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Old 03-29-2012, 12:20 PM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Search for Undyed Fleece

I have posted an update about dyeing wool to my felting blogfor those interested. But I have aquestion, especially for those of you who sell fiber to us for ourfelting. As some of you know, I havebeen doing felted landscape paintings the past couple of years. The merino and other smooth wools are not thebest choice for creating textured foliage and shrubbery in a felted landscape. I get commercial fleece from Peace Fleece orHarrisville in lovely blended colors but I have seen it elsewhere called justplain "fleece." I have a lot of it in different colors but I seem tobe short on greens. So I decided to dye some from a bag of white fleece I gotfrom a woolen store going out of business a few years ago. I have been looking for more of it topurchase for dyeing and I wonder if any of you can help me find it? It is very rare, I think because it looks likea by-product of the wool industry and is considered poor quality for spinningor knitting. It looks like a mixture of short wools with chunky nepps andfluffyness that would not stay together for spinning. It is probably discarded.I would like to find some in bulk to purchase at a reasonable price. If anyoneknows what this is and where to get it, I would greatly appreciate it. I amrunning low and want to dye some more soon.

Linda Hall

www.fabricartbylinda.com

www.fabricartbylinda.blogspot.com

Author of “The ART of Machine Needle Felting” book and CD




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Old 03-29-2012, 07:07 PM
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DrDebby DrDebby is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

Linda, it looks like what you said, the stuff that isn't wanted for a spinning fleece. I met a woman who keeps sheep north of me several years ago. She sells the fleeces directly to spinners and crafters. You might give her a try and see if she has what you are looking for. Here's her website.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:04 PM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

Thank you so much for posting, I will check this out.

Linda

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Originally Posted by DrDebby
Linda, it looks like what you said, the stuff that isn't wanted for a spinning fleece. I met a woman who keeps sheep north of me several years ago. She sells the fleeces directly to spinners and crafters. You might give her a try and see if she has what you are looking for. Here's her website.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:38 PM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

Debby, thanks so much for posting this. What a great resource. I am just getting back into spindle spinning, and the thought of ordering fleece has been on my mind!

Linda, any luck with this source for what you are seeking?

EDITED: I assume you have also asked this question over at Ravelry, in one of the spinning / fleece marketplace groups? I don't know enough yet to discern if what I see listed is what you are looking for. But from your photo, I can see the the potential of the texture. I picked up some pretty nubby crimp ends at a local fiber event, so will look through my receipts to see if I can find the source.

Jen
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Last edited by rue d'oak : 04-02-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:21 AM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

I was out of town over the weekend and just started my search again yesterday. I have posted to every fiber group I know of and to several woolen mills. It is interesting that the woolen mills that have contacted me have said it looks like weak, low quality fleece that no one they know would sell. I do have a lead on one possibility and am waiting to see the sample they send. I will let you know when I have found what i am looking for.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:05 PM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

it is ironic that something the overall industry seems to discard is the thing of value to you! I wonder what happens to this grade of fleece - probably into commercial felting.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:15 AM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

I received this email from one of the woolen mills and thought I would share it with the list.

"I am sorry, but this is badly processed mini mill fiber and we would not be in business too long if our customers received anything like this from us. One man's trash, another man's treasure".

I thought it was funny that what I so desperately want to find is not created by the woolen mills because of it's ugliness. That is why I refuse to pay the same price for excellent fiber as for inferior fiber - but inferior is what I want.
I have ordered some from a company I saw at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last year and if it is what I think it is, I will be very happy. I will let you all know what happens. I have to admit this wool looks ugly in the same bin as the nice wool but nothing works better for texture and wool landscape paintings NEED texture to work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rue d'oak
it is ironic that something the overall industry seems to discard is the thing of value to you! I wonder what happens to this grade of fleece - probably into commercial felting.
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Author of “The ART of Machine Needle Felting” book and CD
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:00 PM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

That is a great note, Linda. I do sympathize with the companies and farms that want to maintain their standards!

I have this great reference book, The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius. (2011). Went looking through it for any suggestion of this lower grade wool, or more specifically how it fits into the overall process of animal to wool. Of course the authors focus on the quality end of wool .

I can only guess that finding wool with nepp (tangled knots of short, broken disarranged fibers) but also kemp (coarse, hollow fiber) and the fiber from an uneven, second pass of the shears would be ideal. What the spinner doesn't want, the felter might!

This book is also, BTW, good for identifying wools that felt, or better yet, do not felt well.

Seems that contact with processors of fleece, who clean and grade wool, might also be a route to go for finding wool with interesting texture possibilities.

Jen
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:01 AM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

I have that book and I just LOVE it. It was the only book I could find with pictures that talked about the different wool breeds and how they look, feel and behave. Like you said, no one would post pictures of inferior wool. I will be going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this month and will take a sample with me to some of the venders and see what they say. Again, I refuse to pay top dollar for this when it is a waste product, which I know some companies try to charge for "art fiber."
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Author of “The ART of Machine Needle Felting” book and CD
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:43 AM
Fabricart Fabricart is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

Thank you all for helping me find the felting fiber I was looking for. Just giving me names for it helped me to find it or describe it so I can find it in the future. Noils, not nepps is the right word for the little chunks. Below is a picture of some fleece that is perfect for felting foliage and texture in landscapes. It came from a company called, “Cestari” and it is called Merino Craft Wool. They only supply wholsale but I ordered some and am very happy with it. I hope this can help others in some way.

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Author of “The ART of Machine Needle Felting” book and CD
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:47 PM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Re: Search for Undyed Fleece

Yea! Noils, eh? Great that you found it, and I so agree that getting a good price for what is considered inferior for spinning etc is critical.

Speaking of wool fairs and festivals, I just discovered "Lamb Town" held in Dixon, central California close to our capital, Sacramento on the first weekend of October. I already have talked my husband into going! (Not that it was hard ). I will keep in mind this grade of wool when I go.

OK Linda, looking forward to seeing what you do with your fresh treasure trove.

Jen
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