Karakul Wool + Angora Mohair = ???

No, this is not a new cross-breed! It is a story of blending wool and mohair to make felt. For those of you, like myself a few years ago, do not know the different types of fiber that can go into felt here is a short breakdown.

Wool comes from sheep. Mohair comes from Angora Goats. We usually call what we get from llamas and alpacas “Fiber” (not a part of this story). And then there are Angora Rabbits who produce – angora! Also not a part of this story.

Julie, a friend of mine with Karakul Sheep and Angora Goats (and, incidentally, Angora Rabbits!) asked me if I could make her some felt panels for her exhibitor area at the California State Fair which was last week for sheep and goats. Julie and I got together with her fiber – natural and dyed – and discussed design plans. It was a true collaboration.

I had not blended wool and mohair on the carder before so wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. We decided on three panels that would have a base of natural colored wool and mohair – cream/white. Then an ombre look for two panels which would have an edge of mohair only (black), a blend of mohair and wool in middle and all wool at other edge.

Here is the wool and mohair on the carder belt.

karakul and mohair on belt

Here is a partially felted ombre panel. The challenge here is that the mohair alone is really heavier than the wool and kept dropping off the back of the carder and didn’t want to go onto the drum! With a little work, I got it to wind on.

ombre

Julie dyed both Karakul and mohair locks so we planned out how to use these but then Julie said just to use my own judgement. Perfect collaboration! I sorted both sets by color to get an idea of what I had to work with.

sorted karakul

Dyed Karakul

 

Dyed Mohair

Dyed Mohair

For one panel, I laid out stripes of Karakul color on one side of panel and added Mohair color to the other surface area.

three stripe on table

And the finished panel.

three stripe at studio

And one of the finished ombres.

mohair with blue at studio

At the fair, Julie came up with a very creative way to use the panels.

horizontal at fair

double helix at fair

other vertical panels at fair

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the help of the sheep and goats! Here are a couple of Julie’s Karakuls at the fair. Sorry, no goat photos.

karakuls at fair

And, as always, at home I appreciate the wool our Karakuls give us. It is very hot here right now so could only get good photos of Quentin but isn’t he beautiful?!

quentin eating

quentin by gate

And no goats (or goat photos) here either! They are smarter than I am so sticking to sheep!

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Published in: on July 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your creative felting project. I do love reading about keeping sheep and utilizing their fiber. Your project highlighted here seems to me to be super ambitious! My first felting foray was needle felting dryer balls for myself and as gifts. I enjoyed it.

  2. [J+D] It’s lovely to see the story of this project, and such a lovely outcome. We are however puzzled as to what an ‘ombre’ is in this context (we guess it is derived from spanish hombre – but beyond that we can’t guess at all!).

    • Ombre has been a popular term lately or for awhile to describe in cloth when one color fades into another. It must go light to dark (or dark to light). I don’t know if there are any rules about shades but they seem to be in the same color family for the effect. I learned the term watching a lot of seasons of Project Runway! There should be one of those little slash signs above, I think, the “e’ but my computer is not doing it!


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