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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Merino vs Mohair

Last night I thought I would try spinning some merino top I had bought from Saff several years back, lace weight, to see how it differed from the mohair. Not only in the technique itself, how it spins/twists up, but also how it looks.

As I began spinning I noticed some trash that I did not remember being there and in closer inspection my suspicion was confirmed. Carcasses of some kind of dead insect, yuck..... I will spare everyone the gorey details and won't include a picture. Fortunately there was a small amount, superficially, they did not get down into the roving. It would have been a real shame because this is some really nice merino, well that goes without saying, can merino be anything else? That is to say it was processed well and a joy to spin. I could see where the fibre had become brittle from the insects making a home there so I had to waste that portion but then again, fortunately it was not much.

My observations, when comparing the merino with mohair, were first that the drafting had to be much shorter. It didn't seem to twist as easily. It also lacked the luster that mohair has as well as the halo-ing, which goes without saying.

While merino has many good qualities, I suspect I am going to be more pleased with the over all characteristics of the end creation when mohair was used on lacework projects. Whether it be my propensity toward mohair, since I raise angora goats is the question. Next I will try blending the two and, who knows, the characteristics of both, complementing each other may end up being quite a treasure.

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