Fleece and Fiber Master Class!
The Fleece and Fiber Master Class is a four part series which teaches students the “What, When, How and Why of Fleece and Yarn.” This is a comprehensive class which is a fantastic companion to Fleeces Revealed. While Fleeces Revealed gives students a solid foundation in all things wool, the Fleece and Fiber Master class picks up where Fleeces Revealed left off. While wool facts are touched on and included, the Fleece and Fiber Master class teaches students about protein fibers other than wool as well as cellulose fibers such as cotton and linen. More importantly, Fleece and Fiber Master Class shares incredibly important strategizing techniques for choosing and blending fibers as well as qualitative and quantitative measurements for understanding fiber fineness and yarn weights. This class is the perfect combination of science and stories which gives a foundation few fiber artists have. Please see the syllabus below:
Note: Classes are taught live and recorded to Youtube. You can watch the videos as many times as you like for up to one week after the last class airs. Please make note that after the one week extension, the videos will no longer be available.
Class 1: The “When” class gives you the history of several classifications of fiber. You’ll learn the story behind economically significant fibers such as Merino wool, including the 300 Saxons bought by Louis XVI, up to the Merinos of modern day. Other classifications of wool will be introduced with focus on historical narratives such as: The importance of the Herdwick sheep in the UK and their tendency to remain “hefted.” Other sheep, such as North Ronaldsay will be discussed because of their unique ability to live almost entirely on seaweed. Beyond certain types of wool sheep, other types of protein fibers (mohair, cashmere, silk) as well as cellulose fibers (cotton and linen) and their history will be addressed.
Class 2: The “How” discusses scientific facts which are important in understanding how fibers grow and the characteristics which make them unique and useful. Learn how primary and secondary follicles in animals develop and the important relationship to fineness. You’ll also learn how the cotton industry has improved their genetics in a very short amount of time and how this benefits the textile industry.
Class 3: The “Why” focuses on the internal structure of the most widely used and coveted fiber types. By studying the structure of fiber we can easily deduce a fibers suitability for a specific end use. Utilizing the inherent qualities of a fiber type helps you understand why certain fiber blends make “sense” and why others don’t. Similarly, understanding the individual properties each fiber possesses makes choices based on characteristics like dyeability and durability possible.
Class 4: The “What” explains the various methods for determining quantitative and qualitative characteristics like fiber fineness and yarn weights. Sometimes numbers are used for quantification such as in microns or grist. At other times, we use non-quantitative fiber diameter measures such as the Blood system. While both quantitative and qualitative measurement systems are used to express fiber diameter, finished yarns have a thorough and easy to use standard yarn weight system devised by the Craft Yarn Council (CYC). During this class, you’ll learn all the permutations of wool grading and the different yarn classifications.