Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Drying wool

Expand Messages
  • Samantha Smith
    Of course you are all quite right; fulling is the word I intended to use. My apologies: I m still rather new to abusing (ha!) textiles and I ve never really
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 3, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Of course you are all quite right; fulling is the word I intended to use. My
      apologies: I'm still rather new to abusing (ha!) textiles and I've never
      really worked with wool in fabric form before. I was uncertain about
      laundering and drying the wool as I know what happens when I felt something
      I've knitted.

      > Is there nowhere on or in your living space that you can close off
      > from the animals? *Must* the dogs' curiosity be indulged? Some human
      > in the household is supposed to be the Alpha for that pack, y'know.
      > Can you beg or borrow several folding tables of the same, or very
      > nearly the same, height, onto which you could spread your wool to dry?
      > What about saw-horses and some planks? (I'd expect you'll have to
      > give these back to the woodworker whose shop they're from. They get
      > possessive of wood.) Or several of those folding dryer racks? Can
      > you rig a temporary clothes line in the backyard? Have you a large
      > front or back porch?

      In order:

      I can more or less close off the dining room from critterly depredations.
      The garage, too, is possible, as is the sewing room, but uninterrupted
      horizontal surfaces in both places are at something of a premium.

      I can put out a few tables; that's true, I hadn't thought of that! I have
      about 15 linear feet or so of table that could be put together like that,
      not including a dining table of approximately 8 feet in length. I might be
      able to clear off the sawhorses in the garage to use for a few hours. The
      front porch is tiny but the back porch is reasonably vast... and currently
      covered in black walnut hulls. Considering the wool is black, though, that
      might not be such a bad thing. ;-)

      Roughly how much shrinkage might I expect (I realize this is a terribly
      inexact question, I'm just asking in general) from fulling wool suiting?

      Sophie


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • borderlands15213
      ... use. My ... something ... Think of the classic French berets: they are knitted far and away oversized, then shrunk and fulled and invariably and inevitably
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 3, 2008
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, "Samantha Smith" <sasmith0@...> wrote:
        >
        > Of course you are all quite right; fulling is the word I intended to
        use. My
        > apologies: I'm still rather new to abusing (ha!) textiles and I've never
        > really worked with wool in fabric form before. I was uncertain about
        > laundering and drying the wool as I know what happens when I felt
        something
        > I've knitted.

        Think of the classic French berets: they are knitted far and away
        oversized, then shrunk and fulled and invariably and inevitably
        somewhat felted as they are brought to their finished sizes.
        Same is sort of true of boiled wool, which is intentionally shrunk to
        make the fabric quite dense, and a bit more water repellent.

        <<<snippage>>>>
        >
        > Roughly how much shrinkage might I expect (I realize this is a terribly
        > inexact question, I'm just asking in general) from fulling wool suiting?

        Your wool was fulled before it hit the market; it's part of the
        finishing process.
        Today, one of the methods of fulling wool---thinking of Harris tweed,
        here, produced on the Scottish island of that name---is to wet the
        length of fabric in soapy water. It's then distributed between a
        double line of [usually] women, who still sing or chant "wauking"
        songs to establish the rhythm and tempo of the work. A lady grabs a
        fistful of wet, soapy tweed and thrusts it at the woman across from
        her, who grabs it, and then thrusts it back from whence it came.

        In the past, wool was "fulled" by brushing or combing the surface with
        the spiny heads of "fuller's teazles," which in the autumn look like
        armies of bottle brushes standing along the waste areas of highways
        and byways. (Some people mistake them for thistles, but after their
        bloom season thistles "blast" or shrivel and disappear.) The plant
        was brought to North America by the English (for sure; possibly others
        immigrant groups, too), and it was intentionally planted close to the
        woolen mills in New England. Then the plant took matters into its
        own...ah...whatever plants use for hands and brains, and has spread
        itself very successfully.

        It is a very general question, and the answer will depend on the breed
        of sheep (the coats vary), and on how that wool was handled from
        shearing to weaving, as well as what specific treatments it has
        received. Some fabric is chemically treated to resist shrinking. And
        another factor is what *you* do to it, and, to an extent, how much you
        do of whatever you do.
        The fulling process isn't supposed to *shrink* wool. Some shrinkage
        is almost bound to occur, but I think you'll have to test a bit to
        find out how much.

        Yseult the Gentle
      • Dianne & Greg Stucki
        ... If you don t plan to ever, ever wash this garment, I would go ahead and get the fabric dry-cleaned. Always pre-treat the fabric the way you intend to treat
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 3, 2008
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          At 02:08 PM 1/3/2008, you wrote:
          >Will shrinkage be a major problem with a coat I intend to only dry-clean?
          >Should I just go ahead and felt this wool? If I do, how much warmer is it
          >going to make the garment?


          If you don't plan to ever, ever wash this garment, I would go ahead
          and get the fabric dry-cleaned.

          Always pre-treat the fabric the way you intend to treat the finished garment.

          Laurensa
        • Dianne & Greg Stucki
          ... Black walnut hulls make a lovely dye, you know.... Laurensa
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 3, 2008
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            At 05:03 PM 1/3/2008, you wrote:
            >The
            >front porch is tiny but the back porch is reasonably vast... and currently
            >covered in black walnut hulls.


            Black walnut hulls make a lovely dye, you know....

            Laurensa
          • Joane Silvertoppe
            Hello Sophie, That depends on exactly the wool suiting fabric you are using. I ve found it varies from very little (maybe an 1/8 ) to about an inch or so (per
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 3, 2008
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Hello Sophie,

              That depends on exactly the wool suiting fabric you are using. I've
              found it varies from very little (maybe an 1/8") to about an inch or
              so (per yard). The only way for you to find out, is to make a test
              sample as someone else has already suggested.

              For me, I usually abuse my wool yardage by washing it in a washer
              (warm water the first time; cold water thereafter), and tossing it
              into the dryer (low to medium heat) before I make it into a garment.
              But I test a sample first to make sure it will handle the heat. Some
              wools full more than I want on the sample, so those I steam or London
              press first, and dry clean later as needed. I've only dealt with one
              fabric that required that, a wool crepe, and I would rather just not
              use that kind of wool anymore. Gabardines tend to be as fulled as it
              will get, so it seems to deal fine with a washer/dryer combo.
              Flannels I will find out soon how well that will hold up to my abuse.

              And for me, I only wash a garment if needed once a year. I otherwise
              allow the garment to air out before hanging it up in my closet, with
              maybe a spritz of vodka/water mix to help with any smells. I can't
              stand the smell of the dry cleaning chemical, so I prefer to not go
              that way if possible.

              hth,

              Joane

              On Jan 3, 2008, at 2:03 PM, Samantha Smith wrote:

              > Roughly how much shrinkage might I expect (I realize this is a
              > terribly
              > inexact question, I'm just asking in general) from fulling wool
              > suiting?
              >
              > Sophie



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Samantha Smith
              Just as an update: Curiously enough, the wool seems to have reacted quite minimally to being washed and dried. I used the handwash/wool setting on my washer
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 4, 2008
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Just as an update:

                Curiously enough, the wool seems to have reacted quite minimally to being
                washed and dried. I used the handwash/wool setting on my washer and the
                gentle, low-heat dry setting on my dryer. The material seems still to be
                quite light, its texture changing not at all except at the very edges where
                it seems to be almost felted. I did a burn-test of the fabric just to be
                sure (it was listed as 100% wool at JoAnn's, but... well, I don't really
                trust them) and the edges fluttered into flame but died almost instantly.
                The ash was easy to crumble in the fingers and the odor was rather like
                burnt hair.

                I presume I DO have wool, therefore, even if it is weird. Perhaps it was
                treated heavily before I got it?

                Sophie


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • borderlands15213
                ... ... like ... was ... That burnt hair smell would probably clinch it for me, but if you want to do another test for fiber content, a number of
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 4, 2008
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, "Samantha Smith" <sasmith0@...> wrote:
                  <<,snipped>>>
                  > The ash was easy to crumble in the fingers and the odor was rather
                  like
                  > burnt hair.
                  >
                  > I presume I DO have wool, therefore, even if it is weird. Perhaps it
                  was
                  > treated heavily before I got it?

                  That burnt hair smell would probably clinch it for me, but if you want
                  to do another test for fiber content, a number of gentles on this list
                  swear by the bleach test.
                  Put a smallish swatch into a glass jar with a screw-on lid with
                  sufficient household chlorine bleach to cover the fabric, and leave it
                  to do its thing for at least twenty-four hours.
                  Chlorine bleach is deathly hard on protein fibers. If your fabric is
                  one-hundred percent wool, it should dissolve into nothing-ness.

                  Yseult the Gentle
                • Karen
                  Black walnut hulls make a lovely dye, you know.... Laurensa Oh yes, an excellent, fast dye! Just PLEASE, for picking up the hulls and handling them in any
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 4, 2008
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Black walnut hulls make a lovely dye, you know....

                    Laurensa



                    Oh yes, an excellent, fast dye! Just PLEASE, for picking up the hulls
                    and handling them in any other way, WEAR RUBBER GLOVES. Trust me, this
                    is important. :)

                    Ceridwen ferch Grufydd (aka Ceridwen of the brown hand)






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Ken Nye
                    ... clean? ... is it ... A process that seems to be ignored by home sewers nowdays, but that is still used in the professional tailoring trade is called
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 5, 2008
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, "Samantha Smith" <sasmith0@...> wrote:
                      > Will shrinkage be a major problem with a coat I intend to only dry-
                      clean?
                      > Should I just go ahead and felt this wool? If I do, how much warmer
                      is it
                      > going to make the garment?
                      > Thanks awfully,
                      > Sophie

                      A process that seems to be ignored by home sewers nowdays, but that is
                      still used in the professional tailoring trade is called "sponging".
                      When fabric is prepared for sale, it is stretched, steamed and pressed
                      to make it smooth and attractive, but if the stretching was a bit
                      excessive, the fabric *might* relax a bit when it hits excess humidity
                      or actual dampness from steam or rain. Sponging is a sort of
                      controlled shrinkage done by dampening the fabric slightly, letting it
                      relax for 24 hours and then pressing it again without stretching it.
                      When all the different materials used in a tailored garment are treated
                      the same way, there are no unpleasant suprises when an item comes back
                      from being steam-pressed at the dry-cleaners or gets caught in the
                      rain. Usually, the fabric is rolled with a piece of cotton sheeting
                      wrung out in cold water and placed in a plastic bag overnight. Then it
                      is pressed dry with an iron of the correct temperature for the fabric,
                      and using a press cloth if there is danger of making shiny marks.

                      Ken.
                    • Joane Silvertoppe
                      Ken, That s an interesting term for it... sponging. The term I ve heard for this method is London shrink in a few of my tailoring books. I am trying to get a
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 9, 2008
                      View Source
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Ken,

                        That's an interesting term for it... sponging. The term I've heard
                        for this method is "London shrink" in a few of my tailoring books. I
                        am trying to get a large enough work surface to do this with for
                        future use, since one of my books stated that the wool needs to be
                        pressed and not moved until it is dry. My little common ironing board
                        is not big enough on its own.

                        Joane


                        On Jan 5, 2008, at 7:45 AM, Ken Nye wrote:

                        > A process that seems to be ignored by home sewers nowdays, but that is
                        > still used in the professional tailoring trade is called "sponging".



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Labhaoise O'Beachain
                        When I worked for an interior decorator, we had a table made of several sheets of 3/4 plywood, with the last section, padded and covered in muslin just for
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 9, 2008
                        View Source
                        • 0 Attachment
                          When I worked for an interior decorator, we had a table made of
                          several sheets of 3/4" plywood, with the last section, padded and
                          covered in muslin just for laying things out and ironing.
                          I've been trying to figure a way to have such a table(smaller
                          version) in my own home...
                          Labhaoise

                          Joane Silvertoppe <jsilvertoppe@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Ken,
                          >
                          > That's an interesting term for it... sponging. The term I've heard
                          > for this method is "London shrink" in a few of my tailoring books.
                          I
                          > am trying to get a large enough work surface to do this with for
                          > future use, since one of my books stated that the wool needs to be
                          > pressed and not moved until it is dry. My little common ironing
                          board
                          > is not big enough on its own.
                          >
                          > Joane
                        • Ken Nye
                          ... I think London Shrunk is a trade term for a sponging process that is done for you before you get the fabric. It s not quite the same as sponging at
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 11, 2008
                          View Source
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, Joane Silvertoppe <jsilvertoppe@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Ken,
                            >
                            > That's an interesting term for it... sponging. The term I've heard
                            > for this method is "London shrink" in a few of my tailoring books.

                            I think "London Shrunk" is a trade term for a sponging process that is
                            done for you before you get the fabric. It's not quite the same as
                            sponging at home, but the result is *supposed* to be the same. I do
                            know people who get "London Shrunk" fabric, then sponge it themselves,
                            just to be sure... Of course, if you live in London, the home-made
                            version must count???

                            You don't have to press the whole piece before moving it, just let the
                            part that you have pressed finish steaming dry before shifting the
                            cloth on your ironing board. I have a piece of padded plywood I put on
                            top of mine so that I can do bigger things like cloth and table linens,
                            ect. instead of using the tapered ironing board shape.

                            K. 8-)
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.