Meet the Supplier – Sara Quail of Unicorn Fibres

Meet the Supplier – Sara Quail of Unicorn Fibres

Fibre 3, 2, 1

Q-3 Three types of fibre you can’t live without?

1. Viscose tops – I really love working and experimenting with this plant based fibre. Created from regenerated wood pulp, viscose has all the look and feel of silk tops, without the static when you draft it and it is considerably cheaper. A brilliant fibre for adding some lustre and surface interest to wet or dry felted projects. You can make fibre sheets in different densities and use thin wispy sheets for layering or thicker ones for cutting out shapes. Being a similar micron, viscose integrates really well with 19 micron merino roving. You can card it with other fibres, lay it out thickly or thinly for different effects or blend colours together. Being a smooth manmade fibre with no scales, it won’t wet felt on its own, but only needs a surprisingly little amount of wool fibre to get it to all hold together.

2. Merino roving – Like many felters, I am a fan of combed 19 micron roving. It is easy to work with, quick to felt and ideal for wearables and many other projects. After a visit to the DHG dye-house some years ago, I am still in awe of the complex process and scale involved in processing, dyeing and creating commercial roving from raw fleece.

3. Uniblends – Our exclusive Uniblends are my dream fibre. Custom blended, they combine the qualities of viscose and 19 micron merino wool. I love to use it in one-way cobweb layouts – it drapes beautifully, reduces pilling and is less itchy against the skin than using wool only. Using Uniblends speeds up the laying out process as the fibres are already combined and you don’t have to worry about embellishing the other side! You can also add additional viscose if desired, 2-directional layouts give a heathered effect and it spins well too.

Q-2 Two tools you use all the time?

Well, apart from my 2 hands, I use my homemade mega felting tool and ball brauser constantly. Ball brausers are fantastic water sprinklers for speedy wetting out of a project and with a little care, can last a very long time. My biggest tip is to never to leave it standing with the spout in water or soap solution for any length of time. This prevents rust potentially settling in and snapping off the sprinkler head. Shown here with a ball brauser for scale, my mega felting tool is pretty large. I have made smaller versions but this one is great for large projects like making wraps, garments & scarves. Glass décor beads have been glued to a rendering tool, sourced from the local hardware store.

Q-1 One fibre art technique you love the most?

Nuno felting without question. My preference is to use embellished prefelts rather
than applying roving directly onto fabric, using hand dyed Margilan silk or cotton gauze.

General Questions

What is your business?

Unicorn Fibres is an online business selling supplies for wet felting, needle felting
and associated arts.

What kind of items do you sell?

Lots of Fibre, Hand dyed fabric and Tools for felting. We stock 19 micron merino roving in +100 colours – solid & variegated colours, merino/silk blends & our exclusive merino/viscose Uniblends.

Our range of carded wool batts is growing and particularly popular for needle felting along with Corriedale roving.

Over 45 viscose colours available as well as hand dyed Margilan silk and Cotton
gauze for nuno felting.

Ball brausers and a variety of tools for needle felting.

And if you are stuck for a gift, eGift cards too!

What do you think makes your business different from similar ones?

 Along with having considerable felting expertise, we are focused specifically on the needs of felt makers/artists. Our aim is to keep prices low and service high.
 Weight options – Fibre can be purchased from as little as 10gm (0.35oz), up to 1kg (2.20lbs) bumps. Flexible quantity options to suit your needs.
 Custom products – Our Uniblends are created exclusively for us and a dream to use.
 Bundles – Merino and viscose bundles are offered to make colour choices easier, quicker and a little cheaper.
 Hand dyed gauzes – Margilan silk gauze and Cotton scrim with characteristic colour nuances to enhance nuno felting & other textile projects.
 DHG reseller – We are an official reseller for DHG products who use ethically sourced fibre and create their products to the industry’s highest safety and environmental standards.
 Shipping – Turnaround time for orders are generally same-day and we dispatch orders really fast, twice a day. All stock is onsite, so there are no drop shipping delays.

Where are you located?

We are an online business in Perth – a pretty idyllic spot, at the bottom left hand side of Western Australia. Close to amazing beaches and a city that sits on the Swan River.

