Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bamboo Spinning Part Two

A few people asked for more information about the bamboo fiber I am spinning.  So I have taken several photos and will also add some information about both the fiber and my process for spinning it.

First I should tell you that I learned to spin wool both by self study and by taking a couple of classes.  I have had no training on spinning bamboo.  I just used the ideas from wool spinning (and cotton spinning) and adapted them to bamboo. 

When I first started with the bamboo, I was adding it in with wool to add shine.  However,  wool shrinks when washed with agitation and dried with heat.  So, spinning bamboo alone makes for a yarn that is less finicky when washing.   Also, wool is hot to wear and I live in the South. Bamboo is cooler.
Let me show you the current bobbin of "yarn" first.

You may notice that there are fuzzy bits "hanging out" of the yarn.  The way I spin  the bamboo, that just happens and I live with it.

I start with purchased bamboo fiber/roving. What I purchase is generally pre-dyed. 

However, I do have a rather large ball of white. (you can see my thumb in the upper left of the photo)
Trust me, that is a LOT of fiber for spinning.  Now, I can dye the white bamboo using the dyes I use for cotton. BUT, it isn't fun to do and it makes a mess of the fiber.

I also have something called "faux angora" that is amazingly soft. It is a nylon fiber.

 The faux angora spins very easily.  Sometimes when the bamboo keeps separating and coming apart as I spin, I add some of this just to give myself a break.  Then when I go back to the bamboo, it seems to spin better.  (yes dears, I know that it is all in my head - but it works for me!)

I basically spin the bamboo just like I spin wool, but a bit thicker so that it stays together better.  It does require a bit more twist but not nearly as much as cotton.

The following link is one place that bamboo fiber can be purchased.  This is not a recommendation, but just for educational purposes.  I bought mine at a fiber festival, on Etsy and other online vendors.
Paradise Fibers Ashland Bay dyed Bamboo fiber. 

So what is bamboo fiber? Is it from a bamboo plant like you have in your yard, field, planter?   It does indeed start as one of those long bamboo plants.  The cellulose fiber is extracted from the plant then treated and processed into a form of rayon. (any cellulose plant fiber can be made into rayon - but to be called bamboo it must be from the bamboo plant.)   The fibers are then sold as fiber for spinning or (more often) to  a mill that will make yarn/thread or fabric from it.

And now a quick update on the Grid.
I have done a bit of it with black lines over the cut edges of the fabrics.
This seems to be adding more definition to the shapes as well as intensifying the dimensional effect of the grid.  I will eventually finish it, but for now it is being worked on it "as I feel like it."

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. However at this time Blogger is not notifying me of comments. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.


Danice G said...

Very intricate work. Your skills are awesome.

Pamela Arbour said...

Thanks for all the pics and more information on spinning. Interesting.

Jeanna said...

YOu have endless talent, Gene. A true artist for sure.

Lyndsey said...

Thanks for all the information Gene, it's very interesting. I've spun wool before but not recently and I've never spun cotton. Spinning bamboo sounds more challenging but it is a lot cooler than wool. I've add it to my wish list to try.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

I love how you explain what you do and how you do it. I have never dyed anything (too messy for me) nor have I ever spun or woven anything (just not my thing) - but I do enjoy reading about your projects. The "grid" looks great with the additional black lines. Are you couching them or zig-zag stitching them? - ;))

Barb said...

You know I must not be paying attention, I did not realize that you spin your own fibers. That is totally amazing. I also found your post very interesting and I love the shine. I also love that you dye your own. Your talent has not bounds!!