Dyeing handspun wool
With the sample of the meat breed sheep 🐑 complete, it’s time to think of expanding to a complete project.
I was happy with the way the skein turned out. There is always a soft spot in my heart for medium breeds. I’m not a girl that needs it all to be super soft; snow gloves, dog gloves, and functional winter socks are all important to me. And it’s so springy 🙂
Just one more thing was needed before I started my official project with the wool: a dye sample. How wools take up dyes is very important if you are wanting to a specific appearance or create a specific result. Not all fibers take up dye the same way, not even all sheep breeds. The way dyes “take up” or absorb dye is different from breed to breed. It has a lot to do with the smoothness and distance of the scales on the wool strands, and on the core of the hair shaft. To make my explanation short, smooth silky wools take up dye in a jewel tone. Coarser, crimpy wools that have thicker shafts and the scales lay relatively flat produce colors that are a bit ore pastel or chalky. You can get a deeper color but it takes more dye.
Not really knowing what this fiber was, I had to experiment to get the color I wanted. I used Jacquard Sky Blue, a beautiful color, and the fiber took up the dye readily. The result was a breathtaking color. I can’t wait to dye up the rest of this project.
The plan is create a hat for the growers as a sample, so for the next blog post I’ll talk about how to decide how much fiber you need for a project.
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