Win a copy of Building Community this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • James Freyr
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke

Unique plant fibres!

 
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
kids foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi folks, I am wondering what has been the most unique plant fibre you've seen, either working with it yourself, or seen in anothers' work.

I've seen videos of folks using blackberry, which would be tricky (those thorns) but satisfying.
 
Posts: 37
22
books fiber arts sheep wood heat
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My daughter has spun milkweed silk mixed with stripped peacock feathers on her drop spindle. She was always into trying new things.
 
Emma Cross
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
kids foraging medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thats amazing Liza! I have access to peacock feathers often in the summer but never thought to do anything like that.
 
Liza Stallsmith
Posts: 37
22
books fiber arts sheep wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My daughter's favorite way to use the feathers was mixed with wool, because it is just easier that way.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
purity forest garden tiny house wofati bike solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does she cut all the sides and remove the central stem?
I would not have thought about this, wahoo!
 
Emma Cross
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
kids foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would love to see a picture of the finished fiber if she has some lying around :)
 
Liza Stallsmith
Posts: 37
22
books fiber arts sheep wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To my knowledge she pulled the Fluffy feather backward to make it come off the center stem. My daughter is all grown up now. I will talk to her this weekend to double check this fact and to see if she knows where and if any of her projects are still around were I could get pictures of them. Sorry I can't be more informative, but this is something she did and showed me the end results. I remember my reaction as that is way cool, and I would of never thought of doing that!
 
Emma Cross
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
kids foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let her know that she is inspiring people!
 
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all! I'm Liza's daughter. Basically I just stripped the long fibers off of the quill of the feather and spun them in with some black wool. It's was super fun and incandescent in the right light. Not sure where that yarn disappeared to or if I ever knit it. It's been a long time. Never tried washing it. Always wondered if it would held up to that.
 
Posts: 11
Location: Adelaide, Australia
trees fiber arts writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, remember the story of the girl and her brothers-turned-to swans? Old traditions of Russia had also held nettle cloth in very high esteem.

Note, however, it's nowhere near as torturous to make nettle into cloth and wear it as that fairy tale (and those Horrible Histories!) suggests. Nettle mostly only stings for a little while, while it's fresh. Unless it's a very tough and old stalk, in which case there might be honest-to-God spikes on it, but that's not stinging so much as making holes in your fingers.

Alas, we don't have anywhere near cloth-amounts of nettle where we live now - and where we lived before, I never knew you could make anything but soup with it!


Edit: Ah, I am a noob... Some people know far more about it than I do! Oh, well, second most exotic I know, though not plant-based, is dog's wool (apparently, much better spinning than cat's combing-outs), but that's even less likely to surprise anyone
 
Emma Cross
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
2
kids foraging medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nettles has to be my favorite plant of all (in fact, had nettle and potato soup for dinner tonight!) I've spun the fibers in the past, which has a neat experience. It definitely has shorter strands than wool (which as far as I know goes for all plant based fibers?). Comes out kind of like hemp, but softer.

Dog and cat hair is very exotic! I admire folks that do the work of collecting the fur to spin it!
 
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
205
duck tiny house chicken composting toilet homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I get a half pound of poodle fur every couple of months from my daughter's miniature poodle.  That's for hair about 1.5" long.  How long would you want it to be to be worth spinning?
 
pioneer
Posts: 212
Location: Dayton, Ohio
59
forest garden foraging urban food preservation fiber arts ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Two interesting fibers that are readily available to me are milkweed bast (from the stems) and basswod/linden bark. Basswood bark was historically used to make a course cloth similar to jute in Japan called shinafu. The one place where I have actually seen someone try to work with milkweed bast was on this blog link here:
http://inconsequentialblogger.blogspot.com/2014/04/processing-spinning-and-knitting.html?m=1
 
Liza Stallsmith
Posts: 37
22
books fiber arts sheep wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had a friend who gathered and processed dog hair all the way through to the finished knitted hat. It was beautiful, but was so warm that no one here could actually wear it. It was quite a conversation piece though.
 
Mussa Gladden
Posts: 11
Location: Adelaide, Australia
trees fiber arts writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Timothy Markus wrote:How long would you want it to be to be worth spinning?



From what I know of spinning (and, having spun only 3 balls or so, I'm no expert!), the longer it is, the easier it is to spin - but the more experienced spinners can do wonders (i.e., thread)  even with short fiber.
The fiber table I've found starts with 2 inches, so 1.5 inches seems doable (and fine wool is usually shorter than coarse wool, anyway), If in doubt - try a little bit, make a small knitted swatch and try rubbing, stretching and washing it. That should give you some idea of how much it shrinks and how much it falls apart.

If that doesn't work or you're not feeling that adventurous, mix it with something longer - typically, sheep, but it's not a law - and then you can spin anything. Even cat hair, which is not spinnable, as a rule. I'm sure something posh (like angora or cashmere) was also only spun with usual sheep's wool, on account of being hair that doesn't hold together if it's spun by itself, but I can't remember or find what it was.



I think an encyclopaedia we have says you can spin pineapple leaves (after you've done retting them mercilessly). That bit of information (and a few others, equally ludicrous) was what sold to me the idea of buying that ancient encyclopaedia set that takes half a shelf all by itself. You just don't see such things in new editions
 
This. Exactly this. This is what my therapist has been talking about. And now with a tiny ad:
2020 BB20 Skill Building Event
https://permies.com/wiki/144815/BB-Skill-Building-Event
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic