Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring is here. 

Three months have past since my last update, and we have been moving forward in several directions.
We are welcoming an intern this Summer, to update and expand our research into local and regional textile resources. He will be investigating the capacities of everything, from mills and assembly facilities, to sheep and alpaca farms. 

The yarn we chose to buy is half New England alpaca, and half U.S. sourced sheep. We got several colors, all naturally occuring tones. 
It turned out that using yarn already made, at a Vermont processing mill, was more economical than sending our own fiber in, at present. We’re holding on to the Vermont alpaca and sheep donations for a later date. 

We sent some of the yarn to an expert weaver in Southern VT...

We chose a traditional herringbone pattern for this first fabric, using colors to emulate a turkey feather. All knots will need to be untied and the ends re-worked into the fabric. The dark stripe down the center is to help facilitate the cutting of 18" squares later, for testing.

We have the first woven goods back from the loom! Thank you, Lee, for weaving our first three yards of "greige goods". 

Greige Goods: Cloth off the loom, when untreated, un-dyed and unfinished. Pronounced like "gray", from French, and means "raw". 

Local Plant Dyes. 
We gave some of the cream colored yarn to Jennifer, in Central VT  She, and her husband, have a farm specializing in medicinal and dye plants.  Madder root takes three years to mature, and is one of the worlds oldest red dye materials. It will be the source for the color of our red yarn. 

         Here is the yarn! Thank you, Jennifer!

The next step will be to have eight more yards woven, with a different weave pattern, and to begin the testing of various finishing processes.