Sampling with New WOW Fibers

Cathy Wycliff (Luvswool) and I placed an order with WOW last month.  A real treasure  of new fibers to try.  But we had a dilemma, do we make samples or wait for a project.  Cathy had a good idea to make samples to the prefelt stage. This way we’d have an idea of what the properties were of each of the fibers, but could still use them in future projects.

Cathy did the first few samples.  The first photo shows all 3 samples — White Woodland, Jacobs Fleece and South Down.

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The second photo is Jacob’s fleece with rose fiber embellishment. The fleece is coarse and scratchy and not an easy felter. It reminds me very much of the Hebridean wool roving I purchased in the Scotland isles. The rose fiber easily felted and finished with a brilliant sheen. It’s gorgeous against the dark brown/black Jacob’s wool.

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South Down  is next and the and beneath is Whiteface Woodland–very little difference in look or feel or felting ability. Both were were medium coarse felters. All three base fibers were felted only to the pre-felt stage.

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I decided to try different fibers since we had a variety to choose from.  I was very surprised at the differences between the feel of the fiber and the end results.  Here are all four before felting.  Top left is White Eider, top right is White Norwegian, lower left is Oatmeal Blue Faced Leicester and lower right is Manx.

2015-04-01 15.55.12The Manx ( top) had a staple of about 4-6 inches and was soft with a very slight crimp or coarseness.  I used a half ounce of fiber for each sample. The Oatmeal BFL (bottom) was similar to merino during the layout.

2015-04-02 15.08.11 2015-04-02 16.42.25 2015-04-02 16.40.40Sorry the photos aren’t great.  I use my phone.  After felting, the Manx was spongy and coarser than expected.  The BFL was slightly spongy and wiry than before felting.  It wasnt as coarse as the Manx.

The White Norwegian had a slight coarse feel and a staple of about 4-5 inches.  The White Eider top was coarse to the touch with a staple of 3-4 inches.  It also felt a bit clumpier.

2015-04-02 15.07.47The Eider is on the left and  was very spongy and coarse to the touch.  The White Norwegian was coarse after felting and somewhat spongy.

It was fun experimenting, but I’m not sure how I’ll use these fibers.  Cathy uses more of the coarser fibers than I do.  Any suggestions?  Have you used any of these fibers before?

 

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19 Responses to Sampling with New WOW Fibers

  1. zedster66 says:

    The Rose fibre looks really nice with the Jacob. I’ve tried all of those from WoW except their Jacob fleece, but it sounds just like the Jacob I bought elsewhere. I like all the natural wools and especially the more unusual ones like Manx Loaghtan for natural wall hangings, to combine with fibres or placemats etc.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      It’s interesting that the fibers from the same type of sheep can be different. I imagine food and environment have something to do with it in addition to what part of the animal the fiber came from. Thanks for the suggestions Zed. These fibers would work well in some type of natural wall hanging or mat.

  2. Leonor says:

    My favourite has to be the oatmeal BFL, because I love the colours, and BFL is lovely to spin. I also did some felt bases with the same fibre (not from WoW), mine aren’t coarse at all, with a slight crimp.

    As far as what to do with them, you know I’m going to say “needle felt something,” right? 🙂

  3. luvswool says:

    Terrific job on the samples post, Marilyn! In addition to wall hangings, I plan to use some of the coarser fibers for slipper making next autumn. Also, envelope style clutches. And of course, as Leonor says, needle-felting!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thank YOU Cathy for providing your samples! Oh, I forgot about the slippers. So noted. Perhaps Leonor can teach a class on critter needle felting. Some of those fibers would make great animals. :-). I guess I have to step out of my comfort zone.

  4. ruthlane says:

    Stepping out of your comfort zone is the fun part. Just go for it. You could easily make bags, slippers, phone cases, or even pillows. A mix of the natural colors will be great.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Yes, Ruth, I’ll have to do that. With all the natural wools I have I need to start using them rather than just looking at them and feeling them. :-). But then, there’s the color challenge, hmmm.

    • Teri Berry says:

      absolutely Ruth, experimenting (playing) is where the fun starts 🙂

  5. Teri Berry says:

    Great samples Marilyn, can’t wait to see how you use them, perhaps a wall hanging in lovely natural shades where the different textures next to one another will really sing?

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Teri! I can’t wait either. 🙂 The wall hanging idea is percolating.

  6. Lyn says:

    I think you did right by making samples instead of just launching into a project with ‘unknowns’ – probably saved yourself a lot of time and frustration.

    The rose fibre is lovely!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Lyn! You’re right especially with such unexpected results. At least we can use them as prefelt.

  7. Great samples. I have some I should be sampling but that’s down the list.

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