Sunday, 17 February 2013

Llama and angora goats

I have been felting some Llama fibres that I was given. Some of them were white and the ones that I am using at present are a rich dark ginger colour. I am working on felted textiles based on the architecture of Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man. I have done a small piece of work as a trial. After felting the Llama fibres I cut away areas for the windows and hand stitched around them and added floral decoration. The felting was very easy and produced a very smooth, lustrous finish.
Today I tackled a very large felting, again with Llama fibres. It is about three feet long. I laid out the fibres in three layers and then hand stitched them between lace curtain fabric to hold them in place.
I then laid it out on the floor of the bath, turned on the shower and sprinkled a solution of olive oil soap over. I then threw it onto the floor of the bath 100 times. After that I took the felt out of the nets, checked on the level of felting, and threw it again another 100 times. I am now going to produce a larger version of the cathedral window and will put something like organzas behind the cut out areas to represent stained glass.
I went to see a lady this week who has started to breed Angora and Boer goats, the Boer is for meat and the Angora to produce Mohair. I bought an Angora fleece and am looking forward to using my natural dyes on it. The mohair is beautifully soft and lustrous with lovely curls.
To find out more about Llamas visit the British Llama Society website. Visit the British Angora goat society and British Mohair marketing to find out more about Angora goats. I will post some photos in a few weeks of my finished textiles.
I have also been dyeing calico, wool and threads with a mix of coffee grounds, tea bags and onion skins, basically kitchen leftovers. I heated the dye pot for a few minutes and then put the fibres and materials in the dye pot and left it for a few days. I repeated this using the same dye bath and obtained a variety of strengths of colour until the dyes ran out. I have materials and threads now in a variety of browns/ginger to use in different projects.