HOMETHE CULTURETHE ARTISTSTHE PROCESSTHE GALLERYCONTACT US


YARN

SEE OUR VIDEO ON SPINNING YARN AND OTHER USES FOR THE SPINNING WHEEL

SEE OUR VIDEO ON CHURRO SHEEP AND RAW WOOL THAT YARN IS MADE FROM

SEE OUR VIDEO ON POTASSIUM ALUM USED TO TREAT YARN BEFORE DYEING


• SPINNING THE YARN

As seen in the section on WOOL, Churro sheep usually go about a year between shearings. By the end of a year-long growth period, their woolly coat has gathered burrs, plant matter and some dirt. Even though wool naturally repels these impurities, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned, both manually and with amole. When the wool is dry after washing, it is combed with carding paddles to separate, clean, and align the fibers before spinning it into yarn on the spinning wheel.

The art of spinning wool takes years to master. The width, texture and tensile strength can vary greatly. When weaving a piece it usually requires that all the different colors of yarn be made to the same specifications. Otherwise the piece will be uneven, hard to weave, and aesthetically unpleasing. Below are two weights of yarn.


The family uses a manually powered wooden spinning wheel. In addition to making yarn, the spinning wheel is used to wind bobbins and to roll yarn from a ball into a large loop to be placed over the Biilieelii (Zapotec) that feeds the yarn onto the bobbins.


Yarn is placed on this rotating device, called a Biilielii in Zapotec, so that it can easily be fed onto a bobbin.


Our bobbins are made of carrizo, a plant that is similar to bamboo.

In the photo below, you can see how the wheel is turned with a hand crank, and how the spinner holds the carded wool back from the spindle so that it becomes a twisted even strand of yarn before it is rolled up on the spindle. If the yarn is too thin it will break easily. It must be made in one consistent texture and width for a high quality weaving.



Below you can see the wool twisting into yarn as it feeds onto the spindle.


After the wool has been spun into yarn, it is boiled in potassium alum, a naturally occurring mineral that helps to fix the dye colors into the yarn.



Then the yarn is ready to dye. SEE NATURAL DYES

After dyeing, it is hung up to drip dry. When it is dry, it is hung on storage pegs in the same large loops as when they were dyed. Later the yarn is wound onto bobbins for use on the loom.


Below: a rainbow of yarns waiting to be incorporated into weavings.


HOMETHE CULTURETHE ARTISTSTHE PROCESSTHE GALLERYCONTACT USEVENTS VIDEOS
TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLEMITLAINSPIRATION & DESIGNWOOL • YARN • NATURAL DYESWEAVINGFINISHING

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