Recently Angela, who runs Adelaide Walker, asked me to dye up some different fibres for customers who perhaps wanted to try something different to the usual Merino or Bluefaced Leicester. And here we have the results.
First up we have Berry on some beautiful Suffolk fibre. One of the Down breeds (fairly short staple length, coloured faces) Suffolks originated from crossing Southdown rams with Norfolk Horn ewes. The fibre takes to dye well giving some nice saturated colours and would be great to spin into yarn to make socks, hats, gloves and jumpers.
The Berry colourway was created from a base of pale Logwood Purple with deeper shades of Logwood Purple, Cochineal and Saxon Blue poured over and allowed to mingle in the dye pans. Each batch comes out a little differently as the dyes move and mix in the pans.
And next up, Ocean on Whitefaced Woodland fibre. A hill breed from the South Pennines of Yorkshire and Derbyshire, the Whitefaced Woodland was nearly extinct at one point in the mid-twentieth century. It has seen something of a revival but is still listed as vulnerable by the Rare Breed Survival Trust. Not known as one of the softest fibres this particular preparation was softer than I expected and would make great outer garments and will felt nicely. As you might expect with a hill breed, subject to the great British elements, the fibre had very good water resistant characteristics, it really had to be encouraged to submerge in the pots!. This colourway was dyed with the same method as Berry, this time using different strengths of Saxon Blue with some Logwood Grey highlights.