Where can we find you on the internet?

https://www.unicornfibres.com.au/

Sara is very kind and generous and she is doing a giveaway for all of our readers. Please read the instructions below to enter. She has also given our readers a coupon code for a discount for a purchase of Uniblends from her site. See below for details. Thanks Sara!

Giveaway and Offer

Two Giveaways –

For one international and one Australian recipient:

You can win a bundle of Uniblend rovings – 6 x 50gm (1.76oz) packs in colourways of your choice, inclusive of shipping.

Giveaway is now closed.

Offer

Use coupon code: UNIBLEND10 for a 10% discount on our exclusive range of Uniblends – stunning variegated extra fine merino wool and viscose roving blends.

Prices include 10% Australian tax, but are excluded at checkout for international
shipping addresses.

60 thoughts on “Meet the Supplier – Sara Quail of Unicorn Fibres

  1. Oh how I would love to win some of your beautiful viscose. The colours are just so delicious and as I am moving house next month, I would love to make a felted lampshade using those beautiful shiny colours. It would be perfect in my new living room in the South West of England.

    1. Beautiful! I’m so happy to discover another wonderful felting resource! I’m in the U.S.

  2. Looking at all your colours of fiber is a dream. Would love to win some uniblend to use as beautiful sky and water in wet felted landscapes of my home country of Canada.

  3. I would love to win the Uniblend bundle. I can see so many beautiful nuno felted scarves in my mind that can be made with the lovely colours. Just right for adding a bit of colour to the Ottawa Spring!

  4. Oh my! It’s features like this that make me wish (again) I lived in Australia. I just love the variety of wool Unicorn has in stock – first discovered, actually, when I was surfing the internet trying to find a good selection of viscose fibres!
    I tend to use 23microns merino mostly, so it was also interesting to be reminded that of course viscose will mix differently with 19microns merino. I hadn’t given it much thought til I saw this. So now off to find my very small selection of finer merino and do some comparison tests!
    Well, lockdown has to come to an end eventually and perhaps my next visit to my son in Melbourne could be via the non-stop route to Perth from the UK and thus an opportunity to fill a suitcase with fibres! Who needs to take clothes on holiday when you can take an empty suitcase and return with such exciting ‘souvenirs’?
    Happy Woolly Mothers Day to all!

    1. I am also guilty of having the ‘souvenir suitcase syndrome’ when it comes to fibre and fabric. Trips to Peru, India and Russia in recent years have produced some puzzled looks from customs, as well as the family………..

  5. As a felter yourself you are the perfect person to sell supplies for felters – you know exactly what the customer wants!
    Your uniblends and dyed gauzes look wonderful.
    Yes please to be entered into your draw – we’re on the south coast of England.

  6. Hi Sara. The colors are beautiful! I have been dabbling in wet Felting, making hats and landscapes. I’d love the opportunity to try your fibers. I’m here in the US. Cheers!

  7. As a teacher of elementary and high school students in the Bay Area of the U.S.A., I like to inspire and spark the imaginations of these young people. Life is especially tough right now and there is so much depression. Felting and creating, working with soapy water, rich colors, and fibers nourishes and builds confidence as their creativity flows. A teachers budget is low and to be able to offer something as special as your uniblends to add to our projects would be a dream come true! Dreams can come true.

    1. It is really encouraging to hear youngsters being introduced to wool fibre as an art & craft medium at school. Aussie schools are using it in class more than they used to, which seems only right considering we are the largest wool producing country in the world! The colours and tactile nature of wool are increasingly being used here in various areas of rehab too.

  8. Wow! I love your products and the information supplied! I am glad to hear you ship internationally as I live in Canada. If I ever get to visit my family in Australia I will definitely stop by, my cousin lives in Perth. 🙂
    Thanks for the colorful start to my morning!

  9. Hi Sara…ironically I am an Oz woman living in the UK (but happy to hear about you because I intend to return to Oz within the next 5yrs and am just building my felting ‘practice/business’. I am currently trying to study Nuno.. i tend to favour resist/sculptural work and your Uniblends would be amazing to apply to scarves and nuno pieces. Fingers crossed x

    1. The Uniblends are great for nuno scarves or just on their own. 50gm (1.76oz) laid out lengthwise in one layer (with or without intentional holes) produces a lovely cobweb scarf. Laying out in a single lengthwise direction also means there is minimal shrinkage widthways. Quick to make and looks good on both sides.

  10. Your blends are beautiful! Having just started wet felting again after a break of a few years, I would love some more materials to experiment with. I am on the east coast of the US.

  11. What a great post than you, I’m in the UK and have recently started needle felting and I am addicted! Ive just set up a little shop and I’m getting steady commissions which is awesome. I adore your colours and could make some pretty wonderful gnomes with them! I have family in Perth too, its a lovely place 😀

  12. I would love to be able to incorporate these beautiful colors into my current project. I am making a series of wet felted versions of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  13. I am learning wet felting. It seems like your Uniblends will allow me to achieve a beautiful product while combining a soft piece that will drape well and include a beautiful luster from the inclusion of viscose. Another tool for beautiful products. I would use the Uniblend to create scarves and collars that would be soft and warm. I create in my home studio in the USA.

  14. Hi Sara such fabulous sumptuous mixes. I love the idea of the blends. I use viscose on top of my merino pieces but having them pre-blended is genius. I would use the fibre in a special project if I won. Something close to the skin. Often I prefer fibre to speak to me before making final decisions on its use.
    Could I ask a question please. The tool you made is super. Could I ask what glue you used as I have to repair one of my favourite tools and found gorilla glue is not working.
    I live in Ireland 😊
    Tnx Hélène

    1. Hi Hélène, Not sure I have the perfect answer as the glass stones on mine still fall off periodically with heavy use. Usually just a few, so one can carry on using the tool and then have a re-glueing session every now and then. I have tried different glues – Gorilla, Tarzan Grip and 2 pack epoxy adhesives amongst others. None do the job as well as one would like, but found that roughing up the surface of the stones and the surface of the tool before applying the glue helps. You can use water paper, sandpaper or the like. Also I found that over-applying the glue seemed to create a little nest of glue that slightly enfolds each stone making them less likely to fall out. I have wondered whether using resin would be good, but not something I know anything about – an experiment for another day!

  15. Hello, I am from India and greatly inspired by all the feltmakers around. These blends of merino with viscose seem to be great!

  16. I’d love to win some of these beautiful materials and would make a wearable item such as a scarf. I’m in the UK and was introduced to felting through the women’s art group that I’m a member of.

    1. The Uniblends are particularly good for wearables like scarves. Seems many people find pure wool itchy, so the addition of viscose helps with this.

  17. Absolutely love the look of your uniblend fibres. I would love to use them to felt fabulous flowers inspired by my floriforous garden here on the tiny island of Alderney in the Channel Islands just off the coast of France.

    1. The addition of viscose with wool fibre adds a lovely subtle texture and lustre when making flowers – somehow gives them a bit more life.

  18. I am in South Georgia of the US and do not have a local felting community so most of my learning is done on line. Thank you for this post, I have picked up some new tips mostly about the use of viscose which I have not used before. I am taking part in a show in October and if I won this fibre I would use it to make prefelt for my show pieces.

    1. I too learnt online initially – there are some wonderful tutors and blogs out there (including this one) which makes the journey a little easier. The great advantage with online learning is that it is usually at one’s own pace – unlike the pressure of a 4 day workshop that can leave one with information overload and quite exhausted!

  19. The uniblend is gorgeous. I am a new fter so i am searching for suppliers and cool stuff for felting. I live in Indiana USA and do not have any close felting stores or guilds

  20. What a wonderful mix of colours and fibres! I really like the look of the blended viscose and merino and would love to try it out. Great to see you are based in Perth as I am only across the ditch in NZ.

    1. Experimenting with the Uniblend has been really interesting. There are just so many different ways to lay out the fibre with a variety of results. I like to use it for one direction only or as the second layer on top of a plain colour or gauze. This way you see the contrast and wiggly nature of the viscose once felted . 2 layers laid in opposing directions produces a ‘heathered’ effect.

