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Old 08-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #1
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Mohair frustrations
So up until now I have been working with relatively short alpaca fleece as my practice material for dyeing, combing and spinning (drop spindle). I was quite pleased with my progress and had the opportunity to trade a rooster for a pound of greasy kid mohair which I jumped on.

I washed it twice in super hot water and there is no more "butter" in it (yuck) but it still feels a bit greasy when I touch. But I read that some people like to spin "in the grease" so I thought it would be ok. Other than that it's amazing - soft, white, little VM, LONG staple length (4-5") so I thought it would be a breeze to work with but it's been really frustrating. Do I need to wash it again? Put less on the comb? Use a real diz (right now I am using a washer)?

Pulling the combed hair through a diz has been really hard. It starts out easy but once about half of the wool is off the comb it's almost impossible to keep an intact roving going. I have to pull bits forward from behind the diz (between the diz and the comb) and sort of integrate it into the roving but it hurts my hands and it takes forever.

Spinning it is also really hard. I think I just need to get used to drafting 4-5" hairs instead of 1-2".
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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Add a bit of shampoo to your wash water, then rinse using white vinegar.

When prepping and spinning fiber in the grease, you want your fiber to be warm enough that the lanolin is soft so the fibers will slip.

There is a big difference when spinning a soft, short stapled roving and a long luster roving.

With a 4"-5" staple, you will want your drafting hands about 6" apart! Same goes when prepping from comb through a diz.

Also remember that the longer staple does not need as much twist in the yarn as the shorter stapled fiber. A long staple fiber such as mohair with high twist will turn the fiber into rope.

Good luck!

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