Sunday, February 14, 2010

Picking Fiber-Cashmere

I spent several hours today picking though Obiwan's fleece from the last two years. The pic doesn't do it justice-the table is about 3 foot diameter, and I filled three gallon ziplocs at the end, stuffed full.

Technically Obiwan is most likely an Angora cross goat-his fleece has a buttery feel, long staple, and not a lot of crimp. I can't tell you the diameter-the crucial test of true cashmere, but Daphne's is a lot finer fiber than Obi's, but hers is very short. I will most likely have them blended together at the mill.

Most goats that have cashmere have it as an undercoat, with coarse guard hair covering it. Obi wears his angora style-on the outside. He does have course guard hairs mixed in, which true Angoras don't have.

His type of fleece is a chaff magnet-shavings, hay, even the outside of beech buds were all through it. So I worked through a handful at a time with a pair of long tweezers, trying to get at least the shavings out. Tough stuff like that can bind up the processing machines and a heavily contaminated fleece might be refused. I thought it looked pretty good at the end-the pile on the left in the pic.

Then I did Daphne's, and hers was almost totally clean. She is a pygmy goat who happens to put off some nice cashmere, although short staple. I picked out a few shavings and some hay and crammed it in the bag and ran out of good light to go on. I can't wait to see how much fiber we have in the end!

1 comment:

~Tonia said...

You have more patience than me I would be like ahh what the heck! Who cares if there is a little hay in it.. Or shavings or thorns!!Lol Thats what makes wool scratchy right?? Lol I know its not wool just using it for comparison!!haha