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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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?