wool journey

The Wool Journey part 6: quality begins ... again!

Sue Blacker's picture
5 January, 2018 - 14:26 | Sue Blacker

Having described how the quality of wool is critically affected by the health and type of the sheep, it all begins again immediately after shearing!  It is a real shame and can ruin the results if the next steps are not followed as soon as practical.

This crucial next stage starts the transformation of the raw material, bringing together the vital producer quality and aspirations with the capability and expertise of the processor in exploiting the potential of the fibre.

The Wool Journey Part 4: Wool Attributes Amongst Breeds, Natural Colour and Health

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
23 August, 2017 - 14:00 | Sonja Bargielowska

Here we look at three important aspects of fleece and fibre: consistency/style, colour and animal health.

Consistency varies considerably between different breeds, within the breed and across the animal. We can have Gotland sheep, all of which have lustre longwool, with wide variations of thickness and crimp between different animals and a range of these across the body of an individual.

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Images courtesy of The Fibre of my Being and Wovember

The Linen Journey

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
19 July, 2017 - 14:00 | Sonja Bargielowska

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Lyonesse DK in Serpentine, Citrine and Aquamarine

We use linen in our Lyonesse yarn range – it adds great drape, crispness and strength to a yarn, but have you ever wondered how linen comes into being?

Linen comes from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimumi), which is one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history – currently thought to have been used for the past 9,000 years!  Growing annually, flax is ready to harvest around one hundred days after planting, sprouting up to three feet tall. The pale blue flowers are visible for one day only, causing a flourish in May/June. The variety used for fibre production is taller, making longer fibres for yarn production.

The Wool Journey Part 3: wool attributes – length, crimp and lustre

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
12 July, 2017 - 16:43 | Sonja Bargielowska

Length is less relevant to the processor than to the breeder!  After all, the breeder will be expecting to show animals in full fleece in all their glory, while the processor has to sort out the fibres and put them through machines.  So the processor can rely on some fibres breaking as they are processed and also may chop up some fibre to make it more usable, particularly if it is thick and strong.  A hand-spinner might wish to spin individual long locks together and craft workers may use individual locks as part of a design (e.g. wedding dress).

A lovely example of the use of Lincoln Longwool locks in the skirt and felt in the bodice is Louise Fairburn’s wedding dress which caused quite a stir of publicity in 2009, even reaching the Daily Mail!

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