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Friday, 25 October 2013

Dying Wensleydale Fleece

I have been asked what is the difference between Wensleydale fleece and Wensleydale locks.
  Last night I dyed two different bits of fleece,  two different pots and then today I rinsed them and put them out in the sun,  which was rather short lived,  to dry.   The top photo is one of the pots with the dye dissolving before adding the fleece.  After dying this water was totally clear as all the dye was taken up by the fleece.  The other two photos are the fleece drying in the sun.   When this has dried (it is now back in my house) I will  gently pull the individual locks apart and so get Wensleydale locks.  The finer locks that are tight right up to the ends are suitable to use to make doll's wigs and others with slightly fluffy ends are the best for spinning as the attach to each other as you spin them in.   Other bits I will probably flick card and blend with other fibers on my drum carder.  Each fleece is different and it is not until it is washed that I can really tell what I will use it for.   There is a fair amount of waste at this stage as some of the fleece will tangle up and be unusable and some is still too dirty to use.  I may be able to card that dirt out.  Once the fiber is prepared it is almost totally clean

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