The Properties and Qualities of Wool
Saturday, October 17, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (EDT)

If you tried to make wool in a lab (and people certainly have attempted this), you could not succeed. The physical and chemical properties of wool can be partially imitated but cannot be replicated. Come learn, through a discussion of the science of wool, why this fiber, in all its varieties, is pretty close to magical. I love all fibers, but I'm especially intrigued by wool. I keep circling back to it because its properties are almost unbelievable - and not quite predictable, in part because it occurs in so many different varieties. Wool is one of the foundations of civilization, and, I believe, can be one of its salvations. We'll take a close look at wool's structure, its chemical and physical properties, and its behavior in our yarns and finished fabrics. I'll touch on why some wools have bounce and others don't; why some is delightfully soft and vulnerable to wear, while some is tough-feeling and sturdy enough to withstand steady abrasion over years; why some felts or pills and some doesn't (which has a lot to do with both the fiber and the yarn structure). I'll talk about what wools are available to fiber folk now, and why we serve our craft well not only to use those wools but to ask suppliers to give us even more options. When we push the boundaries of what we know about wool, we also push the boundaries of what we think our crafts are, or can be. A lot of what I say about wool applies to any fiber, but, well, wool has it all!

Deborah Robson
Session Type
All Levels Welcome
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Homework Required?
Supplies Students Need