Monday, October 19, 2015

Burn Test or...I am still learning to spin or...we pass our fiber knowledge down in ways we would never guess

So in this prior post I described acquiring some unknown fiber (as well as a new wheel and a drum carder...)

Here is a photo of some unknown fiber that was in the acquisition

I really couldn't tell what it was, other than very very soft.  I spun up a bit; if it was wool I felt that it had a lot of short clips in it.  Despite the softness I felt that it would only make a really thick and thin kind of yarn (not my preference). The staple length is very short...2 or 3 inches. My guess was cormo but the short clips/flecks are lighter in color.

Now, this autumn I took on a large task and taught a  course on for Life Long Learning of Hilton Head this fall.  The topic: What We Wore : Home Based Cloth Production Prior to the Industrial Revolution.  Here's a couple photos of me trying to be erudite

(I am hardly a weaver, I'm sure I'm laughing at a blunder, at least two women in the audience were experienced weavers).

In the process of prepping for this lecture I pulled out a stray boat shuttle that I received as part of the acquisition.  

I used to weave a little and always thought that boat shuttles were pretty clever...

and when I got it out I realized what the former owner (who has now passed) had spun the mystery fiber that is on the shuttle

Nice huh?

We pass our fiber knowledge down in ways we would never lesson: go back and get better at spinning!

So, I decided to do the burn test to analyze the fiber, directions here

Yep, burns and smells like wool...that may be the most I'll ever know!