PLEASE NOTE: We had a big scare with the 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. Please click for info about the impact of Hurricane Ida on our production.
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 floodwater, 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. We are referring to this new, combined batch as Batch 7. And we won't have a Batch 8 until next time we purchase greasy (raw) wool.
There was also at Littlewood one bale (around 500 pounds / 227 kg) from Batch 6 that had been dyed but the color wasn't right. That bale had been stored on the 3rd floor, above the floodwaters. We have retrieved that bale and it will also become part of Batch 7.
HERE is the information on the original Batch 7.
Batch 7 is WeatherWool's largest batch so far! 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 to get complicated.)
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 dirt, vegetable matter, wool grease (crude lanolin) and other debris from the fleece. The yield of clean fiber was 10946 pounds (4964 kg), or 56.8%, which is quite high.
This clean fiber has been shipped to American Woolen Company in Connecticut, who will manage the production of the Fabric. AWC has sent the fiber for dyeing at Littlewood Dyers in Philadelphia, and the dyeing was expected to be completed in late August or early September. But then ... Hurricane Ida struck, and we are simply not sure where we will go from here.
The dyeing of the wool is by nature a complex process, made more so 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 will be dyed as fiber (not yet spun into yarn) and the warp as yarn.
Much more to come as we continue to process Batch 7. But right now it looks like we will be mixing Batch 7 with Batch 8 so that we can re-clean the Batch 7 that was caught in the Ida floods.
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 one of the Batch 7 Ranches was forced out of business due to continuing terrible drought conditions in New Mexico.
We hope to soon begin processing Batch 8.
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).
Batch 8 Greasy will be scoured by Chargeurs USA in South Carolina in the next few days. The scouring process removes dirt, vegetable matter, wool grease (crude lanolin) and other debris from the fleece. We expect a high yield.
The clean fiber will soon (we hope) be shipped to American Woolen in Connecticut, where it will be prepared for dyeing (we hope) at Littlewood Dyers in Philadelphia. But these plans are held hostage, somewhat, by the Hurricane Ida floods.
WeatherWool has always purchased our warp yarn from Kentwool Yarns of South Carolina. The warp yarn will also be dyed by Littlewood. As we grow we will make our own warp, sourced directly from the ranches.
The dyeing of the wool is by nature a complex process, made more so by the fact that we need Littlewood 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 Littlewood will dye the weft as fiber (not yet spun into yarn) and the warp as yarn.
AND HERE is the information on the new, expanded Batch 7.
The new, much-bigger Batch 7 includes all of the fiber from the original Batch 7 plus all of the fiber from Batch 8. The new Batch 7 Clean Fiber weighs 15,441 pounds (7003 kg). This fiber will soon be shipped to American Woolen for processing into Fabric.
9 November 2021 --- Ralph