I was hoping to get some time for felting yesterday, but I had vertigo and felt rotten so I’m posting some pieces I made a few weeks ago. I got two different Karakul batts from wollknoll, one is just Karakul and the other is a Karakul and Merino blend. Just be warned if you google Karakul, you’ll probably get some pretty awful photos of dead lambs because their skin is used to make hats and coats because their wool is black and silky soft when they are born, and they don’t often make it that far so there’s quite a few photos of dead sheep too. This wool is sheared the usual way though. It is double coated and very wiry, it reminds me a lot of a Cairn Terrier my friend had when we were kids:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used some dyed silvery flax with the Karakul, spreading it thinly across the top and bottom, and laid it  vertically in the centre:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt looked like it was just sitting on the surface:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe contrast of the ‘dry’ looking Karakul and shiny flax, made the flax look like it was still wet:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Karakul and Merino looked and felted  similarly, though less ‘openly’ or loosely and was a lighter shade:

Both of the batts had bits of VM in which looked like porridge oats or tiny cornflakes. A few of the batts I got had similar VM:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used some crimped Viscose fibre with this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is some Viscose which wasn’t teased apart much:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a patch where the Viscose was teased apart a lot and laid on quite thickly:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is where the teased out Viscose was laid quite sparsely:


16 thoughts on “Karakul

  1. Hope you feel better soon Zed! The karakul is a lovely warm colour and texture (I took your advice and decided not to google it) and yes it does look like Cairn terrier.

  2. I hope you’re feeling better Zed! I don’t think I’ll google the karakul either. It seems like it has a wiry texture. It’s neat the flax looked like it was sitting on top. What do you think the best use if this fiber would be?

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      Yeah it is wiry. Did you mean the flax? I find it hard to say, I think all embellishment fibres are versatile, I do like the coarser fibres with coarser wools because of the textures though.

  3. Interesting samples again – I like the contrast of the flax on the surface. So since it feels like Cairn terrier, it must be pretty coarse?

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      Yeah it is pretty coarse, but kind of straight too, so it doesn’t felt ‘openly’ or loosely like some coarse ones.

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      The Karakul doesn’t have any long hairs, it’s really short, or short and really short, and does felt closely. You can see hairy bits with the camera, but there aren’t wild wiry bits poking out.

  4. Hope you get well soon. 🙂 I bought karakul from wollknoll too, but haven’t tried it yet. I saw the horrific info. re. Persian Lamb a while ago and knew I was buying sheared fleece, it feels quite soft on the batt – so hope it’s not going to be barking at me when I get around to felting it!! 😉

    1. Thanks, Judith 🙂
      Ha ha 🙂 It keeps reminding me of a Hob Nob, especially with the little oaty bits of VM in it!

  5. Interesting samples, zed. I once tried karakul in slippers and found out it did not shrink well and left a kind of wiry texture. I didn’t like it but was just curious what it would look like.

  6. What lovely colour the karakul has, Zed. Which one did you prefer, the plain karakul, or the merino blend? What will you do with it? Not slippers, judging by your reply to Nada 😀

    I hope you’re feeling better today.

    1. Thanks, Leonor 🙂
      I don’t think I have a preference really. I’ll probably try them both with a variety of fibres to see what they produce, but they’ll probably both end up used in natural wall hangings.

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