• Longwool Fleece & Fibre

    Posted on 23rd February 2014 by Shelley in Spinning Weaving Fibre.

    Leicester Longwool Sheep

    Longwool Fleece & Fibre

    This is the first of the Longwool’s that I’ve had the pleasure of processing the fleece (Fibre/Fiber) myself (by that I mean a Leicester, Lincoln, Devon or Cornwall ).  I’ve processed a Wensleydale and a Teeswater/Hebridean fleece before, and it’s never easy with all those ringlets.          

    Lilac Longwool On The Drumcarder

    Lilac Longwool On The Drumcarder

     

    I thought I would dye this one into a few different colours, and drop some Mohair into each dye pot along with the wool to make a bag and maybe a few purses for my new collection.  It dyed beautifully and has a lovely sheen to it.   Originally I planned to comb it all and add some Mohair to it that way, as the backpack I made from Gotland/Mohair (you can find this in my Bag Gallery) turned out lovely and fuzzy.  

     

     

    Leicester Locks Cut Into Two

    Leicester Locks Cut Into Two

     

    The locks in this fleece were coming out about 14” long.  So I decided that I would cut them into two lengths, one of about 6” and one about 8” in average and then try carding it.  Normally a lot of what we card would be spun woollen, as carding traps the air and makes a puffier yarn, were as combing makes it very smooth.  I thought I would try for a semi-worsted draw by feeding all the fibre’s through the drumcarder in the same direction (tips first).  I did the same when adding the Mohair and then put it through the carder for a second time.  I haven’t started to spin yet, but I’m on my last colour to go through the carder.  

     

    A selection Of The Dyed Batts

    A selection Of The Dyed Batts

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I wanted to share how interesting this fleece was, as in the difference of the crimps per inch (cpi).  You can tell straight away when you look at the photo, just how variable the crimp can be.  The bigger wavy locks are measuring about 3 cpi, while the smaller crinklier one is about 8 cpi.

     

    From The Same Fleece

    From The Same Fleece

    People don’t believe me when I tell them how different one fleece can be.  One Longwool fleece can be completely different from another in the same flock.  Sometimes it’s a big difference and another it’s smaller.  This is why I prefer to buy fleece rather than commercially combed tops, because you get such variety.  I just find it so exciting and really look forward to it.  

     

    I will keep you posted on the subject.

     

    Shelley

     

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