Mystery Fiber – What is it and does it felt?

As I will be making pods for the garden, I was going through my stash to see what I had and what I would be happy to felt with knowing that it will end up outside and be completely exposed to the elements.  I had some Perendale batt, but that was a no as I really didn’t enjoy felting this bag with it.  I do like the bag though and it is very sturdy.

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I had some Jacob batt I only used a little bit of to make my very first vessel. I used it around the top of the vessel.  It worked as decoration as it adhered quite well to the merino, but I wanted to see how it would actually felt on its own.

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As I was going to felt a sample, I decided to go through my stash of neutrals and browns that came in that mixed bag of laps to find out what I had and if it was good for felting.

I’m not going to take you through all the felting steps for making samples as we have been there before.  I didn’t even bother adding wool to them either as I know that if wool is added, it will most likely felt.  Here you can see that what I had in that mixed bag was mostly Alpaca.

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I have separated the Alpaca from my stash that doesn’t felt well to go into a spinning bag.  I will either spin from it, or I will give it to a friend so she can make spinning batts from it with her carder.  I really don’t have enough of any one color to spin a substantial supply to make anything.  If worse comes to worse, I will make Alpaca/wool batts to felt with, but not for wearables.  So here are how my samples felted.

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The two large squares were laid out over approximately 10 squares.  The Jacobs batt barely felted at all, even after putting in the tumble dryer for half an hour.  It is very soft and lofty although it is holding together, so I wouldn’t feel good about using it for my pods as it wouldn’t be very sturdy.  It would be ok for needle felting, but as I am not doing much of that these days I really have no use for it.  The wool felted down approximately 30%.  I think it could be Corriedale top.  It is soft and felted really well.  It is not as soft as merino, so I wouldn’t use it for wearables.  I am thinking I will use it for the pods as I have a fair amount of it.  It will also be useful for spinning art yarn.  The Alpaca felted down to 5 squares from 6.  They are very soft and lacy.  I didn’t even bother showing you the others as they weren’t holding together as in my previous experiments.

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Here is a close-up of the Alpaca sample after drying.  The fibers made a nice little pattern.  I still have some white mystery fibers, but I have had enough of felting samples for the time being. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Mystery Fiber – What is it and does it felt?

    1. I am only meticulous about making samples recently with stuff I don’t know what it is. I learned a lesson when making a scarf with what I thought was wool. Thankfully it wasn’t a large scarf! I have now put aside all of the alpaca!

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  1. Sampling can be frustrating but it’s the only way to find out what you want to know.
    We tried felting with alpaca when making vessels but we found it too soft.

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    1. Yes, alpaca is very soft, which makes for nice jumpers and hats! I have learned that it will felt better when wool is added, so that is something to consider. I was very happy to know that one of my mystery fibers was actually wool!

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