  21. I love your fibres and the Uniblends in particular! It is so soft and feels almost decadent 😁 I am a lucky Aussie customer living on the Sunshine Coast.

  22. I’m in the UK and loving the idea of these beautiful blended fibres! I normally use Viscose as a surface decoration with 19micron DHG Merino but to discover it can be bought ready blended is fabulous. If I am lucky enough to win the bundle I would divide it’s use between making lightweight cobweb scarves and coordinating jewellery…..fingers crossed!!

  23. I would love to win the fibres or really anything.
    Yitf fibres are spectacular…such deep saturated colours.
    The Felting tool looks so good.
    Thank you

  24. I would love to win the fibres or really anything. I am located in Kemptville Ontario Canada.
    Your fibres are spectacular…such deep saturated colours.
    The Felting tool looks so good.
    Thank you

  25. I love Sara’s fibres. I am about to launch into the world of small group workshops and her merino fibre bundles are so beautiful as part of the take home kits. Sara’s uniblend pink /red/orange gives my wet felted vessels depth of colours and texture and sheen. I live in NSW Australia so her delivery times are always very quick.

  26. I’d love to win this as I’ve just started wet felting and am experimenting with various techniques. An enjoyable craft to explore during wet autumn days in the Blue Mountains.

  27. This post is such a coincidence….4 days ago I came across your work via Felt West, which lead me to research Unicorn Fibres & more of your work….stunning. I have even pinned some of your work to a section with your name, pieces that are sparking further ideas in my head.
    You must be like a child in a sweetie shop with all your rainbow of luscious fibres.

    I’ve currently got a cloud layer of viscose on my sculpture project all wetted out, but have never used blended fibres….that would be a dream experience….so ‘yes’ please add me (based in the middle of the U.K.) to your list of hopeful recipients. What would I do with it? I would likely take up your suggestion of having it close, something to not just look at but also to feel and be enveloped by.

    Thank you for all your insight above, including the info about the glue. Now I know I’m not alone in having to re-stick the glass nuggets I will bring my DIY tool back into circulation 🤪

    1. Yes, I am like a child in a sweetie shop and love working with colour every day. A 3 year old relative refers to my orders area as my ‘Rainbow Room’. She is still working out how many shades of blue there are……

  28. Wonderful to find this beautiful post in my mail on a Monday morning.
    I live in Hermanus, South Africa with very few felters around and any special fibres needs to be inported. 🤮
    Brilliantly colorful fibres will definitely inspire me to make a “keep forever” scarf or poncho.

    1. I do sympathise. I send many orders to rural communities and far flung places, so it is nice to know that felting and spinning is alive and well, despite the isolation and difficulty in sourcing materials locally.

  29. Your uniblend looks lovely and I would use it in nuno felted scarves and wraps. I am in Canada.

  30. Hi, Sara! Nice to meet you. Your uniblend sounds fantastic! I’d try my hand at nuno felting with it (I mostly only do needle felting)… Those blues in that photo are mesmerising!
    I’m based in Scotland 🙂

  31. I love your uniblends! I need to try felting with them at some point, but I’ve been so taken with them for spinning (and knitting – the resulting yarn makes divine scarves) that I haven’t tried anything else yet. I’m an Aussie 🙂

    1. Thank you Laura – I am not a spinner, despite an old Ashford wheel gifted to me, sitting very forlornly in a corner at the moment – so good to hear from someone who knows what they are doing!

  32. Thank you for sharing this Sara! i have been trying to find inspiration for my last two Mer’s (Mrs. and Ms. Mer) the silkiness looks amazing. i am in Canada, just a bit north of Ann. its still hard to get inspired here our snow is melting and looking mucky but its still too cold to think about spring and gardens. it is lovely to see all the bright colour!

  33. Great blog post Sara, you have a fantastic range of products! Your blends are to die for, and that hand dyed silk is stunning! I would love to use them on some Nuno felted scarves, perfect for our Canadian winters! Wish I could visit Australia and your shop!

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