• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • thomas rubino

Wool sewing fabrics

 
master gardener
Posts: 1953
703
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd love to find some good sources for sustainable, high quality, animal fiber garment fabrics. Often, the clothing items I'm looking for are just not being made, because the mainstream market just isn't there. But, buying good quality fibers, online can be dubious, at best. So, for the sewists, out there, care to share your sources?
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also find it difficult to find natural fabrics online. There is a little store near me called Billie's Designer Fabrics that has mostly synthetic blends but I have found beautiful wool fabric there. Very expensive! But lovely stuff. Here's a question I have always had. If sheep stand out in the rain all day, why is wool clothing slways marked dry clean only. Wouldn't  a cold water wash work?
 
pollinator
Posts: 350
123
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Barbara Kerschner wrote: Here's a question I have always had. If sheep stand out in the rain all day, why is wool clothing slways marked dry clean only. Wouldn't  a cold water wash work?




The wool itself would be fine, but the stitching, shaping, or dyes might not be.

I have several items marked "dry clean only" that I washed anyway, using the "no spin" setting on my washer. Fortunately I'm not too picky about my appearance, because the collars all lost their shapes. And when I did that with something red, it turned the whole load pink. But as long as there was no agitation at all, the clothes survived. If I was still working in that office, I'd probably try to rescue those blazers by learning how to starch a collar.

Washing dry-clean stuff can be done, but the results won't be the same as with real dry cleaning. Worth a try if you need it, though. I just wouldn't want to try it on anything expensive.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1589
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
504
hugelkultur dog forest garden urban cooking bike
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Barbara Kerschner wrote:... Here's a question I have always had. If sheep stand out in the rain all day, why is wool clothing always marked dry clean only. Wouldn't  a cold water wash work?


I don't know why it's labeled 'dry clean only'. I don't want it to be 'dry cleaned', because of the use of chemicals I don't like. I wash my wool items by hand and never had problems doing so.
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 1953
703
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Standard detergents and soap also promote felting, so even without heat, you'll experience a change in texture, likely a change in shape (though 'blocking' the items may help), and possible shrinkage. I'm not big on dry cleaning, anyway, so I generally try to spot-clean, and 'air-wash' or 'freezer-wash', and only hand wash in cold, and dry flat, if all else fails.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 1589
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
504
hugelkultur dog forest garden urban cooking bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope to find real natural fiber sewing fabrics too, so I follow this topic. Not only 100 % natural fiber, but I'd like it to be organic too. Not wool from mistreated sheep, or treated with poison, nor cotton from large scale monocultures with pesticides.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1954
Location: Tasmania
991
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Etsy is a good place for fabric. I've seen wool suiting fabric for sale on there as well as European linen and lots of other beautiful fabrics that I can't find locally. There's lots of different sellers so lots of variety and stuff that's hard to find in fabric shops.

I've never sewn with wool fabric before -  does it respond ok to zig zag stitch on the edges or does it really need overlocking?
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3061
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
1136
forest garden foraging books food preservation cooking fiber arts bee medical herbs
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kate, I'd be worried about woven wool. Have you considered flat-felled seams? I think they look classical.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 1589
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
504
hugelkultur dog forest garden urban cooking bike
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kate Downham wrote: ...
I've never sewn with wool fabric before -  does it respond ok to zig zag stitch on the edges or does it really need overlocking?


Kate, that depends on the fabric. Myself I never overlock (I do not have such a machine), but in some cases I zigzag twice.
I don't know which wool fabrics are still available. It was many years ago I ordered wool fabrics. There were tricots and jerseys (different kind of knitted fabrics) and there were woven fabrics, varying from very fine wool muslin to course fabric for furniture. Some fabrics are made of smooth wool fibers, others of more 'hairy' wool. A course woven or knitted fabric made of smooth wool can unravel easier then a finer or hairier wool fabric.
 
pollinator
Posts: 568
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
157
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have bought woven wool fabric off ebay before.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
master pollinator
Posts: 3061
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
1136
forest garden foraging books food preservation cooking fiber arts bee medical herbs
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For truly luxuriant wool, B. Black and Sons is the fabric company to buy from. It is lovely. It comes with a price tag.

They now have buy per yard options!
 
This is my favorite tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic