What to do with Arapawa sheep wool?

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10 years 5 months ago #30119 by Fat Tui
I have the fleeces of twelve Arapawa sheep, recently shawn. The dags get used around my trees, but I would like to know what to do with the rest of the wool? Can I learn to spin this wool easily? Or is it better to find a spinner who wishes to buy it instead? (or perhaps its not good for spinning and weaving?) I have a range of colours from pale brown to grey to dark chocolate.

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10 years 5 months ago #407138 by Xartep
Ditto

I have a number of black & grey fleeces that I want something done with.

Should I have them carded first and then find someone to spin and knit or should I leave them in their whole fleece state ?

Is there anyone in the southern north island that I could send them to to be spun? There is a Carding company in Greytown so that is handy.

I would love to have a new winter jersey made from my own wool.

And before we get into the discussion, I dislike knitting so see no point trying to do it all myself as the project will never be completed.[B)][}:)] :p

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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10 years 5 months ago #407215 by Mich
They sound like simply gorgeous colours. Arapawa fleece is similar to Merino and other fine breeds and should come up beautifully when carded and spun.

Before thinking about sending them away for carding and/or spinning, go through each fleece and give it a really good skirt, removing short ends, bad pen stain or dags, any cotty bits, dry unappealing backs that have been exposed to the weather, vegetable matter (the more of this you get out, the better product you'll get back), and check that the fleeces are sound (i.e. minimal breaks in the staples). Breaks are OK if you want to use the fleece for felting, but aren't good if you want to spin or have the wool commercially spun.

There are a number of places that will card and/or commercially spin wool for you - I remember there was a discussion about this a while ago on LSB so try a site search - from memory it was alpaca-related. One I can recommend is Leo and Karen Ponsonby, who bought out Tai Tapu Carding/Spinning. Leo is the current president of Black & Coloured Sheep Breeders' Association and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. His address is Burnham School Road, Rolleston, R D 8, Christchurch 7678, and phone number is 03 347 6778.

Also check out your local spinning groups and see who they use. They may be interested in taking some fleeces off your hands, too. They should also be able to chat to you about possible blends to make the end product even more beautiful.

Good luck.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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10 years 5 months ago #407314 by Fat Tui
Thankyou for the advice. Yes, I think Arapawa wool is way too good to waste, but then I'm a breeder so somewhat biased. I have heard there is a spinning group in Pukekohe (our nearest town). I also read on a previous discussion thread that you can card the wool yourself using a wide tooth comb. I can only imagine it would end up looking like a "beehive" hairdo!
I will, though, take the time to clean it up the fleeces as they've been in the barn for a month and its a bit dusty out there.
I will post another reply once i've made some progress with the spinning group.

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10 years 5 months ago #407750 by jeannielea
Xartep why don't you call Kane Carding and ask them as lots of spinners, felters etc use them so they may be able to help. And James of Joyof Yarn in Greytown has a knitting group so may also be of help. Look him up on the JOY website

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