Wooly Worms are usually right about these things
In this case, I’ve decided to add a bit of wool to my weaving. Generally, I like to use cotton and tencel, with some occasional rayon. These fibers dye well, have a softness about them and are easy to care for.
Cotton is a plant fiber you’ll see growing on the side of the road in rural hot areas (perhaps on the drive to the coast!). A lot of insects like to eat it and there are some serious chemicals used on a lot of cottons. The process uses a lot of water, too. Tencel is a process (patent name is Lyocell) and made from wood. Often these are wood scraps and the chemicals that are used to produce the fibers are used repeatedly, until the chemicals are used up. I point this out because Rayon is also made from wood leftovers but the chemicals are not re-used or re-purposed. All things to consider
Wool is animal fibers from mammals that are kept in pastures, clearing out undergrowth and trimming grasses. A lot of small farm businesses have sheep, goats, bunnies, llama and other furry creatures. Wool dyes well, doesn’t always use such harsh chemicals and is very warm. There are allergies to consider and often the chemicals used to clean large amounts of wool cause it to be rough.
I try very hard to make good choices in fibers, chemicals and keep a reasonable local footprint. But I do like to travel and visit museums, exhibits, guilds and other fiber-y adventures.
‘Tis the holiday season and I’ll be sharing some work at local shows. Hope to see you out on a fiber-y adventure of your own! After the holidays, it is residency and workshop time. I’m really intrigued by deflected double weave lately, tho the workshops I’ll be sharing involve shaped garments, tapestry and more snuggly projects.