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An interesting felt sample

An interesting felt sample

I’ve been running a felt study group and I wanted to share one of the more interesting samples I did in the group.  I had some white welsh mountain sheep wool. I have no idea where I got it it was raw and I have had it for years because I didn’t know what to do with it.

By Vertigogen – woolly sheep, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4875408

This is the description from Wikipedia with them giving credit to Morris, Jan (2014). Wales: Epic Views of a Small Country. Penguin Books Limited. pp. 53–57. ISBN 978-0-241-97024-9.

The Welsh Mountain sheep is usually white with a white face with no wool on forehead or cheeks and white legs with no wool below the joint. Females are polled but rams usually have curved horns, although some are polled. The fleece is thick and moderately long and the tails are not normally docked.

Breeders give a high priority to hardiness, milking ability, mothering quality and lamb survival. (Lambing percentage can be 130%, which rises to 180% under favourable conditions on improved pastures.[2]) It was not always thus; the 18th-century English agriculturist Arthur Young described the Welsh Mountain sheep as “the most despicable of all types” and a judge at an agricultural show in the 1880s described it as “a diminutive ill-shapen animal with its shaggy coat more reminiscent of hair than of wool”

I had a shoebox sized amount. As you can see not the nicest looking stuff, a bit like a horse’s mane.

I washed it in a laundry bag with some dish soap.

It took 2 washes but it came out a lovely white, white horse but white.

The locks average about 10 inches long.

 

I weighed out 25 grams and divided it into 4 and carded it into little batts. Each batt would be one layer of the sample.

The samples were all laid out 10×10 inches for easy calculation of shrinkage. At this point, I was skeptical that it would felt at all, it is so much like stong, straight hair

The piece was rubbed and rolled to felt and then rolled on a textured mat and scrunched for the fulling. Throwing doesn’t work well with such a small piece.

Much to my surprise, this is the final result. It’s a bit wonky but that’s down to my hand carding

It’s about 40% shrinkage and it is rock solid.  The most I got of any of my samples. It is rock solid. I tried to felt it more but it wouldn’t budge.  All the samples were made with 25grams of wool. It makes me wonder about people that say they get 50% shrinkage on their felt protects. Are they measuring differently or are they using very thin layouts?  I could see this felting more if I used half the amount of wool. so if I made a sample 20inches by 20 inches with the same wool I would get a higher shrinkage rate. What do you think?

Some more interesting samples

Some more interesting samples

This week I made some more samples. The first is a sample of California red that my friend Bo gave me to try. the wool is an oatmeal colour with red hairs in it. There is only a small amount she had combed.

It felted quickly and well. It is fairly firm. I don’t like the hairs init. I am sure they will shed out. They are not held in the felt very well at all and slide out without and force. it might be good for backing a fake sheepskin.

Finished wet:

Finished Dry

The next one I did was some wool I just got from Lithuania. Jan and I ordered some wool while there was free shipping. Jan will show you the unboxing in her next post.

This sample I am very happy with. It felted quickly and very firmly with no stretch. Usually, when a piece of felt is still wet you can stretch it this way or that to square it up. This one had very little give, perfect for some boots or some baskets.

Finished Dry. I think it would have been smoother if I hadn’t given it a really good scrunching.

The last sample was a new sample for my guild poker challenge. I used a much denser fabric. Even though is heavier it is still an open weave, and slightly wrinkled. On the front, I put some of the same cotton, scrunched up, then some sparkly nylon, silk and at the bottom some viscose.

This is what it looks like dry. There was lots of migration so everything was well stuck. I will leave these one big so you can see them well without having to click on them.

I think this cotton is just what I want. The next job will be to dye some of it for my project. It will fit right in with the 3rd quarter challenge. I am going to keep what I am making a secret for now.  😉

 

 

 

 

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