Jump to content


Photo

Fulling Wool


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Jack Schmidling

Jack Schmidling

    Umsie

  • Senior Apprentice
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marengo, Illinois
  • Interests:Sheep, spinning, weaving, tailoring.

Posted 26 August 2011 - 11:54 AM

Having made all the garments I can use from my homespun, hand woven fabric, I keep trying to find the secret of light weight woolens.

I finish my cloth by a quick run in the wash machine and dryer with manual intervention to end up with a nice fuzzy fabric that shrinks about 10% in width and not at all in length. The warp is cotton so there is little or no shrinkage in the length.

After two or three presses, the thickness of the fabric is on the order of .050" at minimum. This is fine for coats, a few jackets and shirts for Winter but it seems that with a 2/10 cotton warp and a wool weft not much heavier, I should be able to come up with something lighter.

I also find that the weight of the weft seems inversely proportional to the weight of the finished fabric. A thicker yarn requires fewer picks per inch than a lighter yarn so the weight per sq is actually less.

In all my research on "fulling" of wool, I only find what seems to be rather brutal treatment compared to what I am doing. The hammering and pounding of a fulling mill kept Don Quixote up all night. Looking at pictures of these mills, I just to not understand what they are doing to the fabric and why all the violence. Granted they did not have wash machines in the old days but just sloshing around in warm soapy water seems to do a great deal in the way of fulling and shrinking.

I am curious to know what is done commercially to full wool these days.

Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.

For some background on my activities see

http://schmidling.com/fiber.htm

Jack Schmidling
Marengo, Illinois
Astronomy, Beer, Cheese, Fiber, Gems,
Nature, Radio, Sheep, Sausage, Silver

http://schmidling.com

#2 Valentina

Valentina

    Umsie

  • Super Pro
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Moscow, Russia
  • Interests:Bespoke, web-design, writting, art end ect...

Posted 26 August 2011 - 05:41 PM

I'm not sure that such refinements would be appreciated. This is closer to ethnics. My grandmother is at home loom, and I kept it weaved fabrics, of cotton. But such tissue specific taste. If you only apply the products under a special sauce. The question is not in the proposal, and in demand, where you will find buyers for your product?

#3 dwc

dwc

    Umsie

  • Professional
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:06 AM

After a background designing in the clothing industry my partner and I started weaving our own cloth to make into womens coats and jackets 10 years ago.I weave on a 60" flyshuttle loom and he on a 1920's Hattersley Standard. It was a huge learning process for us, the first cloth I hand-wove was finished in Scotland by Schofield Dyers and Finishers of Galashiels one of few still left in the UK and still finishing our cloth. As a clothing designer I wanted a fabric to suit modern demands of lightness and warmth. We work on a warp threaded at 16 ends to the inch and a weft of 16 to 18 in wool, silk, cashmere etc. and a yarn with an approx. count of 4nm metric count. The cloth finishers scour, tenter, blow, decate, then examine the roll and having visited them we know they do use large washing machines, natural soaps, heat the wool fabric to a temperature at which the wool fabric stabalises and brush with teasles from Belgium.
Being wool it does shrink in the warp and weft but we can specifiy a finished width, for example the Hattersley cloth is woven at 45", comes off the loom at 42" and comes back at 39/40". Length is always variable but doesn't seem to loose that much.
Hope that is some help.
Designer Weaving Company.

#4 Jack Schmidling

Jack Schmidling

    Umsie

  • Senior Apprentice
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marengo, Illinois
  • Interests:Sheep, spinning, weaving, tailoring.

Posted 27 August 2011 - 11:04 AM

First of all, thanks for the thoughtful response. I had a feeling I had come to the right place. I hope you don't mind my parsing your response but it helps me keep my thoughts on track.

>I weave on a 60" flyshuttle loom and he on a 1920's Hattersley Standard...

I am using a 32" Ashford floor loom with a boat type shuttle. The rigid heddle loom shown on my web site was abandoned long ago. My finished goods are just the right width for single pieces of adult garments so they are twice as long as they would be on a wider loom.

>It was a huge learning process for us, the first cloth I hand-wove was finished in Scotland by Schofield Dyers and Finishers of Galashiels one of few still left in the UK and still finishing our cloth.

My first question is: why did you send out your first work and did you ever try finishing it yourself?

>We work on a warp threaded at 16 ends to the inch and a weft of 16 to 18 in wool.....

My only reed is 12 to the inch and have never tried anything else. It seems to me that if you increase the dents, you simply increase the weight of the fabric so I have never moved on.

>The cloth finishers scour, tenter, blow, decate, then examine the roll and having visited them we know they do use large washing machines....

Good data point there.

>natural soaps, heat the wool fabric to a temperature at which the wool fabric stabalises

Do you happen to know what that temp is?

>and brush with teasles from Belgium..

You gotta be kidding? We see these along the road sides and ponder the good old days but to hear that they are still actually used in production is amazing. Why Belgium?

I also read about a process sort of like shaving after the nap is lifted. How is this done?

Jack

Astronomy, Beer, Cheese, Fiber, Gems,
Nature, Radio, Sheep, Sausage, Silver

http://schmidling.com
Astronomy, Beer, Cheese, Fiber, Gems,
Nature, Radio, Sheep, Sausage, Silver

http://schmidling.com

#5 dwc

dwc

    Umsie

  • Professional
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 02 September 2011 - 02:09 AM

We did try finishing the cloth ourselves and it was fine for things like blankets and scarves but for my clothing I wanted a flat, professional finish, that I knew would wear well, be stable and suitable for dry cleaning. Also the lengths we produce, 60 120 yards are quite heavy to handle. Our customers like and remark on the lightness and feel of the cloth.

Weaving with more dents to the inch does not necessary produce a heavier cloth, often the opposite as you use a finer yarn. We have woven with 22 ends to the inch with a yarn count of 6.4 nm. With a 12 dent reed you can, as I am sure you know, thread it to obtain a different count. Say 2 ends through the first, one through the second etc. We always double thread through the reed for ease of weaving.

I believe the temperature wool stabilizes is 106 Degrees but I am not sure so will check with the Cloth Finishers.
Yes it is amazing they still use teasles but apparently other methods are not as good as the old ways. I presume Belgium is one of the few places you can get them commercially. Have a look on Schofields website where you will find a picture under Services showing the teasles. www.schofield-df.co.uk.

If you would like me to I could send you a few samples of our cloth.

Is there a particular reason you use a cotton warp?

#6 Jack Schmidling

Jack Schmidling

    Umsie

  • Senior Apprentice
  • Pip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marengo, Illinois
  • Interests:Sheep, spinning, weaving, tailoring.

Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:36 AM

> Also the lengths we produce, 60 120 yards are quite heavy to handle.

Or to get into a wash machine. Do they do it in a single piece?

Small looms just don't lend themselves to long warps.

I can't handle a piece long enough to make a complete garment so I make two 100" pieces. This doubles the warping effort but it's only a hobby for me.

I have a hard time comprehending warping a loom 60" x 60 yds. How long does it take?


>Weaving with more dents to the inch does not necessary produce a heavier cloth, often the opposite as you use a finer yarn.

OK but my yarn is a given. I send my fleece out, specify the weight and have to live with what I get back. So the only variables I have are dents to the inch and warp yarn weight.

My first projects started with rug warp 8/4 and I am now at 10/2 but the thickness of the fabric has not changed much.

> We have woven with 22 ends to the inch with a yarn count of 6.4 nm.

When I see nm, I think nano meters but I suspect you have something else in mind.

>With a 12 dent reed you can, as I am sure you know, thread it to obtain a different count. Say 2 ends through the first, one through the second etc. We always double thread through the reed for ease of weaving.

I understand the process but never tried this. However, I do not understand the last sentence. Why does this make weaving easier?

>I believe the temperature wool stabilizes is 106 Degrees but I am not sure so will check with the Cloth Finishers.

Is this the max temp the fabric sees through the process?

>If you would like me to I could send you a few samples of our cloth.

That would be interesting but wait till we work this out.

>Is there a particular reason you use a cotton warp?

Lots of them but mainly the warp waste. I suppose if my warp was 60 yards long, the waste would be in the noise but at 5 yds, it amounts to about 40%. Cotton is cheap. My home grown yarn is very dear.

There is also the problem of consistency in even the commercially processed fleece that makes the warp a very iffy business. Then there is the home spun which is an even greater problem.

Your turn,

Jack
Astronomy, Beer, Cheese, Fiber, Gems,
Nature, Radio, Sheep, Sausage, Silver

http://schmidling.com

#7 dwc

dwc

    Umsie

  • Professional
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:23 AM

Yes they do it in a single piece.
We sectionaly warp directly on to the warp beams on my looms in two inch sections and it takes maybe three or four hours to put 60mts on with a system we worked out and home made equipment.
We double thread in the reed as it gives more space for the yarn to move when changing the shed. I once used a mohair loop in the warp on my LeClerc loom at 15 to the inch and the friction on that, threaded one to each space in the reed made it hard work to weave.
NM. is the metric count. As you know there are so many different ' counts ' of yarn. ie, worsted, yorkshire skein, cotton. etc. Metric count nm means the number of mts: 1000 to one kilo of yarn.
Yes that is the highest temperature the cloth goes through.
We had 300mts of cloth back from the finishers recently and it never fails to amaze us the transformation and how light and soft it is.
Stephanie.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users