This is probably going to be the least informative post I’ve ever done, but it has nice pics! A while ago, Cathy sent me some wool and fabric which she’d dyed with natural/plant dyes. I tend to be a little bit ‘messy’ and had misplaced them, but found them last weekend. I took them with me to the well-being centre and made a piece of felt with some English 56’s and lots of the wool and locks Cathy sent. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down what I used and left everything at the centre, so I will edit the post once I get the info! So, this is the finished piece with all the samples:
On a bit of an angle to see the textures more:
Closer along the surface to see the locks:
These grey locks looked really silvery:
This rose coloured wool had a nice rich colour:
I think this was Indigo dyed, I wish I’d used more of this:
I love the colour of these locks, I think they were Turmeric dyed:
How gorgeous are these, with the rich yellow and subtle orange, and gorgeous sheen?
I don’t think these locks had been dyed, I love ones like this, with small, tight crimp, they remind me of crinkle-cut chips!
I think these are the same as the Turmeric dyed ones, but natural:
Sorry, for the complete lack of info! But I hope you enjoyed the pics 🙂 One thing I can tell you is that none of the wools I used lost any colour.
I have heard the expression “dyed in the wool” many times but I thought I’d look it up. According to Wikipedia, the expression “dyed in the wool” refers to a state of steadfastness, especially with respect to one’s political, religious or social beliefs. The expression comes from the fact that fabric can be dyed in a number of ways. The woven fabric may be dyed after it is complete, or the threads may be dyed before they are woven. When a color is “dyed in the wool,” the wool itself is dyed before being spun into threads, so the color is least likely to fade or change.
So that’s exactly what I have been doing this week, dyeing wool for my upcoming felting class for high school students. The class is Saturday so I’ll write about that next week. I have at the least 30 students in three classes and perhaps a few more late sign ups. So I needed to make sure that I had enough wool for all of them to make a phone case. The phone case takes about 2 ounces of wool (56.7 grams).
The first thing I did was to separate out 8 ounce (226.8 grams) sections that would fit into my dye pots easily. I decided a total of 80 ounces would be enough as that would take care of 40 students. So I separated out 10 sections. The wool I am using is “Mixed 56’s” from RH Lindsay.
I put two pots of water on the stove and heated them up. I then added a ‘glug’ of vinegar from the jar and added 3 teaspoons of dye powder to each pot. I know that a ‘glug’ is not a scientific measurement but I added some vinegar and didn’t measure it. After stirring, I added the wool roving. It works best if you don’t wad up all the roving and shove it in the pot. Just start feeding one end of the roving into the dye bath and it sinks right in. Towards the end of this process, I used the dye spoon to get all the wool to sink into the dye bath. After that point, I don’t stir the wool at all.
Here’s a peek into one of the dye pots. I used blue, black and purples as the cell phone cases are to be “cosmic” and the main color will be the sky color. You can see the timer going on the stove. I steamed these for 20 minutes each.
After I steamed them, I pulled them from the pot with a spoon and rinsed gently and then spun them out in the washing machine. Here are all the colors hanging on the shower rod in the bathroom. Dennis came out of the bathroom later and said “I was attacked by wool snakes in the bathroom, there were thousands of them.”
I also dyed some silk noil. I shouldn’t have put it in the pot at the same time as it did get a bit stuck in places to the wool but since it will be used as an embellishment, I don’t think it will hurt to have some already in the wool.
This one is charcoal grey. I used the black exhaust bath to make this one. I just added more vinegar to the black dye bath after dyeing the black wool and added this wool to it.
This one is a very dark purple, almost black in places. I did not make a fresh dye bath for each batch, I just kept adding vinegar and dye to what I already had in the pot. I couldn’t reproduce these colors but that’s OK with me.
And this is the black one. I thought maybe if I had young men in the class, they wouldn’t want a purple cell phone case. So maybe they will think black and grey are more manly. Who knows?
These are in the red violet family. I thought these were more “girly” colors.
And then I made a set of blues from lighter to dark.
And the last one is blue violet. I am going to make up packets for each of the students with 2 ounces of background wool and then 5-6 pieces of a variety of colors for embellishing and making planets and “cosmic” stuff. I will also include small amounts of silk noil.
Here’s the entire pile of wool. I really like the range of colors. I hope the students will like them too.
I thought that some of you might like to see how big 8 ounces of wool is. That is my thumb in the bottom left of the photo. So on to making packets for the class and we’ll see how high school students do with 1 hour and 45 minutes to make a felted phone case. Hopefully, their teacher won’t lose it 🙂
We posted recently about expanding the felting and fibre community, wanting to meet the people who make it possible for us to make our fibre creations. Today we meet Amanda from Newmoor Barn.
Fibre 3, 2, 1 Q-3 Three types of fibre you can’t live without?
The Three fibres I can’t live without are Mohair, Zwartbles fleece and Shetland fleece Q-2 Two tools you use all the time?
The two tools I use all the time are a drum carder and spinning wheel Q-1 One fibre art technique you love the most?
Spinning Art Yarn
General Questions What is your business?
We supply ethical natural fibres to fibre artists and doll makers. Our mohair is produced by our own gorgeous herd of Angora Goats and we buy sheep fleece from local farmers and small holders paying a fair price. All of our fibre is processed by hand including, washing, dyeing and carding.
We also sell 100% Vegetarian mohair scarves and bags as well as felted wall hangings, bags and purses and a wide range of hand spun art yarns all of which I create myself. We are now increasing our range to include felting and knitting tools. We also run training and workshops in traditional crafts such as spinning and pottery.
What kind of items do you sell?
Wool tops and batts; loose fleece (Raw and washed); hand spun art yarn; felting and knitting tools; felting and knitting kits; scarves; bags; purses; wall hangings and natural doll hair.
We also sell hand painted gourd bird houses (grown in Devon) and natural goats milk soap.
What do you think makes your business different from similar ones?
Our business is an ethical business that focuses on animal welfare throughout the whole process (from growing to shearing). Our Mohair is vegetarian as our animals will never go to slaughter even when their fibre is no longer financially viable and they will never go into the food chain. The sheep’s fleece we buy is only bought from local small holders and farmers where we can be sure the animals are treated with care and respect. We treat the animals that supply our fibre as we do our customers, with respect. We are trying to encourage artists to consider where their fibre comes from and if it’s natural, to consider the treatment of the animal that supplied it, there are some horrible practices going on out there.
We try to give our customers and visitors to our site a wide range of natural fibres and good information on the fibres and hope we are approachable enough that if anyone has any questions they will contact us.
Where are you located?
We have a small farm on the borders of Devon and Cornwall in the Tamar Valley in the UK. Yep, it sounds idyllic but we do have the A30 fly over running across the bottom of our land.
Many thanks to Amanda for taking the time to answer our questions and for being the very first in ‘Meet the Supplier’ 🙂
There really is a great selection of wool and animal fibre at Newmoor Barn, I think I counted 10 different breeds available in raw or washed fleece as well as Alpaca, Llama and Mohair. The dyed wool is really interesting too, with breeds like British Grey Faced Dartmoor, Shetland, Badger Face Torddu and Cheviot X Welsh Mountain available in tops or batts and some gorgeous Devon & Cornwall Long Wool locks. It probably has the widest range of raw and dyed wool and animal fibres I’ve come across.
If you’d like to contribute to the Felting and Fiber Studio or would just like to contact us for any reason, we now have a ‘Contact Us‘ page up at the top.