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So here's a crazy idea....

Posted: 6th July 2023
Author: Catherine Wright

First of all, to you spinners out there are you loving the Tour de Fleece? I feel like my spinning has taken a back seat recently to my weaving and I’ve loved sitting each day, during the highlights and spinning away. How are you getting on?

That time also allows extra thought to swish around my head (because to be honest, I’m not always paying 100% attention to those lycra clad skinnies!)

The thoughts went like this:

1) Why don’t I do something myself with all the waste fibre we have after Beginner’s Spinning workshops? Often we give it away, some crafters use it for stuffing, others for feltmaking. Sometimes it does just stay in a bag and ends up composted.

2) Tour de Fleece will be coming up, why not use the waste fibre and spin that on race days, have my Tour de Fleece as a no waste project.

3) What could woven wool be used for other than scarves and wraps and rugs? We’d used the leno curtain from on our weaving workshops to inspire people - don’t you think the leno technique can be a bit lost on it’s own but as a repeat so effective?

Leno Lace on rigid heddle Lazykate Textiles

4) So here's a crazy idea - a curtain. But where do I need a curtain? We live on a boat, all our curtains are small? How about a shower curtain? for years I’ve waxed lyrical about the amazing properties of wool including the fact that it’s water resistant (not waterproof though) If I spun the thread fine enough so that the fabric was light even though the weave was closely packed so that the water wouldn’t get through……would that work?


Would the fabric go mouldy quickly?

Is wool really water resistant enough? Or do we just repeat what we heard someone else say? Is it time for wool to put it’s money where it’s mouth is?

Even if the fabric was light, once the curtain was wet would it become so heavy that it distorted the fabric?

Would it smell very sheepy?

So the only way to answer these questions as far as I can see is to experiment and see whether a wool shower curtain would work. Unless one of you has experience of this and if you do I’d love you to pass it on. And also, just your thoughts - maybe the fabric could be coated with something afterwards that would waterproof it? If so, would that be an environmentally friendly process?

I’ll be posting my progress as I spin but as I’m aiming for around 48wpi for my singles it’s quite slow. So there may be other things in between

And those of you who know me well know I can be a bit of a fibberty jibbid mentally so I’m hoping this will keep me accountable and focused.

More to follow….suggestions and advice gratefully received

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Teaching spinning and weaving workshops and Kromski looms, proudly based in Liverpool, UK
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