Thursday, 22 May 2014

Fibre of the Month May - HAUNUI

This month I'm playing with one of the fibres I brought for the first time at Wonderwool Wales in April.  This month Haunui - I am told it is pronounced: Hou-noo-ee - thanks Elmtree :).

I have more photos than usual, Alan at Wingham Wool (this is where I brought the fibre from) was kind enough to send me photos from their visit to the farm a couple of years ago.  The information I'm passing on has come from Wingham and much more can be found here on their website.

Haunui comes from Taranui Farm, South Island, New Zealand.  The flock name Haunui translates as 'place of the winds'.  
Part of the flock..
and just look at that fabulous scenery!

The flock is a fusion of New Zealand Halfbred and Fine Romney which has been line bred for generations to provide the qualities which make is so appealing to spinners and felters.

Each fleece is meticulously checks and tracked to ensure the very highest quality.  If a sheep produces fibre that is below standard it is sold on outside of the flock, to keep it out of the breeding program.  Animal welfare is of prime importance here, the sheep are not mulesed.  I don't have the vital statistics for this breed (like size and temperament etc).

All of the animal care, shearing and grading is done by themselves to ensure the best selection of quality and colour.. then the wool is baled and sent for processing.

John Gardiner sorting
Wingham carry 31 & 34 micron fibre in a nice range of colours.. white, grey, black, moorit and browns.

 I used the 31 micron in brown
Laid out to the same size as previous samples (20cm x 20cm) with three layers of fibre, and thoroughly felted to achieve maximum shrinkage.

When laying out the 3 layers I foolishly didn't wet it until all 3 were down.. I had a wonderfully fluffy, and fairly tall pile which I had to be very careful when wetting that it didn't slump and go out of shape.  Entirely my silly fault, ideally I think I should of wet it after each layer (or at least after 2!).  

Finished sample size: 13cm x 15cm
Weight: 14.3g
Shrinkage: 35% x 25%

I must say this is now one of my favourite fibres.  It has such a lovely handle in its fibre state.. is a pleasure to lay out (I can't wait to spin some!)  and it felts like a dream!  Felts quickly and easily into a strong felt which feels so soft and slightly fuzzy that you just keep stroking it.  Really lovely.

I love the character of this fibre!  Plus, it's very rare to be able to track and trace the history of 'brought' fibre in the way that you can with Haunui.. to me that is also pretty special.  I really do think the guys at Taranui do a fantastic job, and I am so glad that Wingham stock it here in the UK!

Next time:  Haunui project


Elmtree said...

Great post! I like your experimenting with different wool. You pronounce haunui; hoe-noo-ee, by the way.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Elmtree, I'm off to correct it :)