Word, I could print it out any time I needed to do another stock check. It’s only taken me about 4 years of felting to think of that 🙂

WHITE WOOLS INVENTORY

A few years ago, I spotted some really inexpensive index card holders in our local supermarket. I thought they would be perfect to use for wool samples, so I bought a few and made myself a cover for one.

4635492385_23f0e04d9f_oI like to pull off a small sample of wool tops and staple it to the index card with the name of the shade or blend. I buy almost all of my supplies from World of Wool, but on the rare occasion I buy something elsewhere, I make a note of that too.

coloursIt’s really handy for natural wools too, the texture and staple length can be seen as well as the colour.

naturalsDo you have a system for storing your wools and fibres or keeping track if supplies are getting low? How about storage? I know that is always a favourite topic for fibre artists! 🙂

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24 Responses to Wool Supplies and Samples

  1. I don’t have enough to really worry about storage, but I have been stocking up on colors and types so I can start trying some needle felting. I have wall baskets and I put the bags of roving in those and the extra goes into a plastic drawer box that I have next to my table.

    Debbie

    • zedster66 says:

      I’m sure you’ll have a huge collection before too long if you’re stocking up on colours, wool is addictive! 🙂

    • Chrissie says:

      So nice to see you buying in Britain from World of Wool teaching there this year,Framed Carpet Bags

    • zedster66 says:

      I live in the UK, Chrissie, not too far from World of Wool really. I have been there and they were all really nice and friendly.

  2. Shana says:

    I just blogged about my ‘new’ filing system, too! I’d ordered a sample box of 80 colors, so keeping track was essential. I use business card filing pages and bind them by supplier. You can see here: http://www.shanakohnstamm.com/2013/02/easy-wool-file.html

    • zedster66 says:

      That’s a really good idea, Shana 🙂
      I have a few similar sleeves that are made for trading cards, I might use those for some fibre samples, it’d be a quick way to see the difference between things like hemp and flax 🙂

  3. As more of a Mixed Media Artist, I do not do inventories, as every project is different. However, I invested in clear plastic storage boxes that I stack in shelves. I label everything that is in the box and adhere it to the front. I can look at the stacks and find what I need. Sort of like looking at shoe boxes. It works for me.

    • zedster66 says:

      Do you store your fabrics by shade, Judy?
      I have a few large plastic storage boxes for other supplies, and shoe boxes are a definite favourite 🙂

  4. I have small bits in clear bins by colour range. pink/red, blue/green, yellow orange gray/black. The died stuff is mostly on shelves and the really big amounts White and black merino and this time English 56, several pounds of each, are in the original plastic bag and in big open top boxes. I ran out of space so the dyed Romney wool is in a cupboard. No matter how many shelves I have I seem to run out of room.

    • zedster66 says:

      I have my coloured wools sorted into shades too. I know what you mean about running out of space 🙂

  5. Lyn says:

    I like your new system Zed, and it’ll save you a lot of time and frustration.

    I have a storage system for my half ton of wool tops, but over the last year I’ve been a bit slack and it’s got a bit muddled – a sort out is on my ‘to do’ list!

  6. ruthlane says:

    I seem to have a poor system. Everything is crammed into 3 plastic storage boxes, or most everything. And it needs sorting. I like the index card idea. That’s great.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Ruth, it does work well 🙂
      The majority of mine is crammed in boxes and bags too, I have got bigger boxes over the years, but the wool keeps growing!

  7. ali says:

    Hi, I wish I was so organized, my stash is all jumbled up in a box, ali

    • zedster66 says:

      Maybe you just need to treat yourself to a few more supplies Ali, to justify getting a better storage system 😉

  8. My fabrics are smaller cuts, as I do not make anything too large. I store them by color. I also sort them by patterned or unpatterned. I have one box that is labeled “Brights.” These are high intensity colors.

    • zedster66 says:

      I kind of do the same with my fabrics as my wool, I have the main supplies boxes where all the large pieces are, then I keep smaller pieces for using with felting in show boxes out on the shelves. If I buy any fabric, the first thing I do is tear some off for felting or collage otherwise, I think it’s ‘too nice’ to ruin! 🙂

  9. Daniela Frey says:

    I discovered your blog by googling about texture in felt and I love it! This is a great idea actually… I just have a huuuuuge bag for my wool tops and another bag for my silk/merino blends. The only thing I do is keep the lighter shades like beige and white in a different bag inside the big bag, so they don’t get “contaminated” with the other colors. But I really need to organize it better… last week I was felting a custom order, started laying out the wool and then suddenly realized I was out of beige and red…. the main colors for the project! Lol.

    • zedster66 says:

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog, Daniela 🙂
      That’s the trouble with storage isn’t it, we can’t immediately see what’s there.
      I’d love to have a whole wall of storage, probably something from Ikea. I keep my colours separate from naturals, and keep the white/light greys separate from the darker natural wools.

  10. Daniela Frey says:

    I know! Luckily they had both colors at the store. I think I’ll go for the labelled plastic boxes system. I still live with my parents and I keep all my felting stuff in my bedroom so I don’t have plenty of room available. I just ordered my first batch of specialty fibers 😀 so it’s also the perfect time to start indexing everything.

    • zedster66 says:

      I have to keep all my supplies in my room too.
      I hope you have fun with your speciality fibres 🙂

  11. Karen says:

    Your so organised Zed, you put me to shame !! I dont like hiding my fibre away so i have them all on my shelving units in my view, i like to look at them lol , but i do have large plastic bags of raw fibre stacked up in the corner, and a couple of big bins for any scraps, i can still see them lol I must admit my shelves do need a sort out very soon, as im gathering new supplies for different projects and i need to fit them in so there in my line of site lol Maybe thats a job for this weekend if its not to hot 🙂

    • zedster66 says:

      I wish I had shelves like yours, Kaz 🙂
      I’d love to have all my supplies more visible and easier to get to. I hope the weather cools down for you!

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