CRAZY BACKSTORY: We had a big scare with Hurricane Ida flooding. Batch 6 was not affected, but Batch 7 sure was! We actually had to rescue Batch 7 from Littlewood Dye House in Philadelphia after the Hurricane Ida floodwaters receded.
Although our wool was briefly submerged in the floods, it was so tightly wrapped and baled that it did not absorb much water, and dirt really could not get to it. To ameliorate the effects of Hurricane Ida's floodwaters, and to be totally sure of our fiber, we needed to bring Batch 7 back to Chargeurs USA in South Carolina, where it was originally scoured in 2020. Because the scouring train is not designed to handle previously-scoured fiber, it was necessary blend Batch 7 with Batch 8, which we fortunately had purchased in Spring of 2021.
When the combined Batch 7 and Batch 8 wool was returned to American Woolen, we continued to fulfill the original Batch 7 Purchase Orders (Fabric Production orders). Fiber beyond what is necessary to make Batch 7 is now considered Batch 8.
Estimated Batch 7 Fabric Completion Milestones (all in 2022):
- FullWeight Lynx:
- Yarn Completed: 27 May
- Greige Completed: 8 July
- Finished Fabric: 5 August
- FullWeight Duff:
- Yarn Completed: 3 June
- Greige Completed: 29 July (garment industry shuts down in mid-July)
- Finished Fabric: 12 August
- FullWeight Drab:
- Yarn Completed: 30 June
- Greige Completed: 15 August
- Finished Fabric: 9 September 2022
- FullWeight Black:
- Yarn Completed:
- Greige Completed:
- Finished Fabric:
We will get the tailors working as soon as possible. BUT the tailors may not really be able to get started until they have all the Fabrics on hand. And of course, they are not just sitting around waiting for me.
HERE is the information on the original Batch 7.
Batch 7 is larger than any previous WeatherWool Batch! We have not made any garments from Batch 7 yet, except that we needed to use a few hundred pounds of Batch 7 fiber to complete making Batch 5 FullWeight Lynx Fabric. (Didn't take long for my little plan Batch-tracking plan to get complicated, even before the flood.)
The greasy was purchased in April 2020, by private treaty with the following ranches:
- AD Jones: 8174 pounds (3707 kg); 42% of Batch 7
- M&J Corn: 6815 pounds (3091 kg); 35% of Batch 7
- Sultemeier Ltd: 3308 pounds (1498 kg); 17% of Batch 7
- PM Ranch: 965 pounds (438 kg); 5% of Batch 7
Total weight of Batch 7 Greasy: 19262 pounds (8736 kg).
Batch 7 Greasy was scoured by Chargeurs USA in South Carolina. The scouring process removes wool grease (crude lanolin), dirt, vegetable matter and other debris from the fleece. The yield of clean fiber was 10,946 pounds (4964 kg), or 56.8%, which is quite high.
This clean fiber was been shipped to American Woolen Company in Connecticut, who manages production of our Fabric. AWC sent the fiber for dyeing at Littlewood Dyers in Philadelphia, and the dyeing was expected to be completed in late August or early September of 2021. But then ... Hurricane Ida struck, and that's where the adventure described above started.
The dyeing of the wool is complicated by the fact that we need to create the same colors on two different types of wool. Not only is our weft fiber purchased separately from our warp yarn, but the fiber used to spin the warp has different characteristics than those of the weft yarn. The differences are compounded by the fact that weft was dyed by Tintoria as fiber (not yet spun into yarn) and the warp was dyed by AWC as yarn, on cones.
AND HERE is the information on the original Batch 8.
Batch 8, purchased on 30 April 2021, is similar to Batch 7, but not as large, mostly because the Sultemeiers, one of the Batch 7 Ranches, was forced out of business due to continuing terrible drought conditions in New Mexico.
The greasy was purchased at auction at Roswell Wool, in April 2021:
- AD Jones: 5870 pounds (2662 kg); 49% of Batch 8
- M&J Corn: 5299 pounds (2403 kg); 45% of Batch 8
- PM Ranch: 719 pounds (326 kg); 6% of Batch 8
Total weight of Batch 8 Greasy: 11,888 pounds (5391 kg).
As described above, because of Hurricane Ida's floods, Batch 8 Greasy needed to be rushed to Chargeurs USA in South Carolina where it was blended with Batch 7. The blending enabled the entire mix to be sent through the scouring train, and so Batch 7 could be cleaned again after being caught in the Ida floodwaters. If we did not have Batch 8 already on hand, I don't know what we might have done!
The scouring process removes wool grease (crude lanolin), dirt, vegetable matter, and other debris from the fleece. Because of the nature of the greasy wool we buy, we always get a high yield of clean fiber.
The dyeing of the wool is by nature a complex process, made more so by the fact that we need the dye house to create the same colors on two different types of wool. Not only is our weft fiber purchased separately from our warp yarn, but the fiber used to spin the worsted warp has different characteristics than those of the woven weft yarn. The differences are compounded by the fact that Tintoria will dye the weft as fiber (not yet spun into yarn) and the warp as yarn.
17 May 2022 --- Ralph