Thursday, January 15, 2009

My fibre stash

Here's a peek at my raw fleece storage area (well part of it anyway).
I try to get the fleeces washed and at least carded within a year so that I won't attract moths and other wee pests.
The raw fibre goes into labelled paper bags with the weight of each sorted fleece. I only store useable fibre so the fleece gets sorted carefully before being bagged.
I have my triple picker in this shed also. The secret to getting the fibre well picked ready for carding is to take time adjusting the cradle space so the tines pick apart easily and effortlessly. Oh and not pushing too much fibre through at a time.On the dye front I'm experimenting with soaking natural plant materials in alcohol (cheap vodka) to remove the colour. I'm really impressed with how much colour is leeching out of the plant stuff. Here are jars containing (l to r) brazilwood, flax flower pods and annatto seeds.
Also planned is eucalyptus. I want to extract colour as intensely as I can so that I dye with measured amounts of colour for more control on my yarns. The flax leeched a lot of colour in the first five minutes of soaking but I've heard it is a very strong dye stuff.
And a skein of mohair and merino fresh from the indigo vat.

2 comments:

Jody said...

Wow I sure wish I had all of your storage room and great equipment! Beautiful work! (and your weather too BTW it's -25C here)

Doe said...

I am very lucky, this house had what kiwi's call "a sleep out", a little wooden lined shed just perfect for all my fibre. I don't have any plans for sleeping out with the fibre though.
The picker came from Canada 18 months ago and after 20 years of preparing raw fleece by hand picking it save a lot of time.