For those just coming to spinning wool from the world of just buying finished dyed yarn from stores, like me, there is much to learn.
The first major lesson from being a member of the Spinning Study group of Local Cloth is that wool is not just wool. (And, wool is not the end of the story; there is fiber to spin from from alpaca, angora rabbits, angora goats, and cashmere goats). Fiber from sheep wool is composed of protein from the keratin family of proteins as is human hair. The structure of the skin epidermis and the hair follicle control the growth of wool fiber as well as its properties (see this article). A great summary of wool structure is found in this article.
Wool and other fibers come from particular breeds of animals and have characteristics that can be described (article). You can find articles like this one that describe the development of quantitative measurements of wool characteristics. Local Cloth's Spinning Study group gets reports on the micron count, crimp, softness, and other characteristics of each sample from Echoview Fiber Mill, which uses an OFDA machine.
Here is a summary of the fibers that our group have sampled and spun from September 20, 2020 to January 26, 2021. Many have been donated and are from the stash of Judi Jetson. If any of you spinners in our group can clarify any of these entries, email me please with corrections and/or additions. I would like to add our observations as well. I have pictures of most if not all, but send me your photos too!
Here is a link to a Word doc with the most recent spinning label card. Here is the pdf version link.
Sept 21, 2020
Alpaca, Last Penny Farm
Mohair, Good Fibrations
Montadale, Windy Wool Windings
Shetland, a farm in Henderson County
Oct 20, 2020
Blue Ridge Mountains Blend #1, Local Cloth
- 30% Montadale, 25% Shetland, 25% Alpaca, 20% Mohair
Blue Ridge Fine #1, Local Cloth
- 60% Montadale, 40% Alpaca
Jacob, Hobbyknob Farm
Lincoln, Hobbyknob Farm
Nov 20, 2020
Romeldale, CVM Windy Wool Windings
Tunis, Wellspring Farm, Yancey Co, NC
3/4 Blue Faced Leicester x 1/4 Leicester Longwool (first shear), Love Handle Farm, Alexander, NC
3/4 Cormo x 1/4 Corriedale, Martha Owen Woolens
Dec 28, 2020
Dorset, Brian Grimm, Blackberry Ridge, Southwest VA
Icelandic, Katie Gaddy, Hidaway Farm
Cormo top, Sebette Hamil, Leicester, NC
Romney, Barnardsville 2019
Jan 26, 2021
Teeswater, Dry Creek Naturals, Taylorsville, GA
Llama, Peace of Eden Farm, Madison, NC
Merino, Khakalaki Farm, Trenton, SC
Black Shetland, Sourwood Fiber Farm, Scott Spell, Fletcher, NC